One of the great things about our industry is the friendship and camaraderie. We meet frequently to exchange ideas and learn from each other, even most competitors are still friends. With travel suspended and conferences canceled over the past six months, it feels like we are out of rhythm. In an internal email exchange about the Fall RESO Conference being moved virtual, I lamented that I miss being on the road. Andy replied with the following.
What you should do is find a really uncomfortable chair somewhere in your house, wedge it into a corner where you have no leg room, and place some old sweaty smelly clothes on the back of the chair so you get a foul odor each time you try to breath. Make sure there is very little airflow, and if your chair reclines, break it so it doesn’t lean back. Put the sound of crying children on a speaker, and make sure your AirPods run out of juice after about 20 minutes. Turn on the A/C, to generate a loud constant humming noise, but make sure it’s only blowing warm air. Have some friends come over and get really comfortable on your couch, where you can see them, but preferably through a sheer curtain. Have one of them serve the others nice big drinks in real glasses, fresh baked cookies, and ice cream sundaes. The friend who is serving the lucky people should either ignore you completely or be unnecessarily rude, tugging occasionally at the curtain to maintain separation. Make sure you can smell the cookies and are able to see them really enjoying their experience. Set a timer for 3 1/2 hours, but then extend it by about 2 hours for no reason, and wear a mask the whole time. Don’t get up until the beep.
If this doesn’t resolve your desire to get back on the road, hail an Uber, then a Lyft when the Uber no-shows; take it to the local Marriott, arriving just after last call in the bar, and right after the restaurant closes. Don’t bring a suitcase or change of clothes; the airline will deliver that “first thing in the morning” if they find it. Make sure the alarm clock is still set for 3:37am from the previous person who stayed in that room. Drink a ton of water before you go to sleep to make up for the drinks you didn’t get to enjoy at the bar, you’ll need that to wake up in the middle of the night and bang around the room hoping to find the bathroom. After enjoying a lukewarm shower, proceed to the Concierge Lounge. Your key won’t work, but just go to the front desk and wait in line for 20 minutes while the one person working checks in a large travel group, they will be the people with the masks under their nose and/or on their chin. After running back to your room to get your identification so the front desk can fix your key, head back to the Concierge Lounge so you can watch them clean up the final remnants of breakfast.
Then email me back and tell me if you still “need to get on the road.”
Truth be told, we actually don’t miss the road but we do miss all of you.