Why do we always say “the guest” of “the client” of a hotel, never referring to the plural?

Perhaps because the hotel has only one client? Hopefully not! The reason is that there is a stereotyped idea of an abstract “standard client”, which does not exist. It is a deforming perspective.

Let’s try to imagine taking the roof off a hotel: what will we see? Many individuals separated by a thin wall, many “lives”, each one with its own story and a different reason to be there. Many individuals busy doing this and that, families, variously assorted couples, singles, etc. People travelling for work, holiday or any other family reason, with various expectations, worries, and hopes.

Every time I walk down the hall to go to my room, I cannot help myself thinking that behind those other doors and room numbers there is life, many lives, and for some reason I find this unusual perspective so true, much more real than a mannequin called "the client."

In fact, the hotel is this peculiar condition in which many people find themselves to live temporarily together (voluntarily, unlike, for example, hospitals, barracks, or prisons). Clearly you go to the hotel willing to have a roof over the head, a bed, a bathroom, maybe a breakfast, not to make a group happening, but you cannot ignore the reality of this special situation. 

What interesting situations could be generated? I do not know, but I think we should reflect upon it: basically you can rely on the natural human curiosity about other human beings (rather inexplicable, given the repeated disappointments that it leads to!). And who knows, it might come out something that makes the hotel a living organism, capable of triggering unpredictable encounters between people, different cultures and experiences.

© 2020 Massimo Mussapi