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At four-foot-ten and 60-something, as always she greeted me with a warm smile, two lattes in her hands and her signature “hellooo Meester David.” I never ask her for the high end “rainforest” coffee for me and my colleague to give us the energy boost before we start our seminar, yet, each month she greets us in our hotel boardroom with a genuine desire to make sure I am happy.
We discuss her daughter’s new beau, her grandson’s soccer games and what’s new with my own sons. Yet on Saturday, the normal gleam in her eye was missing. Her open heart betrayed that she was covering up a sadness. I asked, “what’s wrong, everything ok?” After a pause, she looked around as if she was to impart what happened to D.B. Cooper. “Aww, Meester David…” tears welled up “I need a new job. I now to sell my house. There is no money here anymore. So very slow.”
I just finished running a series of seminars we do for my business, something we have done for 25 years. We frequent a high-end boutique brand owned by a large hotel chain (rhymes with Chariot). The hotel sent our recent BEO for my signature and reviewing it I noticed the cost for using the exact same boardroom with the exact same “AV equipment” skyrocketed (AV = television screen/monitor attached to the wall which we hook up to our computer). The charge for the boardroom would stay the same, but we would now incur a fee to “use” the TV. The additional cost would be 175 percent of the room fee, daily. For just one day of using the flatscreen, we could buy a couple of decent new TVs and we are there multiple days. My eyes Marty Feldman-ed. It’s not hard to do the math why mi abuela is about to be out of work.