I'm the author of "How We Make Stuff Now" and the Co-founder and CEO of The Grommet. We launch innovative products from small businesses.

A new low in business travel

birdI’m sitting at a gate in Chicago O’Hare. A pretty spotted brown bird landed on the seat in front of me.  As it flew away I felt something hit my head, near my bangs.

That’s why I just walked (what felt like a mile) to the bathroom, afraid to investigate the cold spot on my scalp.  In the ladies’ room, staring back from the mirror, was a startled blond woman with a gruesome, viscous black and white liquid streak running from the outside corner of her right eye, down her cheek, onto her coat, and across her (only) shirt.

When I land in Boston, I will immediately drive from the airport  to deliver a VC pitch.  Soiled shirt and all. I can only laugh.

9 Responses to “A new low in business travel”

  1. Linda Grasso

    You think you felt crappy? Well here’s what happened to me today. At my kids’ school auction a few months ago, I bid on and won a 500$ gift certificate to a Beverly Hills hair salon. It said on the gift certificate that I could use it on more than one occasion and have a variety of services (cuts, blow drys, color etc.). I won the certificate with a $150 bid. Seemed like a pretty good deal.

    Today I ventured to the salon to use some of the certificate with highlights. Only highlights and a blow dry. No cut. The guy asked me “half a head? or a full head?” I said “only a half a head.” I hate sitting for more than a few hours for hair. Just so you understand, I got low lights (a light brown) and high lights (blonde) woven thru my hair. But only a half a head.

    After two hours, I glanced in the mirror. My highlights and low lights looked great. The blow dry was just okay. I went to the check out counter and waited for my bill. I was certain I still had some credit (half of it I thought) on my gift certificate, I just wanted to see the total, so I could see how much to tip. Fifteen minutes went by as I stood and waited for my bill. I could see my “colorist” talking to several of the salon’s employees as he plugged away at the calculator. He looked a bit stressed. Finally, a bill was passed to me. The check out gal said “you owe $65.” The bill total was $565. Can you believe that? A half a head of high and low lights and a blow dry ! There is no question in my mind that the “colorist” manipulated the bill to fully utilize the gift certificate. My husband said I should have spoken up, but I figured money was raised for charity (my sons’ school) so I should just suck it up and move on – which I did. I handed over my American Express – paid the 65$ and added tip. But truly, I would have rather had bird**** on my head.

  2. julespieri

    Oh Man Linda…you gotta wonder how people like that stay in business–being so underhanded. I cannot believe what they charged you…Beverley Hills or not. Yikes. You are right. I would take the “free” color streak I got over your expensive experience.

  3. Sara Pacelle

    Hi Jules,
    My 8 year old daughter had a duck deliver an inordinately large and wet goodie on her head a few years back on a steaming hot day in a touristy windmill place (with well-fed ducks) in The Netherlands. She started shrieking of course and I rushed her what seemed like a mile to the Ladies Room which required one euro to even enter, nevermind use the facilities! I didn’t have the euro and my daughter began wailing even louder. It really was huge and dripping and disgusting. I appealed to the attendant working there to just let us wash off her head, we promised not to use any other part of the facilities. She wouldn’t let us!! I told her I would get the money after, I bribed her with a pack of gum. The dripping sobbing child even pleaded with her and still she didn’t budge! I ended up threatening her with bodily harm if she didn’t let us in. First and last time I have ever threatened to sock anyone, but she let us in and I’d do it again…. Don’t mess with the Mama Bear.


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