I have a feeling it will take us writers awhile to figure out how to do posts without waiting for a “big” event to make one worthwhile. So, while I normally wouldn’t post about these seemingly every day things, that is exactly what I am going to do since, as described in the About Us page, that is exactly what this blog is supposed to be! And, yes, that was me warning you in a roundabout way that there is nothing overtly exciting about this post. 😛
So, I went to Utah last week. For a business trip. I had about. . . mmm . . . 10 days warning maybe? Maybe 15. It was just me and my boss. Now, I like my boss. Mostly. He has the best of intentions and the worst of memories. He also has this habit of – oh – let’s see. I know of a great example. Emailing people to find out if he can brief at their security conference in 15 days, and then, when he gets permission, forwarding it to his three analysts (of which I am one), with an “FYI, one of you will be going with me to this.” Which translates to, we are going to do this briefing I just signed up for and whoever goes with me is ACTUALLY doing the briefing.
So off to Utah I went, after taking a total of one day to prepare the briefing and one day to memorize the information I needed (because, no matter what he thinks, I cannot drop all of my other tasks in order to put it together early).
It actually didn’t go half bad. After sitting at the bar – oh, excuse me – restaurant (they have very strict guidelines in Salt Lake City on what is a restaurant vs. a bar), and looking like a crazy person as I recited information to myself, I incited the sympathy of both the [very young girl] bartender and another customer, one of whom offered to let me practice on her, and, and the other who assured me that it would be fine, not to over practice, and reminded me none of them would remember anything I said anyway. I later found out he had never really done public speaking – but it was nice of him to try and encourage me anyway.
I think one of the most painful parts, though, was when we arrived Tuesday afternoon, and I had to follow my boss around to scope out Wednesday’s meeting place. Like I said, sweetest guy, best of intentions – some . . . memory issues, I guess. So, first, we walk the 12 minutes to the meeting site to make sure we know where it is. But walking there actually consisted of starting in one direction, stopping so he can stare at his GPS for awhile, and then turning in another direction. So it actually took at least 20 minutes. And since we arrived early enough that the hotel wouldn’t let us check in, I was lugging my backpack with two laptops, and like 5 books (courtesy of being a writer) and it was like 100 degrees out. So I was already exhausted by the time we located the meeting place.
We get there, and he suggests we eat lunch at the place it advertises at the front (it’s past 2:00 PM by this point). So we walk to the back, and they had closed 10 minutes before, but it took me a few minutes to convince him that yes, this place with the same name was actually the place he saw advertised, and, yes, it was actually closed. So, then we go back to the directory to find a nearby lunch place, and he starts clicking around on the interactive map, and I make the mistake of asking which one is in the direction of our hotel (thinking, of course, that we could walk toward the hotel and stop on the way), so the next 15 minutes are spent with him taking turns examining his GPS and the map in front of him, and trying to figure out what streets things are on. This includes the time he looked at the address for the building we were at, and tried to find that on the map because he thought that was the hotel, and partially acknowledging, but not really listening as I tried to point out the actual street name our hotel was on. Eventually he came to the conclusion (with my assistance) that we could just walk in the direction of the hotel and stop when we saw a place.
We walked a few minutes, and he sees an advertisement for a plaza and decides that will likely have food and we should check there (a good suggestion and usually true) – so we walk through and find another directory, which, of course, we must examine thoroughly. Allow me to quote part of the conversation.
Me: Look – that restaurant is right there (points to building next to us)
Him: Hmm. What about this – where is this one – where is C26?
Me: Uh – here – there it is.
Him: Which one is that?
Him: Oh – what is it?
Me: Reads the name out loud.
Him: Hmm. (continues browsing) Oh. What about this one – hey that’s right here. (points to exact same building I had pointed to)
I won’t bore you with the rest – but you get the idea. Between walking around trying to find an OPEN place to eat, and deciding whether we should be on the upper or lower level, it was probably 20-30 minutes before we were finally seated at, of all places, a Dave & Busters.
Then, the walk back. We get out of the restaurant and start walking. He checks his GPS and, accordingly, stops to study it, and then turns us around. I was like, “Um – isn’t this back towards the meeting place, not the hotel?” “No – it’s taking us to the hotel.” Five or so minutes later, the meeting place comes into view. He stops short, and would have turned around again, but I pulled out my GPS, and was like – here – we can go this way instead of going all the way back. Now, in his defense, the GPS, for whatever reason, really had told him to go that extra long way – but in 100 degree weather, lugging a heavy backpack after having spent eight hours on airplanes, I may have been a little too short with him. I do feel bad about that.
But I got back to the hotel eventually, dove into the pool, laid out in the sun, had some wine, practiced my briefing for the next day, and went to bed feeling immensely happier.
This post has gotten immensely long, and my lunch break is up, so I am not going to bore you by going into my indignation about Utah’s alcohol laws (did you know you can’t take a glass of wine to your hotel room, but you can take a bottle?), or talk about the client dinner in which I was the only woman in a group of 20+ men and had to squeeze in at a long table with everyone, or tell you about the 12ish year old I sat next to on the airplane on the ride back who watched her movie without headphones, nor discuss how my boss then submitted my time sheet FOR me without letting me put in the 12 hour days I had worked because I didn’t make time to do it while I was in airports/airplanes for 10 hours.
Instead I will end on a positive note by saying, as annoying as the trip was, that place was gorgeous. We were surrounded by mountains, the sky was incredible, the weather was beautiful, and if it wasn’t for the absurd drinking laws, I’d totally go back someday.