Years ago Prentice-Hall published The Man’s Health Book, and UPS delivered my ten free copies. Usually I gave those to family and friends who didn’t read them, so I wondered if I could put them to better use.
I decided to visit general managers of my biggest hotels, introduce myself, and impress them by handing over my new book.
At each, I approached the secretary in the executive office, identified myself as the hotel doctor, and asked for a minute of her boss’s time. I delivered my spiel, surrendered the book, and accepted their thanks. Some GMs expressed pleasure at finally meeting me, adding flattering words about my service. Others listened politely and thanked me for the book, but it was obvious they had no idea who I was.
I encountered a third reaction at the Los Angeles Downtown Hilton. The secretary had barely replaced her phone when the GM shot out of his office. I began my spiel but he interrupted.
“What do you mean you’re our hotel doctor?” he exclaimed. “This hotel doesn’t have a doctor!”
“I’ve been coming for years….,” I said. My database showed 119 visits which implied over 200 phone calls. The staff knew me; the valets never refused to hold my car (essential downtown).
“This hotel doesn’t have a doctor!” he repeated. “What do you mean calling yourself our doctor?”
“When a hotel calls so often…”
“We don’t have a doctor. You’re not to call yourself our doctor!”
Flustered, I held out my book. He snatched it and disappeared back into his office. I could have made better use of that copy. A few days later the mail brought a certified letter from an attorney informing me that I was hereafter forbidden to refer to myself as the Los Angeles Hilton’s doctor.
I stopped handing out books. Seven years passed before the hotel, then the Wilshire-Grand, resumed calling.