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Brainless in the Desert

During my hotel career, my numerous “sales trips” to the Middle East often led to unexpected adventure. And thus there I was, in March 2007, in the back of a Toyota Land Cruiser hurtling through the black of night on an un-lit 2 lane road that cut through the desert north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. My host, and frequent guest of my hotel in Malaysia, Mansour, had decided that an authentic Arabic evening at his desert campsite would be the ideal way to welcome me to his country. And what a memorable evening it was….

Balinese Bikers!

An argument ensued between Hery, my “victim”, and the police in their native language, Bahasa Indonesia. I had no idea what was happening or what they were talking about. Finally, the cop turned to me and said in broken English, “He’s asking for 50,000 and he won’t press any charges.” ….

A Day and Night of Awful Flight!

Successful Hoteliers, especially General Managers and Sales Managers, do a lot of traveling. Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting with a potential customer or decision maker. And although most of my business trips as a G.M. were both successful and uneventful, one particular travel experience was very memorable….for all the wrong reasons. Can you beat my worst flying experience ever?? Read on….

No ‘Walk in the Park’!

What happens when, on the weekend of a major collegiate basketball tournament, a hotel is overbooked by 110 rooms? “Don’t worry” I was told, “as teams lose in the tournament, they ALWAYS check-out and depart early, rather than paying for the full weekend. So you will have LOTS of rooms available. We do this EVERY YEAR.” And that’s when it started to snow…..

Just Doing My Job!

It was April 1997 and I was doing one of my favorite hotel jobs of all time – “Front Drive Supervisor” at a massive Walt Disney World hotel in Orlando, Florida. It was a job I really enjoyed: I wore shorts to work, had a radio and a headset, directed traffic, and got to drive some fantastic cars. But most importantly, my job was to just keep the traffic moving….

The Changing of the Bulbs

If the hotel has 250 rooms, and 150 have the new “long-life lightbulbs” already installed, that means that there are 100 rooms still remaining to complete, right? WRONG! A classic communication conundrum! And a valuable lesson: if you don’t ask the right QUESTIONS, you won’t get the right ANSWERS!

A Cat With Five Lives

In 2002 my hotel in Jamaica had replaced all of its computers and computer cables, and we were giving away the old computer cables to anyone who wanted them. So when one of the Housekeeping Room Attendants, who I KNEW did not have a computer at home, asked for a few meters of the old “Cat 5″ cable, I was puzzled….

Stuck in Doha

In the weeks after 9-11, we were opening a new hotel in Doha, Qatar, and I volunteered and was accepted to assist as a “pre-opening trainer”. However, looking back, I should have listened to the advice of the local team from Qatar, who had my best interests in mind when warning me about the super-hot outdoor temperatures! Some lessons must be learned the “hard way”….!

Big Blazing Guns, It’s Blood!

What do African Presidents and Prime Ministers bring with them when they travel to Malaysia for an international conference? As I learned the hard way, it’s MUCH more than just luggage! Read on….

One Hell of a Guest

March 2001, and the leader of the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Gang was on the run. Tipped off about a pending weapons and narcotics raid at the Hell’s Angels headquarters up in Canada, and wanted for 13 counts of 1st degree murder, he had disappeared the day before the raid, and, naturally, turned up at my hotel at the time, a luxurious 5-star resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica!

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