Tarzana Caston, a cashier at the Cafe 24/7 coffee bar, is the September 2012 Heart of MD Anderson.While most of us are at home asleep, Caston is hard at work. Monday through Friday, from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., you can find him with a bright smile and a friendly greeting for anyone who visits the caf?."It's difficult to find people who can work this shift and have such enthusiasm for our customers," says Dan Kowalczyk, director, Dining Services Administration. "Customer service is the cornerstone of our business, and Tarzana understands that."Because of his consistent customer service to our late-night caf? visitors, Caston is September's winner of the Outstanding Employee Award.On the night shift for 24 years, Caston knows that during this time employees are exhausted, families are worried and patients undergoing therapy are looking for comfort. They all come to the caf? for some respite from what they're going through. "I've seen on multiple occasions how he puts patients and families at ease with light conversation and jokes and helps them forget the reason that they're here," says Mark Truty, M.D., clinical specialist, Critical Care. "His amiable personality and charming way give everyone a boost."Caston understands that for many patients, the smoothies he makes are the only food they can eat while undergoing therapy. It makes him feel good to offer a little bit of comfort to help them get through the night."If they need an ear, I give that to them, too. During the night when they don't feel like being in their rooms, we'll talk about whatever they want to talk about, and I'll listen to them," he says.For Caston, settling for less than 100% customer satisfaction is unacceptable. His litmus test for good customer service is to see customers leave the caf? with a smile, and the results are almost always positive.
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