From the American Airlines Admniral’s Lounge in Miama (hey, I didn’t know boats flew!).

When I was a corporate person, I routinely traveled all over the world and stayed in some of the best hotels. But when I became an entrepreneur some 15 years ago and had to “live or die by the sword” as the expression goes, I became far more intimately aware of the value of money…since I had none.

I went from Hilton to Hellhole almost overnight and I must confess it was quite a shock to the system. That early entrepereneurial experience has never left me, even today when I stay in some of those same “best” hotels on behalf of clients, I am acutely aware of the value of money and won’t hesitate to balk at the outrageous charges at most of these clip-joints…even though it’s not even my damned money!

Checking out of the Trump Beach Resort in Sunny Isles, Florida, this morning, I see a charge of $19.95 for a 9-minute phone call to Montreal. I almost blew a gasket. In today’s 5-cent a minute competitive landscape, a charge of $19.95 is like a sign saying “STUPID” posted on my forehead. I confronted the manager and he gave the usual song-and-dance about switchboard costs, etc. Bullshit! This is about the never ending stream of hidden uber-charges that these palaces of pretention thrive on. How come the Holiday Inn Express can give me free internet and a continental breakfast for $89, and you have to charge me for farting while in your establshment?

Anyway, cowards that they are, they quickly recinded the phone charges and the internet fee ($19.95 for a “basic” service that was so slow I could hardly get my email). If they really believed their shit, they would have stuck to their guns.

But here’s the rub….I bet 90% of the corporate people there would barely glance at the bill, and 99% wouldn’t challenge the charges. God help you if you ever work for me!

Yes, entrepreneurs really do get Darwin.

And yes, Dear, I’ll get off my soap box now. Just a little necessary catharsis from all the bullshit of business so I can enjoy what’s left of my week-end.

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