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a blog by Chris Barrow

The last hotel for a while

As mentioned, the Hilton Bracknell is my 11th and final hotel stay in 3 weeks of travel. Business travel is not glamorous, no matter how many room upgrades, executive suites or concierge levels are provided. The effect on the metabolism is debilitating – poor air conditioning, diet and rest amongst the main problems. I will be very happy to get “off the road” for a little while and try to settle into some routine of sleep, nutrition and exercise. Last night the hotel was packed with business people, all looking very much like “reps” and crowding the bar. I enjoyed a late croque monsieur and watched them downing countless pints of lager, bottles of red wine and endless cigarettes (its been a month now) as they gossiped about their bosses, their customers and each other. I think I’m far too old for this now. Both irritating and fascinating was the conversation going on at the table next to me, where a tired and disinterested sales manager interviewed a potential new recruit – the interviewee being a local lad working in an engineering factory who fancied himself as a salesman. As a former sales manager of some repute, I can tell you that this poor lad will never make a salesman – but nevertheless, the manager carried on with his “pitch”, promising a staggering £50,000 per annum for on target performance. I had to move away because I was getting angry with the manager for raising expectations and frustrated for the young man responding to these promises. Shifting to the other end of the bar, I dived into Orhan Pamuk’s “Istanbul – memories of a city” to escape the distractions. I’ve discovered that I have to read until my eyes roll if I want to be able to sleep quickly – its that or drink and I’m working on a reduction of my consumption of alcohol and an increase in my consumption of literature. Today is with Elmsleigh House Dental Clinic as a facilitator of their 2006 marketing team. It’s always a pleasure to work with Tim, Birgitta and Sharon and I’m looking forward to it. I’m off down to my last hotel breakfast for a while.

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