I attended a conference at Pebble Beach this week. Being a total business junkie, I always ask everyone how business is.
At the tony Pebble Beach Resort, it turns out business isn't very good. The staff generally tried to put a good spin on it; blame the general economy. But after a bit they would open up a little about the criticism companies have undergone from Congress and the press about meetings at resorts.
My feelings about this certainly haven't changed, some middle manager banker busts his ass all year trying to close a couple of loans while working with clients in trouble trying to collect something without knocking them into bankruptcy and losing all the bank's money, and that guy has a contest that if he makes his numbers he wins a trip and the next thing he knows; trip canceled.
The staff at Pebble were courteous, friendly, helpful and went out of their way to thank us for the business. But I learned that as soon as our conference was over, there weren't a lot of incoming guests.
So, here is how unintended consequences work Senators and Congressmen and Congresswomen: you call press conferences to castigate executives. But who gets hurt by your PR stunts? Waitstaff, bellmen, caddies, front desk clerks, maids and cooks. Just for once, would you think about what you are saying before jumping in front of the camera?