Things I Don’t Understand . . . No. 35 January 2012
When you retire from your 40 hour, five days a week job, with 4 weeks’ paid holiday plus public holidays are you intending in your ‘retirement’ to work18 hours a day, 365 days a year? Were you planning on sinking your life savings into a business for which you have absolutely no training or experience?
No? Me neither? So why do so many people do this?
In Australia, in the UK and in a number of other countries I’ve visited, I come across people who’ve done just that. “After a lifetime working on the railways, I think I’m going to buy a hotel or a pub. I’ve always liked staying in hotels and I LOVE pubs.”
I really don’t understand why this is considered a retirement option. It’s incredibly hard work, it’s a very heavy commitment, it can eat up a huge amount of money.
And I know. My parents were hotel managers and I lived in pubs and hotels until I was about 18. They rarely took a holiday together, they could never both attend school functions. They couldn’t even attend a family funeral together.
One hotel they managed was privately owned by a retired wealthy man with two small children. He told my father that he’d bought the hotel to give to one of his sons when he was older and would buy another one for the other son because “I don’t think they’re going to be very bright” !!! After that insult, we didn’t stay very long, surprisingly. My parents were both very bright, my mother (who had herself been brought up in a pub) was trained in administration and bookkeeping, and my father who was a qualified chef had trained in hotel and bar management.
Why is it considered a suitable job for amateurs? Because I’ve stayed in an hotel, it doesn’t mean I can RUN one (though in my case I probably could with my background and work experience). I’ve had my car fixed but that doesn’t make me a car mechanic.
I think some people feel that as they’re sociable types that’s the only requirement they need. But I don’t want “sociable” (though a surly recluse probably wouldn’t quite fit in). I want “efficient”. I even heard in one hotel a guest say “Isn’t it wonderful here? It’s so amateur” so apparently some people do like that style.
If I want amateur, I’ll go and stay with a friend who probably won’t charge me an arm and a leg for the privilege.