How I Saved 100 Jobs

February 10 2009 by Chris McGinnis
Comments (13)

100jobs.jpgHave you ever considered how many people you help remain employed when you hit the road?

Last week, I took a business trip to New York City to lead a panel discussion at Best Western's third annual Business Travel Summit. For the duration of my trip, the fate of President Obama's economic stimulus plan dominated the news. As I sat in my room at the Best Western Hospitality House, I pondered just how much my trip would help stimulate the economy and how many jobs I might be saving.

Here's what I came up with: In just a single day of travel, I helped preserve at least 33 jobs.

While there are countless folks behind the scenes that I probably benefited from my trip, I only counted the number of faces I saw or the voices I heard as they helped me on my way. Here's the tally:

Cab ride to San Francisco International Airport: 2 jobs
(The curt taxi dispatcher and the friendly Brazilian driver)

Airport security: 5 jobs
(The bored ID/boarding pass checker, the pre-check bin organizer, the x-ray reader, the metal detector attendant and the post-check bin organizer)

Airport breakfast: 3 jobs
(The lady with the kind face at the food court who served up four fresh pieces of dim sum, the cashier and another nice lady who cleared and wiped my table)

Airport check-in: 2 jobs
(The brassy blonde gate agent who was unable to upgrade me but was kind about it, and the one who scanned my boarding pass)

In-flight: 7 jobs
(The pilot, co-pilot and and, I think, four flight attendants, the gate agent at JFK who drove the jetway up to our plane, welcomed us to New York and informed us that it was 19 degrees outside)

Car service from JFK to the hotel: 2 jobs
(The dispatcher and driver from Dial 7, my favorite NYC car service, where fare, tip, and toll from JFK in a roomy sedan costs just $57-- just a few bucks more than an old cab with bad shocks and no leg room)

At the hotel: 5 jobs
(The check-in clerk at the Best Western Hospitality House who upgraded me to a two-bedroom suite, the hotel engineer who helped with my Internet connection, the hotel manager greeting folks in the lobby, my unseen housekeeper and the shy attendant at the free breakfast bar the next morning)

Dinner on the first night at Avra Estiatorio: 7 jobs
(The host, coat checker, server, food runner, busboy, bartender, chef. This popular and reasonable East Side Greek restaurant was packed on a Wednesday night, which made me think, "What recession?")

It would be too tedious to go on about the countless other folks I helped keep their jobs on this trip, but I think a safe guess would be close to 100.

Think about this the next time you consider canceling a trip. By putting fear aside, getting out there, spending wisely, visiting clients and maintaining relationships, you are doing far more for our economy than anyone in Washington has been able to do so far.

Categories : Road Warriors

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    13 Comments

    By Steve McShane on February 13, 2009 9:46 AM

    I JUST RETURNED FROM A CONFERENCE IN SACARMENTO. I could not help but think about the impact we were having on the local economy. Dinners, cabs and the many nights spent at the Grand Sheraton. I've never seen such appreciation for the tips to the bellmen. THIS WAS A GREAT WRITE-UP.

    By Angelica Holiday on February 13, 2009 11:05 AM

    BRAVO! You melodic Rap of "How I saved 100 Jobs by Trippin" was a delightful support for our fellow man. I wanted to add a few that came to mind: baggage handlers, ground crew/mechanic, janitor, plumber, laundry services, food purveyors, farmer, uniform cleaning service, car mechanic, toll attendant, garage attendant, gas station attendant and those never seen digital designers and programmers that keep our lives in fluid motion. Keep on Trippin Chris!

    By darkleybean on February 13, 2009 12:21 PM

    So true in so many ways! Makes you stop and thing for a moment on the impact al of us make when travelling. I will keep track of this on my next business trip, especially those tips to the hotel maids.

    Great article!!

    By Todd Hahn on February 13, 2009 12:58 PM

    Your article really hit home with me because I have been planning a business trip to DC for an annual meeting. I always check rates at my 3-4 favorite hotels by researching the internet and making a follow-up call directly to the property to see if they can offer anything better than what I find online. Usually, I'm stuck paying the rack rate for a mid-week business trip. Unlike in years past, this year every single property has availability and is offering some pretty remarkable deals. For instance, I have reserved a room at a 5-star hotel. The hotel offered to give me my third night free if I paid for two nights. Every other hotel I contacted except one offered discounts and incentives to get my business. The fact that leading hotels in a major city are making deals during a prime business travel season is remarkable, and emphasizes your point that the economy (especially the travel industry) is facing trouble like it hasn't seen in many years. Your article put into bright focus the hardworking individuals who are going to bear the brunt of the downturn. Thanks for the thoughtful blog.

    By Melissa Wuschnig on February 13, 2009 7:02 PM

    What a great article - very insightful! I never stopped to think about how many jobs are impacted through the course of our travels.

    I will fwd this along...

    m.

    By lamar mcginnis on February 14, 2009 10:14 AM

    Your comments are straight on!! We need to keep on with our usual activities, as much as possible. Hibernating will only feed the beast of fear and further the downward plunge. Business activity is our best hope for recovery. Get back on the plane, in the car, etc. and help keep people working. L.S.M.

    By Audrey Kubciff on February 15, 2009 5:25 PM

    This is a great way to think about consumer spending, especially for things that we need more than ever -- like travel. Leave it to Chris to bring insight and positive thoughts to us. And thanks for helping to save jobs, too; we might need to add "economic stimulus expert" to your resume :)

    By Tony Morris on February 20, 2009 7:06 AM

    This article really hit home for me. I work in wine and spirits industry, which is very closely associated with the hospitality industry, which is linked to the travel industry, etc. So, not only did your trip impact those with whom you came DIRECTLY in touch, it also had an INDIRECT impact on those of us who are suppliers and vendors to many of those travel and hospitality businesses.

    By Travis Spalding on February 20, 2009 1:33 PM

    Great points, Chris. You concluding point about fear reminds me of how we can really use some more optimism in 2009. Everytime I turn on the news or read the paper it's about how the economy is tanking and things keep getting worse. It makes you want to go jump off a cliff! Are things in a downturn? Yes. Could things be a lot better? Sure. But getting constantly beat over the head with it, I wonder how much we're living down to those expectations. If you're fortunate enough to be doing relatively well, get out there, travel, and contribute--and please try to be optimistic!

    By Travis Spalding on February 20, 2009 1:34 PM

    Great points, Chris. You concluding point about fear reminds me of how we can really use some more optimism in 2009. Every time I turn on the news or read the paper it's about how the economy is tanking and things keep getting worse. It makes you want to go jump off a cliff! Are things in a downturn? Yes. Could things be a lot better? Sure. But getting constantly beat over the head with it, I wonder how much we're living down to those expectations. If you're fortunate enough to be doing relatively well, get out there, travel, and contribute--and letís hear it for some optimism!

    By Joyce Newman on February 21, 2009 1:58 PM


    What an upbeat and fun way to look at travel. I can't wait to hit the road on my next business trip to count all the people whose lives I might be helping simply by traveling to and from my next project.

    Thanks for your insights, Chris!

    By Margaretta on June 22, 2011 10:19 PM

    I can't believe I've been going for years wtiouht knowing that.

    By john garth on July 26, 2013 4:41 AM

    What a great article - very insightful! it is very useful for me

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