That very human lesson, more than 20 years ago, served me well during the last economic downturn we had. In the wake of the dotcom crash and 9/11, San Francisco Bay Area hotelswent through the largest percentage revenue drop in the history of American hotels. We were the largest operator of hotels in the Bay Area, so we were particularly vulnerable. But also back then, remember we stopped eating French fries in this country. Well, not exactly, of course not. We started eating "freedom fries," and we started boycotting anything that was French. Well, my name of my company, Joie de Vivre -- so I started getting these letters from places like Alabama and Orange County saying to me that they were going to boycott my company because they thought we were a French company. And I'd write them back, and I'd say, "What a minute. We're not French. We're an American company. We're based in San Francisco." And I'd get a terse response: "Oh, that's worse."
So one particular day when I was feeling a little depressed and not a lot of joie de vivre, I ended up in the local bookstore around the corner from our offices. And I initially ended up in the business section of the bookstore looking for a business solution. But given my befuddled state of mind, I ended up in the self-help section very quickly. That's where I got reacquainted with Abraham Maslow's "hierarchy of needs."