"They don't like you to be late in."
That’s the phrase just used by my restaurant manager at the Cedar Court Hotel in Huddersfield. You see, I’m sat in the lounge writing emails and it’s 9.00am. I haven’t been through for breakfast yet – and if I don’t go through soon they may have to work a full shift. I arrived and asked for a cup of tea. “Please may I have some tea?” “Will you be taking breakfast sir?” “Yes – in about half an hour but I have some work to do – so can I have a cup of tea?” “Will you be taking that in the restaurant or the lounge?” “In the lounge” “And will you be taking breakfast in the lounge?” “No – in the restaurant.” “Well then you will have to pay me now because it’s a separate department.” “OK – I’ll pay now.” “That will be £2.50.” I gave her a £20 note just to be bloody awkward. She gave me my change and said: “You will have to be for breakfast before 9.30am – they don’t like you to be late in.” I wonder who “they” are – a master race who remain hidden but organise hotel kitchens? Probably giant lizards. Back on the road again – after flying from Manchester to Cornwall on Monday, I drove over to Liskeard to see Chris Smirthwaite and his senior team at The Smile Centre. They all came on my core programme a few years ago and we are now discussing an advanced coaching relationship. I asked Chris “why bother” to go back into coaching – he has a great practice, profitable, well-presented and they have cornered the private dental market in their area. “I want to leave a legacy – to be the best in 10 years from now if I choose to retire.” That’s a man with vision, mission, roles and goals. I have my fingers crossed that we can agree to work together – I like Chris, Bridget and Vicky. After that it’s an early start to drive from Cornwall back up to Leeds (I know – madness) and my first evening presentation in Brighouse. A fascinating meeting en route with a former client who wants to set up a dental teaching academy – I think he has a fantastic idea and I’d like to get involved as an investor and director, as well as coach – but that’s a decision he must make. And then to the evening’s audience of 40 – mainly principals and practice managers – which means less laughter but more serious conversation. I’m very tired this morning and, after breakfast (hurry up Sir) and a few more emails, I’ll be driving up to Newcastle. You can always rely on a great environment to stop over for coffee and a jam doughnut. Unfortunatley, not everywhere has a “west coast coffee shop” – especially Liskeard, where I had to sit in Morrisons supermarket for an hour’s emails – and yesterday, Exeter services, which consistently fails to impress. This glamorous life of mine.