Marketing Seminar in Baltimore

Alice and I just spent the last few days in Baltimore, MD at a seminar. It was a beautiful time of year to visit. Our hotel room had an awesome view of the inner harbor. One of the areas we see a need for in medical billing businesses is marketing. Alice and I are working on a whole line of new marketing
materials and techniques that we are very excited about and the seminar was very helpful to us. The seminar had some great speakers and vendors and we came away with some exciting stuff that we will be sharing with you guys over the next couple of weeks.

Coming from a very rural area in upstate NY, it was an eye opening visit in some ways. We had to walk anywhere we wanted to go. In our area, there are very very few homeless people and the few that we do have, aren’t seen. Walking around Baltimore we saw many homeless people. I have been to other cities with homeless people but the homeless people in Baltimore seemed different,
more friendly. Friendly is a wierd way to put it, but that is really the best way to describe it.

We were in a restaurant eating dinner on the second night and a homeless man came in, sat down at a table where a family had just left, and began grabbing handfuls of food from the plates they had just eaten off of. It didn’t take long for a manager to escort him out. I can’t imagine being so hungry that I would be able to eat off of someone else’s plate that was left on a table. Being a bit of a germ freak I can’t even let my husband eat off of my plate! Get your germy fork out of here! Well, that was quite eye opening
for us. Actually neither of us could finish our dinner. So for the rest of our stay we would get ‘to go’ boxes for any food we didn’t eat. On our walk back to the hotel we would offer it to any homeless person we ran into who asked for money.

It was still culture shock to us, someone willing to take our left overs, but they were so grateful and couldn’t believe we were offering food. But there is one funny story. Alice and I ate at the Cheesecake Factory. It was a first time for us. The food was amazing but they gave us so much food it was unreal! Perfect though for our plan for feeding the homeless. But who can visit the Cheesecake Factory without getting a piece of cheesecake right? After the super sized portions we were stuffed! So being intelligent businesswomen, we got two pieces to go. Ready to head out on the street with our leftovers for the homeless I wanted to make sure we didn’t mix up the cheesecake with the leftovers. We felt for the homeless, but we wanted the cheesecake. So I stuffed both pieces of cheesecake in my bag, and we carried the leftovers in our hands. We started off down the street and we’re talking about the seminar and what we had learned, etc. Then we came across our first homeless person. He asked if we have any money and Alice said “no, but are you hungry?” He replied “I’m always hungry ma’am” to which Alice explained to him that we had just eaten and we had leftovers if he wanted them. He was very grateful, but for some reason Alice just kept explaining that we had leftovers but didn’t give him her bag. She looked at me so finally I offered him my left overs.

As we walked away I said to Alice “so why did you keep offering the guy chicken, but you didn’t give him your bag?” She said “This isn’t chicken, it’s
cheesecake.” I’m like “no I put the cheesecake away remember? You’re carrying your chicken!”
It doesn’t seem as funny as I’ve typed it all out, but if you can just picture her standing there with leftovers in her hands, asking the homeless guy if he wants them, but refusing to hand them over. We laughed all the way back to the hotel.

(Alice here) – In my defense we were deeply involved in discussing some very exciting new marketing ideas we had just learned and I thought she had the chicken. I didn’t know why she wouldn’t give it to him. I’m sure all you city people think we are nuts but we really never deal with homeless people here in Floyd, NY.

Well our new found Australian friend Rebecca (who is very familiar with homeless people) summed it up by calling us “rookies!”

Anyway we had a great time in Baltimore, learned a lot of things, and we’re looking forward to sharing them with you soon!


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