di Antonio Caneva
We have reached the end of the year once again; this is our last issue before resuming publishing on 11 January.
What can we say about 2017? Has it been "kind" to us, or has it brought us sorrows? A little of each. When we weigh up the good and bad times, we find positive moments alternated with situations of great distress and concern. During the year, tourism has enjoyed great vitality, and then, at the moment when I am writing, comes the news of a bomb in the centre of New York. Ups and downs: we have spent a year on the roller coaster, and what is worse, there are no certainties for the future. Maybe we should get used to assessing our times with a different approach.
This issue of Job, though not exactly in line with festivities, deals with a topic we regard as important, to the point of eliciting opposing opinions. We are talking about thefts in hotels, i.e. stealing goods that belong to the facility.
I was talking about this topic with a friend, and he told me about what happened to him in the '70s, on the opening of the Hotel Executive in Milan, then the largest hotel in the city, with more than 400 rooms. Back in those times (it seems like ages ago...), colour TVs were fairly rare, and the hotel was equipped with portable colour TV sets, obviously of the cathode-tube type. A guest put one of those in a large bag, and camouflaged its shape by wrapping it in a bathrobe and towels of the hotel. Then he called the porter and had it carried to his car, in the garage (but consequently left a tip...).
The hotel world is full of metropolitan legends on theft, but it is real what happened recently in a large Milanese hotel, where several employees were investigated for stealing goods belonging to the hotel in order to sell them or use them directly. The most valuable piece, as Corriere della Sera reported, was a bottle of Dom Perignon Brut Rosé Vintage 2000, which was worth 5,000 euros.
Not every hotel, however, has a negative attitude towards goods being taken away; some are even happy that guests take something away with them; at year-end, they regard them as marketing costs.
When I was young, I used to work at Gstaad Palace, and I remember some beautiful cobalt blue ashtrays, with the hotel's emblem printed in gold; on the underside, also in gold, they reported an inscription in French: stolen with the hotel's consent. The two concepts of theft and authorisation were linked together!
I hope that reading Job will prompt reflection.
In the meantime, having lived 2017 positively, I cannot but express my best wishes, from the heart, for a happy and peaceful festive season.