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Anthony’s Alaska Adventure: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

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We’re back in the Yukon capital of Whitehorse. The familiarity of the city is welcoming and we savored the idea of visiting our favorite establishment — the Klondike Rib and Salmon BBQ for their amazing food.

The Westmark Whitehorse is the largest hotel in town and it features a good amount of meeting space. In season, however, the largest ballroom is permanently dedicated to the “Frantic Follies,” a vaudevillian tribute show. The show is a hit with our land tour guests. We didn’t get a chance to catch it, but I did hear some of the rehearsals during the day and it sounded like a lot of fun.

Being that the hotel is in year-round operation, we needed to conduct two sessions today.

Let me tell you a bit about FISH! — the entire reason I am here. FISH! is a philosophy of sorts that all started with a group of guys in a fish market in Seattle. The guys at Pike Place Fish Co. were getting bored with their jobs. The work was hard, monotonous and generally gross. The guys came to dread going to work and they realized that there had to be a better way. One day, many years ago, they made the conscious decision to commit to being “world famous.” You see, they knew that by acting “world famous” they would practice attitudes and behaviors that were quite different than what they were doing at the time.

The guys noticed that they became fully engaged in their work and they began to find ways to have fun and provide outrageous customer service. This included the famous order yelling and throwing of the fish over the counter. One day, John Christensen, a filmmaker, stumbled upon this truly “world famous” group of guys and made a film about their workplace. He distilled this philosophy into four practices: be there, play, make their day and choose your attitude. I learned FISH! about 10 years ago and it has been a part of my life ever since. It’s truly been a plus in my life and so it makes me feel good to be able share it with many others.

All-in-all, FISH! can be summarized as the practice of being aware of “Who are you being while you’re doing what you’re doing?” By doing that we can be fully aware of how our attitudes and behaviors affect others and also the way we live our lives and do our work. It’s a deceptively simple concept, but one that is easily learned and lived.

Off to Skagway tomorrow. Be World Famous! Stay Tuned.

Anthony, a crew purser, is on a special assignment for Westmark Hotels, a Holland America Line company. Questions about Alaska, the Yukon or Westmark? E-mail Anthony at worldfamoustrainer@gmail.com.

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