How a “Do Not Disturb” sign created buzz

This guest post is from Andy Nulman — President of Just for Laughs and author of “Pow! Right Between the Eyes: Profiting from the Power of Surprise.” See the original post this was adapted from and more like it on his blog.

As per my post about Alan Webber’s Rules of Thumb book, one of my favorites was Rule #16 which goes, “Facts Are Facts; Stories Are How We Learn.”

And to that end, take a gander at this double-sided “Do Not Disturb” sign I, uh, “borrowed” (sorry!) from the Sandman Signature Hotel. I was at the chain’s Toronto Airport location last weekend for a family affair (by the way, this was, by far, the BEST Airport hotel I’ve ever stayed at; a boutique feel in the middle of industrial-land) and was enamored with the hotel’s attention to detail — even with something like said sign — which most havens of hospitality sadly take for granted.

Do Not Disturb sign

With it, the Sandman adheres to the adage, “There are two sides to every story.” If you can’t read ’em, here’s the text.

One side gives it to you in detail:

(The Long Story)


We might be sleeping or not, could be working or relaxing, taking a shower, any number of things…

…OR maybe, just maybe, we’re looking for some ME time, I mean really, is that too much to ask. Just a few minutes, it’s not like we’re asking for something crazy like our own island or anything, just a little bit of time to ourselves. It’s not an unreasonable request. We’re usually quite friendly and sociable, almost always polite and so, all we ask, this one tiny little thing…

…please do not disturb. Thank you.

See, told you we were polite.

On the other side, slightly more succinctly:

(To make a long story short)

…please do not disturb.

The End

Not the biggest thing in the world, but when was the last time you noticed a “Do Not Disturb” sign… let alone stole one?

So tell me, what stories are you burying under a blanket of boredom?

About Andy Nulman

President of Just For Laughs, world's biggest comedy organization. Former mobile tech entrepreneur. Wild public speaker. Wilder public dresser. Author. Hockey player. Gym rat. Needs a longer bio.

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