As an investor, founder, CEO and business book author, I write about startups, design, how to build a good business, and I like to muse about culture in any form.

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.

11 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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