Monday, March 20, 2006

Monday, Monday (La la la la la laaa)

I am on my first business trip in Wichita.

It's amazing how exotic Wichita... isn't.

I'm here not because I was ordered here by my boss but because there is a meeting being hosted out of town and I wanted to make sure that everything would go as smoothly as it would have if it were at home.

I needn't have bothered.

To start off the assembly yesterday evening, there was a fun, casual dinner at an appealing, trendy restaurant. I had called the manager to create a menu and to select the wine for the event. The latter was done mainly to keep the cost down because for some reason when people are offered a night out, they order the most obsurd and expensive drinks if they don't have to pay for it. Imagine my surprise when I arrived to find attendees with all sorts of drinks ranging from traditional to exotic in their hands and no wine on the table. I was 0-1 before the whole event began...

Food was delicious, service was excellent and everything went well until the manager ran the numbers to my company card (which I had given him when creating the menu; I wanted to only sign and go when the entire dinner was finished. I actually set everything up that way so it is one less detail about which to worry.) The machine kept saying invalid number. Did I bring the card? Nooooooooo. I had to scramble to find someone else to cover it so that I would not be stuck there doing dishes until next week.

I should have declared my intention of going home right then...

The nightcaps that occurred after dinner were fun and pleasant. Everyone was very amiable and relaxed. At least that bill I could charge to my room.

This morning, I awoke at the obscene hour of 5 AM. Are there any kids that are asking for breakfast? Do I need to be up that early to do laundry, dishes, anything at all? Could I use a bit more sleep? The answers were no, no and yes, but that did not matter... As hard as I tried, I could not fall asleep. So I decided at 6 to give up and to start with my morning coffee. I made it but could find no cream. So I called down to the desk requesting some. (I fully admit that I have extremely limited experience with room service. So I expected it to be a little bit before I would have it.) I waited 20 minutes and thought I had better hit the shower, all the while fearing that they would knock while I was sudsing up my hair.

My fears were for naught because they didn't come during my shower, nor while blow-drying my hair, nor while dressing. I eventually called down again to see if they had to go milk the cow to get the cream to bring to my room. No, it seemed that they just forgot. I had the cream 5 minutes later. Finally.

Everything else had gone splendidly. Well, aside from the fact that the proxima that was promised to me went awol, the leader had to start without any of his visual aids, the promised aforementioned machine did not arrive in the allotted 30 minutes, but rather an hour, there was broken glass on the floor from the previous event, and there was an old-fashioned car sitting in the back of our meeting room. Oh, and it's freakin' cold, with snow expected by tonight.

The one highlight I have to look forward to as an activity is also being marred. One of the ladies who I talk with on the phone and email frequently asked me to dinner tonight. She surprised me by setting up a manicure and pedicure for us too. Can I just tell you that I have broken three nails down to the quick in the last 24 hours? I'm just glad a facial wasn't planned; there's no telling what would have happened to my face it that were the surprise! (Huge blemishes, a door smacking my face, poking myself in the eye with a sharp stick - any or all of these would be lurking around my future the way things are going.)

It's not even lunch yet. I can't wait to see what might happen later.

I'll be at the bar if anybody needs me.


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