ISSN : 2266-6060


Paris, January 2024.

The lives of academic staff are often punctuated by assignments there is no shortage of reasons for travelling: presentations at conferences, invitations from colleagues to a workshop, the need to go out into the field to take measurements, make observations, consult or exchange ideas. While the widespread use of videoconferencing, along with lockdowns and climate concerns, has reduced the interest and desire to be transported to the other side of Europe for a few useful hours, overnight stays in hotels for professional reasons are still common.
To access this service, a baroque pile of paperwork is constantly being rearranged: public procurement contracts, booking platforms, software for managing requests and authorisations, budget allocation, mission orders and various invoices interact in a ballet that is sometimes cacophonous, sometimes ordered with maestria by our managers.
So, after a long bureaucratic and rail journey, we are happy to rest in a clean and quiet room, chic and charm not being the first qualities we look for.
Here, however, in this small Parisian hotel, something unexpected comes together: a bottle of spring water, three freshly baked chouquettes and a word of welcome. While all guests will undoubtedly receive a similar welcome, the card contains a small variation: a space where a proper name is handwritten. By this small operation of attribution, the depersonalised and delocalised room is now a little bit yours.

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