As the clocks roll back and the calendar turns to fall, the season of conflict is upon us.  No, not the holiday season, which is typically extremely stressful and entirely commercial and wasteful; I am talking about the worst season of all, Budget Season.  I figured I could take this time to walk through the four months leading up to the owner’s presentation.

Budget season and the presentation are like your family and the Thanksgiving dinner.  Everyone starts to dread it starting at the beginning of August when you begin to receive the plan and dates for this season’s big day.  Over the next few months, there is bickering, name calling, late night planning and excuses made between family members regarding needing to reach an agreement for dinner.  When the day arrives, the stress and tension in the room is easy to see.  THIS IS BUDGET SEASON.

Just like Thanksgiving, everyone has a role to play in getting the budget complete.

Let’s start with Mom; she is the hotel owner.  For the last three months, everyone has scrambled, argued and plotted to make her happy.  Mom is stressing because she needs the dinner to be good.  She doesn’t care about the details nor the ins and outs of how it came to be, she just wants the final result to be successful.  The hotel owner wants to be happy at the end of the presentation that his investment is yielding profit he needs and the team is taking care of his asset.

Next is Dad; he is the management company.   He has spent the last three months refereeing the squabbles, the arguments, pushing for decisions, and finally making sure Mom will be happy.  When the day rolls around, he wants it just to be over.  Dad keeps talking to Mom about how hard everyone worked and how much effort went into it but really he just cares that Mom is happy.   If he can have a few scotches to get through it, great news for Dad.

Next is Uncle Bob; he is the sales team.  Uncle Bob offers to bring the groceries but doesn’t want or know how to cook and make the meal.  He typically shows up with all the groceries including some new items no one understands.  We are told these extras will make better gravy and make Mom really happy.  He never tells the family how much work (money) will need to go into this better gravy but every year the extra is needed to make Mom happy.

Finally, the Adult Children; they are the property operations team.  The children have bickered with everyone, complained about a great dinner not being possible this year, and screamed that the timing of dinner doesn’t work because of various problems in their own lives (departments).  Uncle Bob delivers the groceries and now the Children need to produce the meal.  The Children first tell Bob he didn’t buy enough to feed everyone properly, then they yell at each other that there are not enough of them to make the meal, and finally they complain to Dad that Mom needs to buy new cookware to deliver the meal as promised.  The Children work hard and late and long and finally deliver the meal to all.

Thanksgiving is over and it is typically easy to see if Mom is happy or not.  And at the end of the day, if Mom doesn’t like the meal, she is blaming Dad, not the Children or Bob.