Many of BirchStreet’s employees spend a lot of time on the road conducting sales presentations, meetings, implementations and trainings. This blog is the first in an ongoing series focused on encounters around the world from different perspectives and positions within BirchStreet.
ProfileEmployee: Andrew Length of time at BirchStreet: 2 years Title: Trainer
Raised in Southern California, Andrew’s latest home base is Barcelona, Spain. He has spent a majority of the last two years at BirchStreet on the road, travelling between Europe, Asia and South America, and estimates having visited approximately 20 countries – maybe more. Andrew is considered an expert on navigating through airports, airport restaurants, various mileage clubs and knows many tips about getting through airport security a little faster. Of course, he has a currency converter app on his phone, and knows to immediately go to the airport ATM and hop in a cab.
Most trips start with packing a full suitcase and a backpack containing his laptop and essentials. Upon arrival to the hotel, where he will typically spend 5 days training onsite, he unpacks and sets his framed picture of his family on a table, along with a wood-scented candle, which reminds him of home and building real fires in his fire pit in his backyard.
Despite any possible jet lag, the first day of training on BirchStreet’s procure-to-pay solution usually starts off at 7 am having a coffee with the Director of Finance or Purchasing before the main session starts to discuss the day, which begins at 8 am. The meeting room is typically set up in a class room style setting and sometimes a little hectic on the first day depending on the set-up logistics. But, it all settles down quickly with introductions and the team begins with 2 or 3 sessions in the morning, a lunch break at the staff cafeteria and another 2 or 3 sessions in the afternoon.
One of Andrew’s favorite parts of training is spending time with the hotel’s chef in the kitchen. He has a passion or cooking, so he tries to ask the chef for his favorite recipe – not from the hotel menu, but something he cooks for his family at home.
Adding a touch of humor into presentations helps customers get into the groove with a little joke that he claims to rate the quality of the hotel on its staff cafeteria – and, of course, this lunch is the best lunch he’s ever had. A typical day of training ends around 5 or 6 pm.
Usually, in the evenings, one or two nights are planned to have dinner with property team members. On unscheduled nights, Andrew’s favorite thing to do is to get “lost.” Wandering through new cities can be an adventure and he often ends up finding a local’s gem and meeting new people. Getting “lost” is a great way to explore off the beaten path.
When you travel as much as Andrew, you sometimes get a few extra perks at the client location. For properties who may know him from a sister property, they might stock his mini-bar with additional amenities – his favorite being Red Bull. He also has most of the hotels’ restaurant menus memorized. In Nevis, a Caribbean island, the resort put him in an amazing ocean view villa because there were no standard rooms available.
Hopping from hotel to hotel, trainers are bound to run into “strange and unusual” occurrences. One night, while trying to fall asleep, Andrew turned off the light. Bumping and fluttering kept him awake. He would turn back on the light and it would stop. This went on for some time, and proved to be a terrible night’s sleep. In the morning, the hotel staff found a bat trapped in the room!
All the travelling can take its toll, but Andrew has relished in his travels and meeting all sorts of wonderful people around the globe. BirchStreet’s hotel customers have treated Andrew to true hospitality by warm welcomes and stays, making the adventurous life of a trainer comfortable and ready for more.