Category Archives: Business

Underfoot

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As hotel carpet goes, this is pretty boring.

Its pattern meets the requisite busy rule to hide foot traffic, but it’s very light. Tip a glass of red wine or kool-aid, and you’ve got a stain.

Especially if the guest doesn’t report it right away. (It’s in the guest rooms.)

Give me an intense color and some curly cues any day!

Bless your heart

A friend in the education biz recently developed a course on customer service for his company.

I provided some general communication tips, but realized today that I didn’t mention a personal perspective that I have gained from years on the phone with customer service representatives:

southern accentIf the customer service representative speaks with a Southern accent, I:

a) believe they want to help me;

b) have found that they do help me; and

c) am in a better mood when I hang up because they are friendly — regardless of how I felt when started the call.

Now, I tend to believe that the people on the call on true Southerners. You can’t fake that hospitality…

Or can you?

It’s something the companies who depend on customer service — and, really, what company these days doesn’t — need to consider.  We can teach people how to lose an accent…

Why not teach customer service folks to have one?

Can you say proofread?

Can we ever truly erase the actions of our past?

message recallMicrosoft Outlook  seems to think so.

Their email program has a “Recall Message” function that has tricked  people into thinking —

I  can make that not-so-smart email I just sent disappear.

Sad story folks — I can still read the original email.

In fact, seeing your “Recall Email” message in my inbox makes me want to read it that much more. So, stop kidding yourself.

You did it. You sent it.

Own it.

Day Two: Lucerne, Switzerland

Today, I was in a conference room in Lucerne for eight hours.

No sunshine. No city views. No sightseeing.

Hotel des BalancesBut after dinner, I again was charmed by my hotel and the square it overlooks.

In the daylight, the front facade of the Hotel des Balances in Lucerne is awash with color, the figures and ornate border giving the building an almost candy-colored glow.

(They stand behind this sugary start by delivering a customized oval of chocolate on our pillows each night.)

When the sun sets, the hotel and the other painted buildings in the square loose their characteristic colors but not their charm. Most businesses close by seven o’clock, so there is only the sound of foot traffic on the cobblestone, and the street lights make the architecture appear more whimsical.

Lucerne Square

I took this photo from my hotel balcony, which overlooks the front entrance.

chocolate mint LucerneAnd because many of you couldn’t concentrate after you read the word ‘chocolate,’ here is that mint I mentioned.

Pretty snazzy, huh?

Day One: Lucerne, Switzerland

Business travel can suck…

but not when they send you somewhere breathtaking.

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I arrived in Zurich this morning and hopped a train to nearby Lucerne, a beautiful city that has everything you probably associate with Switzerland.

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Moutains. A gorgeous lake. A slice of history around every corner. And a slice, too. (There are a lot of pizzerias…not that I’m complaining ).

I spent the day walking around this compact little town. I quickly abandoned my map and decided to see what I would see.

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I saw an amazing art installation at a local school.

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Historic churches.

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And a proud pup or two. (This is Figo.)

I also noticed that, in this pedestrian city, no one jaywalks. They don’t smile at passersby,  either. And the church bells peal on the hour, which was rather beautiful.

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Tomorrow I have to work (what?) and there is talk of rain, but I hope to fit in some indoor sightseeing during my brief visit.

Riding it out

The lady sitting across the aisle from me on this flight is scared to fly.

She didn’t tell me, but she didn’t have to.

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She is a white knuckle flier.

She has, at intervals, been visibly praying. And fidgeting. And sweating.

When I was very young, I used to get motion sick on airplanes — green, sick and nauseous.

I think that was better.

A rose

I am at a training program in Dallas, and all the materials include my middle name.

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Oh, the humanity.