By Steve Kelman

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American Summer

 
At breakfast yesterday, I read a fascinating article on the front page of The New York Times called "Coffee Can Wait. The Day's First Stop is Online."  The theme of the article was how more and more Americans now start their days by checking e-mail messages and Facebook accounts while eating breakfast. Internet traffic monitors such as Akamai and Amazon are noticing big spikes in web traffic starting around 6 a.m. and moving into high gear by 7 a.m., several hours earlier than previously, when Internet use didn't start going up until the beginning of the work day. I will confess that I start my day the same way, something I always excused in my own mind because of possible communicatons from Europe or Asia, on different time zones. But I thought this was my own personal craziness, not part of a national trend.
 
I have been travelling the past week, staying in four different hotels. In the middle of the summer, coming into these hotels feels like entering the middle of the winter. Every room I have been in has been freezing cold -- two of the thermostats were set at 61 and 62 degrees respectively (about 15 degrees C.), with the air conditioning belting out frigid air. The other two have not been quite as frosty, but cold enough. Lobbies and corridors have an arctic feel as well. The first thing I do when I come into these rooms is to jack up the thermostat or even turn the air conditioner off for a while. The theme in the academic management conference I am currently attending is "Green Management," a message that does not seem to have reached the hotel industry.

Posted by Steve Kelman on Aug 11, 2009 at 12:08 PM


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