Bill's Bountiful Blog

May I keep you posted on my thoughts, ideas, observations, and silliness?. Am I serious? Is it relevant?. Does anyone care? Probably not much.

But in today's age of everyone has something to say, why not me? And who can blame me for jumping into to the pool? For speaking up For laying it out?

"Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." - Thomas Wiley, Journalist

Vacation Rental Life Guard Lessons

By William May
Published: 03/07/23 Topics: Behavior, Education, Lodging Management, Sports, Weather Comments: 0

Most people should never attempt to rescue a drowning swimmer.

This seems counterintuitive, but drowning people will do anything to get above the water. Approached by a rescuer the swimmer will jump on top of the other person and drown them both.

You see the problem.

At age 15 I took classes to become a "Junior Lifeguard". At 18, more classes to become a "Senior Lifeguard." In college I barely completed a strenuous 13-week course to earn a "Water Safety Instruction" certification.

In addition to even more lifeguard training, a "WSI" requires the student to become proficient at every swimming stroke and how to teach them.

I took my WSI training while in college at age 21 while (I must say) I was in the best physical condition of my life. The final exam almost drowned me. Repeatedly.

Lesson Learned

The octogenarian female drill sergeant instructor set up one final task to convince students that the only right way to respect water was to pound into us a respect for the water that bordered on absolute terror.

Her message - no matter your physical skill, the ocean, lake, river or pool can kill you quickly if you don’t know what you are doing. It can even kill you if you do know.

And drowning people drown those who try to save them.

Life Lessons

Oddly, all these years later it is safe to say that many aspects of life -- specifically related to careers and business -- are exactly the same. You must know what you are doing or you are taking unnecessary risks.

In the lodging industry, after the gratefully appreciated surge in occupancy, rates and bookings the inevitable has happened.

Travel -- especially drive-to destinations and especially here in the Northwest United States -- is returning to pre-Covid seasonality, affected by all the things which have always affected travel:

  • The economy
  • Employment
  • Regular work weeks
  • School vacations
  • Weather
  • Pesky politics
  • The ever present drum beat of TV, radio, newspapers and the good old internet media anxious to push negative stories.

Unfortunately, that means some property owners will panic, just as a drowning person does. Especially those who bought thinking Covid income would continue forever, even though they were well warned long ago.

Those owners that are desperate for more income are likely to drown their lodging manager, just as the drowning person kills their rescuer. They demand answers to questions they don't know, when there are none.

How We Help

Just like a lifeguard, we are not allowed to turn our backs and ignore a drowning client. So we must push. Persevere, and be patient. We must help in all possible ways.

Unfortunately, the care and hand-holding of these clients diverts time better spent pursuing every possible advertising, pricing and service tool that we full-stack managers have in our quiver. As well as tightly administering all other services.

We do that of course. But we also must politely ask property owners to leave us to our craft and to judge us by our work ethic, not by the state of the economy.

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Author: William May – Contributor, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0950 – 03/07/23

Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk

By William May
Published: 01/23/15 Topics: Communications, Football, Sports Comments: 1

Although the Seahawks football team have been the talk of our home town Seattle (as well as the whole country), I have noticed some very peculiar behavior.

When our surprisingly competent quarter back, Russell Wilson, comes to the line of scrimmage, it is not unusual to see him start the count that signals for the play to begin.

Frequently he turns his head left or right and barks commands to the team, or to individual players. Sometimes he steps back and commands the running backs. Sometimes he taps them on the arm or he puts his hands to his mouth megaphone style to alert the wide receivers.

He is alerting them that something has changed in the 5 seconds it took them to leave the huddle (where he had called the play) and jog to the line. He sees a defense he doesn't like, or notices an opponent not aligning as anticipated. .

He must believe his players do not see what he sees, or know what he knows. That makes it his job to communicate with them. So he talks, talks, talks, talks and talks some more.

He does all of that because a failed play can send very mean and very big 300 pound opponents crashing in on top of him, throwing him violently to the ground and destroying the play. He has great motivation to communicate with his fellow players.

Most of us do not risk physical pain when we fail to communicate. But using constant communication to do our jobs, and be successful is just as important. It is not an option, it is a requirement.

Do it in person, do it on the phone and, for less urgent matters, use email or snail mail. Then check back to make sure the other person received your message.

If you fail to talk talk talk, you won't get tackled but you will be letting your team mates down.

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Author: William May – Seahawks Fan, Signatour Photo Team
Blog #: 0002 – 01/23/15

Like Happy Lemmings to the Seahawk

By William May
Published: 02/06/14 Topics: Seattle, Sports Comments: 0

As I drove my wife and son to downtown Seattle from our home just 20 blocks to the East, the traffic, usually light, was oppressive. On every side street thousands of people were streaming down the hill like lemmings to the sea. Sidewalks were so full, entire families walked down the middle of the auto jammed streets.

On the gigantic ferries that bring vehicles into Seattle, many walk-on passengers arrived before dawn to get a seat among the other thousands sailing, but many had to wait up to three crossings just to get a standing room only ticket. They worried they would be too late.

From North and South, state patrol troopers said automobile traffic on the 8 lane Interstate freeways were in grid lock for ten miles on each side of the city. Drives and passengers stood outside their cars unable to continue to what was then the center of the universe

As my car inched across an overpass, a roar erupted from the thousands of nearby people as they screamed, shook their fists, and waved flags at several buses that were then inching along the freeway below they headed for Seattle. Emergency lights were blinking on the buses, while they were accompanied by a police escort. Every pedestrian stopped to stare and scream. Cars stopped, occupants jumped out to join in the screaming, leaving their cars running with doors wide open.

The city seems to have succeeded from the United States, all visible American flags were gone and replaced with odd new flags. All in green and blue sporting a giant number 12 emblazoned on them.

The day before the Seattle School Superintendent had announced that no student absences would be tolerated today but quickly changed his mind after getting thousands of angry messages - including a tweet from the Mayor.

Later it was reported that 25% of the students in the region called in sick with a mysterious form of hysteria . As did workers from major corporations, big companies and small. In all, over 750,000 people converged on a short street in the middle of a town bathed in cold temperatures but brilliantly blue skies.

Getting anywhere near the city center was impossible, so I dropped by family off close to downtown and headed back up the hill to my office. It was eerie. I felt like the only car driving East away from town. Stopping at a large coffee shop I was delighted to find the place empty, no line.

The barista asked if I was a football fan. "No," I said, "Is that what's going on?"

"Are you kidding me?" he asked with disbelief. All that hub bub out there are the fans happily going to attend a parade that will feature their Seahawks football team. A group made up of long suffering veterans, players selected low in the draft when other teams felt them unworthy, and numerous draft choices that were ridiculed by pundits.

It seemed that the Seahawks last Sunday had just won the biggest sporting event in the United States - the Super Bowl. Hopes were high all year, but the Seahawks dominated games and unexpectedly overpowered a team who promised to dispatch Seattle with ease. Nothing motivates like disrespect, and Seattle dispatched the Denver Bronco team 43 to 8, coming close to shutting out a team favored to trounce them.

Their coach took an unusual approach by preparing a team who never allowed themselves to say that winning the top title was their goal. They decided it far simpler and far more direct to purely set a record of One win and no loss in every game. Each game would take care of the next.

In the title game, they made it just another game and one in which they were completely prepared to simply go One win and no loss.

In fact, the annual celebration that in other sports would be called a world championship, is only a Super Bowl for American football because it has been unique to North America.

In recent years teams have traveled to England for games and plans are afield to let other destinations experience what America has known for so long - American football exhibits much of what is great about America.

Thus being that working together works best. That persevering is always worth the pain. That no one should ever let anyone else define them, or limit them, or disrespect them. Every child who watched today's parade in person or saw it on the televisions that were on in every home and every business, learned something important.

It was voiced by the team leader quarterback, in the words of his recently deceased father. When this player was told he was too small, too slow and didn't fit in anywhere, he remembered the words of his father who said, "Why not you Russell? Why not?"

Sports are an opportunity for every citizen in the region to smile, remember and share. It makes people lively while appreciating others. Lastly, it makes people happy and what could be better than that?

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Author: William May
Blog #: 0345 – 02/06/14

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