So, I had my first ever "real" business trip this last week. I had been looking forward to it until.... I got sick. The prospect of traveling to Denver, staying in Denver for roughly 30 hours, and flying home with 7 meetings in those 30 hours was not my idea of fun with pneumonia. (Actually, I'm finding there really isn't much fun with pneumonia at all.) But running through airports, etc. is even less fun that many things. I digress.
For the sake of compliance, I'm going to keep the details of the trip under wraps. But in summary, one of the companies we work with a lot was having a summit for people in my position to discuss changes, necessary improvements, etc. But there is still lots to tell without it turning into a compliance violation.
First off.... Delta (insert me sighing and shaking my head here). Delta..... we've been many places together. We've had good times. We've had bad times. But in the past, you've never forgotten that planes would fly smoother if there were a pilot. I mean, I've had planes delayed for de-icing. I've had planes delayed for mechanical problems. I've had planes delayed due to lines for takeoff. But I have to say, this is the first time I've had a flight delayed.... because there were no pilots. That's so very confusing to me. And even more confusing is the multiple announcements your flight attendants made while we were boarding urging us to hurry and stow our stuff so the people behind us could board. Seeing as the pilots were not even going to arrive for 45 more minutes, is the little old lady walking slowly to her seat our biggest problem? I really think not. Oh, and I'm sure as much as I "enjoyed" the wait, the parents of the 4 babies on board appreciated it less. So.... a pilot or two next time, k?
After I eventually arrived and made my way through the maze known as Denver International Airport, I had lunch and saw some of Denver with a friend. That was soooo fun. But after a little while, I was just exhausted to the point of shaking, so I had to cut it a little short in favor of going to the hotel.
I got to the hotel, freshened up, and then met a wholesaler from a different company we work with in Denver. I talk to her almost every day, so it was nice to actually meet her. I then went and freshened up for dinner.
The next story is probably told best from the perspective of the rep who sent me out there who works for the company. He called when I got back in the office yesterday. Our conversation went something like this.
Bryan "How was the meeting?"
Me "Are you fired?"
Me "If you're fired, I apologize in advance."
Bryan "Did you complain about me? What did I do?"
Me "No. No complaining. More just for being the one who invited me."
Bryan "Were you that bad?"
Me "Word of advice. Next time, before you send someone to one of these meetings, you might want to provide them with basic info on your company. Specifically, who the CEO is. A picture? A picture would also help immensely."
Bryan "Oh no....." (insert laughter)O
Me "Yeah. I don't think he's used to people giving him a hard time."
Bryan "No. Not really. Lots of yes men around when you're CEO. What did you do?"
I then had to explain. There were three of us who had sat down to dinner when a man in a very expensive suit walked over and asked if he could join us. Of course, being me, I said no. When he looked puzzled (to say the least), I explained the three of us had voted. One had said yes, but the other two had already decided no. He would need to sit elsewhere.
Seriously. This guy is NOT used to sarcasm apparently. He looked so confused before he finally sat down. Another gentleman/yes-man joined him. After a few minutes of small talk/me not being rude to him as well as a possible comment along the lines of "Company X had to bring us here so we can explain to them how we keep messing things up" my new dinner companion said "I'll be right back. I should probably open dinner and introduce everyone." It was during his speech that I realized he is the President and CEO of the company throwing the dinner.
Now, keep in mind, he's not President and CEO of a company of 15-20 people. He's CEO of a company of roughly 200 people with $8 billion in assets under management. We're not talking small potatoes here. So when he got back to our table, I quickly told him "If I had realized you were the CEO, I would have voted to let you sit with us." Luckily by that time, he discovered he had a sense of humor and laughed. The head of technology who had just flown in on the private jet also found that funny (thankfully).
After dinner, I went to bed early. (Two hour time difference meant it really wasn't all that early...) The next day was meeting, meeting, another meeting, lunch meeting, etc. Couple interesting parts - we did the DISC personality assessment. A lot of my results were kind of eerily accurate. I might start handing out my results to people so they'll know how to stop driving me crazy. But that might be overkill.
There were other amusing parts..... seeing our brochure on their wall as a top producer (including looks of envy from others who don't qualify for that program), hearing that due to my absence my boss called and needed to talk to a VP there since he didn't know what to do, and just general a nice break from the office.
I flew home with pilots (flew United, not Delta coming back) after making my way through the Labyrinth known as the Denver International Airport (my gate was B84..... it was about as far as you could get from the entrance). Finally, at about 1:30 Friday morning, I was home. I cuddled my kitties, got sleep, and then worked my first full day in 2 weeks on Friday.
Which is why I've been glued to the couch all day...