23 May contain nuts

As an important high-flying business communication consultant, I am regularly booked into some of the best hotels available to humanity. Last night, the Premier Inn Warrington.

Fair enough. But if you were alive in any cinema in the 1980s, and if you and Mary from the dairy ever had your lips parted by the fire brigade during a double bill, you may remember from the widescreen adverts that Warrington was the proud home of Vladivar Vodka. A gallon of the stuff may be your best friend if ever you chance to visit.

From the name, I take it the Premier Inn is the best gaff in town. It’s certainly ideal if what you’re looking for is an endless series of notices, rules and forms of instruction, laminated and shoved in your face, just in case you were a total idiot in need of information to increase your health, safety, well-being and personal enjoyment throughout your stay. Examples follow.

Towel rail may get hot
May? I have been standing here holding it for an hour. When will it decide to get hot? Is there a particular day of the year when the spookily possible heating up might happen?

Did you know..?
Yes, I did actually. Because every hotel I’ve stayed in since 1993 has left a sign in the bathroom to say that leaving my towels in the bath will waste 50,000 litres of detergent. So how come the room never smells that good? And yea there will be gnashing of teeth and terrible fissures in the rock and Gideon will ascend mightily out of the wee drawer beside the bed and smite thee for thy hygiene. Don’t worry, I’ve used so many hotels and so few towels that I sponsored a seat in the dress circle for the entire Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.

May contain nuts
Formerly a warning found only on foodstuffs, now has wider use. All manufacturers of everything now stamp a nut warning on every item they produce. Washing machine not working? May contain nuts. New shoes painful? May contain nuts. These signs are designed to prevent the general public from engaging a battalion of ambulance chasers in shiny suits (“100% Lawyers, 100% Compensation” thunders the daytime TV ad). As a by-product, squirrels are now investing seriously in UK industry.

Caution! Towel rail can get hot
Can as well as may? Under what circumstances? When I make the personal decision to switch it on? Thus causing horrific heat rash trauma to the tip of a finger? An injury that only 100% Lawyers with airbrushed hair can convert into the holiday of a lifetime in Miami.

Please wait here to be seated
Many people who enter restaurants these days are incapable of recognising what a table looks like. They therefore require to be escorted to one. Otherwise, they will end up guzzling a full English breakfast while sprawled like seals in the middle of the floor, thus constituting a trip hazard for other residents. Look for this sign in crumby, under-staffed, low-end business hotels. (It’s amazing. You actually do see fully formed adults standing around for five minutes in an empty restaurant at 7.45am, before a serving child in some scuzzy attempt at a uniform comes and points a finger at a piece of cloaked MDF and says, “Just to let you know? We ain’t got no foie gras today?”)

Thank you for your custom, we look forward to welcoming you again
So you have written a sign to say this? Instead of just making it happen? Why not check if they have signs like this in hotels that people enthuse about to their friends.

And how this relates to business is..?
You know exactly how this relates to business. And so, as the soft and lovely flurrying snow bedecks the whispery streets here in Dickensian London and the year behind us floats away, it’s time for a break.

A Merry Christmas to all My Readers. All 1,457 of you (according to Google Analytics), including you three in UK.
It’s a crazy world. See you in the glorious dawn of the new decade, my friends.

Nielsen Dinwoodie
business messages people remember



One Response to “23 May contain nuts”

  1. See we do see it.
    1 Hilton Metropole Bridghton. Fire drills every day of stay + told off for trying to use a lift: Do not place hangers on fire sprinklers
    2 Hilton Maldives. The news about towels in baths arrived with our room boy one day. I asume they use the spares to try and soak up the rising sea levels post Copenhagen.

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