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a blog by Chris Barrow

Living out of a suitcase

Its been 3 weeks now that I’ve been living out of my suitcase. Starting with a trip to Canada that combined work with a quick break – and then back to the UK and straight into a series of workshops and practice visits. I think that tonight I will be on my 11th Hotel and I can certainly say that the glamour of travel has more than worn off. It has been interesting to experience all possible levels of customer service, from miserable disinterest to genuine appreciation, reconfirming that, no matter how much is invested in buildings, technology, facilities and interior design, it just takes one person with a smile to make the difference. Last Friday morning I checked out of the Watford Hilton (as glamorous as it sounds) and the young girl on reception asked: “Did you enjoy your stay Mr Barrow?” “Yes”, I replied. “And what was the best part of your stay?” “Oh – I don’t know really – I arrived late and I’m leaving early so it was just a bed for the night.” “How’s about that your check out with me was the best part of your day?” She said, with a big bright smile and good eye contact. “OK”, I said, “the best part of my stay was my check out with you – because you have a great smile and personality to match.” “Thanks Mr Barrow – have a great day.” And I walked out of the hotel and drove to Amersham with a big smile on my face. It doesn’t take much. Anyways – I have 2 more days on the road – Oxfordshire tonight and then another Hilton. Surrey tomorrow and its over for a few weeks – thank goodness. I’ll be able to work on some projects that have been hanging around forever. And I’ll actually be able to unpack! My blogging diligence will also be renewed – and a road trip such as I have just experience always provides many anecdotes that back up my coaching philosophy. A final thought on last night’s World Cup final – not the greatest game I have ever seen but it has been a wonderful tournament and I am DELIGHTED that Italy have won – just because I love Italy and its culture so much. I wish I had been in Como last night – although there would have been no sleep.

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