The Hello Campaign

03 May, 2013

by Molly Snyder

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Hello and goodbye: two of the most powerful words in the English language. Everything begins and, as we all know from life and perhaps the words of Robert Frost, nothing gold can stay.

Hotels are the epitome of greetings and farewells. Guests arrive brimming with excitement and anticipation and then, a day or a weekend or a week later, they put their belongings back into their suitcase. And they say goodbye.

This week, I got to say hello to my position as Narrator at the Pfister Hotel. I cannot fully express how meaningful this is to me. I am filled with excitement and ideas and yet, also a little nervousness, hoping I can splatter-paint new life onto an already vibrant scene.

In the last couple of days, I have also had the chance to say hello to so many people at the hotel, including guests, staff and Pfister artist-in-residence Stephanie Barenz, with whom I look forward to working in a variety of creative endeavors.

Over the years, I have had the chance to greet so many interesting and inspiring people through my job at OnMilwaukee.com. I have also said hello to two sons, one who I traveled to Guatemala to greet and one who I met in the hospital, still connected to me.

I said hello to a partner who makes me feel alive and his beautiful daughter who sweetens my life.

This week, I also said goodbye. Over lunch on Saturday, I hugged farewell previous Narrator Jenna Kashou who, after a successful six-month tenure, passed me the torch (in the form of the Pfister Hotel parking pass).

Jenna said she was excited for me, but she was going to miss spending time in the hotel and seeing the staff and guests on a regular basis. I get this.

I have said good-bye to so many people and pets and things, including a parent, a 13-year marriage, a bandana-necked Chocolate lab with peace signs for eyes and – not in the same category but still – a beat-up, burgundy Cadillac Deville that was the first car I ever loved.

My father was an extremely nostalgic person. He often made the joke that he pined for events before they happened. I don’t want to be like this, but I did inherit the potential to be. So I am going to focus on the hellos even though I admit I have already acknowledged how quickly this time will fly by.

But I have six months before I have to proverbially pack up my Pfister suitcase. And in the meantime, I plan to savor every day of this experience and say hello to as many people as possible. So today, I am officially starting my “hello campaign” to the stunning Pfister Hotel and to its guests from around the world.

Aloha. Salut. Konnichiwa. Guten Tag. Ellohay. Hola. Namaste. Shalom. Dia duit. Buon giorno. Witaj. Jambo. Tja. Sawa dee-ka. Xin chào.

And, of course, as it reads in the Pfister hotel lobby, Salve.

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About the author

Molly Snyder

Molly Snyder has lived in Milwaukee her entire life. She started keeping a diary when she was four and published her first poem at age 10 called “The Unicorn” in the now-defunct Shorewood Herald. Today, she writes less about mythical creatures and more about Milwaukee people and places. She is a senior writer at OnMilwaukee.com, where she has worked for the last 12 years. Telling people’s stories is her passion.

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