Could You Tell Me Where I Am….?

Happy Memorial Day to everyone!! Hope you have had a great holiday weekend, making memories with family and friends! This week’s story revolves around something that I do quite a bit…travel…Due to the nature of my business, travel is a very necessary “evil.” Early in my career I worked for a large nursing home corporation. I would usually leave home each Monday morning, and return late Thursday evening, or sometimes, on Fridays. By Tuesdays of most weeks, I had already been to three different states. Once I started my own business, the travel became even more intense, for I have very specific dates, times, and locations that have to be met. For example, one week I left Jackson, MS and flew to Boston, MA…made a presentation and flew on to New York City, NY…made a presentation and flew on to Green Bay, WI…for yet another presentation…ALL in three days! (Course, I have never made that mistake again…almost killed me…) So…here’s the story.

As a “road warrior,” it was always a habit of mine to stay in the same hotel when I would visit a particular city on a regular basis. The hotel staff and I would get to know each other, and we would build relationships. It felt a little like “home” when I would go to these hotels again and again… and that is extremely comforting when you are on the road as much as I am. On this particular occasion, I had gotten in really late (thanks to many delayed and missed flights) and had to check into a different hotel than my “usual” one. It had been a difficult, hard week, and I was tired…so to say that I slept the “sleep of the dead” would have been a mild understatement. 

The next morning I woke up to the alarm, stretched, tried to pry my eyes open, and looked around the room. And at that moment, I realized that I did not know where I was! In my head, I tried to go back over the week and figure out where I had been, and where I was supposed to be on this very day. No luck! I did not recognize the hotel room at all, and was beginning to get a little concerned. I got up out of bed, looked out the window, to see if there were any familiar landmarks…again…nothing!! So, being the intelligent person that I am, I thought, find the phone book…that will tell you where you are. There was NO phone book! I started to panic because I really could not figure out where I was. My brain kicked in again, and instructed me to find the Gideon’s Bible – for you know there is ALWAYS a Gideon’s Bible in your hotel room…and it will have the donating agency and city on one of the front pages. I quickly opened the nightstand drawer to open said Bible, and there was not one!!

By this time, I was not hyperventilating, but close to it! I realized that the only recourse I had was to call the front desk and ask them the dreaded question. So, I pulled myself together, called the front desk and said the following…”Good morning! This is Cat Selman. I have not taken any medication, I am not drunk, and I don’t have any illness that would affect my thought process, but I have an important question to ask you.” The staff on the other end of the line took a deep breath and said, “OK….what is the question?” I said, “Could you please tell me where I am?” The staff person laughed and said, “Holiday Inn – Holiday City.” I said, “Very good! Now, could you just please tell me what city that would be in?” By this time, the staff person is trying very hard to contain her uncontrollable laughter…laugh, laugh….”Memphis” laugh, laugh….”TN.” I said, “Thank you very kindly!” and hung up with as much dignity as I could at the moment. I’m sure my conversation ended up on one of those hotel “you won’t believe this” collections that was told over and over again. Never the less, I had found out where I was, so I was “good to go.”

If it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, looks like a duck, believe you me, it is not always a duck!!! I am sure the hotel staff person was quite certain that I had really “put one on” the night before, and either I was still very drunk, disoriented, or simply could not remember anything from the night before. All of her conclusions, based on the facts that she was presented with, would have been incorrect. We all jump to conclusions so quickly, even when we think we have all of the “facts.” And, some times, we DO come to the wrong conclusion or assumption. I’m not going to “jump” anymore! Won’t you join me? Just for this week…

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