Picture it: your heroine is on yet another business trip.
She exits the airport. It’s February and yet her hair frizzes instantly. Welcome to Texas is the message.
Her dealings require that she stay at a Texas mega resort complex near the airport.
“Don’t you get lonely?”
“No, Mom. Not at all,” I paused.
“Actually there was one solo trip that was awful but it was a four-day conference in Las Vegas and my hotel wasn’t very nice. Vegas is a terrible place to be alone.”
I quickly regretted telling the truth. My mother–who I adore–would surely remember the vulnerability I just exposed every time I boarded a plane in the future, peppering me with questions about loneliness.
Sigh. Mom was still the master. Would I ever learn?
* * *
The trip had been a long one. Two days started when the alarm sounded at 5:30 am. I am not a morning person.
On this trip, I spent one day in particular feeling out of sorts. I didn’t know what constituted appropriate attire for this work event and ultimately, I chose wrong. Worse, my clothes seemed too tight. I didn’t like what I saw each time I caught sight of my reflection.
I felt old. And I was in fact older than some of the colleagues in attendance. Some of them were of the smug married variety in spite of being younger than me.
Self doubt had me squirming for a good five hours straight. I couldn’t wait to be alone with no one looking at my dumb outfit or my bad hair day.
When the event ended, I was free to head back to my hotel. But soon after I got in my rental car, I took a detour.
I drove due west until I arrived at cliffs overlooking the Pacific coast.
This week, office buildings throughout the U.S.* will be flooded with summer interns. In some offices, the interns may already have shown up.
Part blessing, part curse, their supervisors are charged with teaching them about a possible career path while simultaneously keeping them busy enough to avoid having to hear them suck up.
Maybe that is just me.
In case my interns ever find this blog, I have a few things I’d like them to know and do. If they don’t read this, maybe they can just read my mind instead.
What advice would you give interns?
*Do Canadian companies rely on interns the way U.S. companies do? If so, do Canadian companies pay? If yes, please don’t tell U.S. interns about this. I’m serious.
I travel a lot, particularly on business, so I spend a good amount of time in hotels. This year-to-date, I have spent approximately fifteen nights in hotels already.*
Here are five things I’d implement immediately if I ran a hotel.
1. Provide high quality hair dryers.
If you care about female business travelers, this is a must. I want to look good, but I don’t want to lug my Rusk Speed Freak in my suitcase, OK?
This evil little hair dryer pictured below is the worst-of-the-worst, but a Conair without heat control and a worn out motor doesn’t win a prize either.
Hotels should treat quality hair dryers as an upsell opportunity like they do robes. If someone steals the hair dryer, add $250 to the bill. Easy.
2. Offer breakfast for room service 24/7.
It was a quickie – just two nights!
I stayed at the French Quarter W. The service could not have been better.
I arrived by cab in the midst of a conference call. The valet whisked my bag inside and pointed me toward an open couch. When it was clear that my call wasn’t ending, the Concierge motioned to my purse. I gave him my license and corporate card. He checked me in and delivered my bag to my room.
My room decor, including this tarot card-inspired mural looming over my bed, was typical W. Which is to say atypical. It worked for me–although the mural may have given me some weird dreams. Who knows!
I had dinner with some business partners, @MW_ and @ticktock6 at Cochon. My second visit. I ordered a ham hock with späetzle. Delicious. I was too busy eating and talking to take pics.
A business partner sent me sparkling wine. Next time I complain about biz travel, please smack me.
I went to California again. For work (again). First I caught Linsanity in Sacramento.
My luggage avoided joining this art installation by baggage claim. That’s a relief!
After some biz-ness, I drove to San Francisco perhaps the only U.S. city more expensive than NYC.
The hills freak me out to some extent. This one is steeper than the picture indicates. Trust me, ok?