My friend Dan's job has been sending him to Washington D.C. every week for nearly a year now. Rather than having him work out of their Boston office, he's on temporary assignment there, but his company pays to fly him to D.C. every week and puts him up in a hotel.
While the rest of our group of friends is struggling to make ends meet by working a few jobs or living in rundown apartments, we don't have a lot of sympathy for Dan when he talks about the difficult commute he has every week.
Last weekend, Dan came out with a group of our friends and rather than having a beer like the rest of us, he asked the bartender if he could have a cup of tea. Naturally this request earned him some ridicule from the other guys in the group. But, Dan countered, saying that he keeps waking up with a sore throat and has been feeling really sick because he has been spending so much time on airplanes and in hotels with a forced air heating system.
Since I know what it's like to get sick from dry air, I suggested that he bring a simple portable humidifier, which is the same, but smaller than a house humidifier, along with him on his next trip. I suggested that he keep it in the office during the weekends, but then use it at his hotel throughout the week.
Dan said that he'd had enough of the dry air, so he might as well try it. He brought a tabletop humidifier with him to work this week, and called me on Thursday to thank me for the great suggestion. He feels better, and isn't waking up with a sore throat anymore since he brought the humidifier with him.