Friday, August 06, 2004

My brain is mush

I had a very productive business trip this week. Although by yesterday afternoon my brain felt like it was mush. I was in Savannah, Georgia which is an awesome place. That is a business trip I do not mind making. However, I think it would be better if I made it in the fall rather then the hottest time of the summer. I was running from office to office in historic Savannah in slacks, a heavy cotton shirt, a pair of shoes that are not every comfortable, and a black backpack that held essential meeting material. I was sweating like a pack mule.

The whole two days started off a little odd, anyway. The hotel I was supposed to stay at was over booked for the evening. The gentleman at the front desk was very nice and apologetic. He made a phone call and before I could blink he found a room for me at a hotel down the street. My clients are in the historic part of Savannah, so our company tries to put us up as close to the client's office as possible. Well, lucky for me, that was directly across the street. My new digs were at the Marshall House, known as the oldest hotel in Savannah. I tried to get a room there for Greg and I when I was planning a trip for us once. That did not work out so we stayed at the Best Western. Yeah, I did not succeed in making that a romantic get away that weekend. The memory just seemed a little ironic as I sat in a warm, historic, unique and romantic room- alone.
The business area in the hotel was complete full so I could not hook up my laptop which meant I could not check my email or get access to the company network to finish reading up on the history our company has with these clients, so I was going to have to depend on my co-worker who was very familiar with them and just wing it. I spent the evening reading, I wrote a letter to Greg on hotel stationary, and watched a rerun of Smallville. I woke early thinking that I would hear the city stirring awake as well, but to my surprise it was really quiet. I was the first to take advantage of the hotel breakfast, which was fabulous. They had fresh fruit juice, sliced pineapple and grapefruit, and a free newspaper. It was just what I wanted.

After breakfast I packed and moved my car, walked to the post office, and walked by the places I had to meet today, just in case I needed to know ahead of time. After feeling pretty prepared for the day, I walked to Starbucks and grabbed some coffee and a bottle of water because I was still not meeting my co-worker for an hour.

Living in Atlanta, I have noticed how busy it is. The mornings when I have to go downtown, I have noticed that I scurry about just as everyone else does. When I was walking down Bull Street and past Wright Square, there were a few people sitting on benches and just gazing at the trees as if they were bird watching. I was walking quickly down the side walk as if I thought my house was on fire. I looked pretty out of place and I am sure the map of the city I was carrying clearly gave that away. It was 7:30 in the morning and I could not understand why people were not sprinting down the street to catch the bus. Everything just moved slower. Even the people who were going to work moved slower. The only thing I can attribute it to besides the beautiful squares and the eighteenth and nineteenth century architecture is the unbearable humidity. Before 8:00 AM your clothes are sticking to you and you need another shower. You have not walked an entire block yet. The mind numbing stories I heard did not help either.

One thing I love about these clients is the fact that they are trying to work together to build an enterprise wide solution. The bad thing is that there are a lot of players in the mix and just when I thought I had them all, just for kicks, fate throws a few more in the mix. As I tried my best to keep my attention completely directed on the person speaking, I would remember something that someone else said in the last meeting and realize that they are further away from a solution then I thought. My co-worker thought the same thing, which made me feel a lot better because he has been working with them much longer then I have.

I need to regroup this whole thing. I need to empty out my inbox, answer 30 emails and take a bubble bath and listen to soothing music. A magic wand to fix all my clients issues would be nice too. Any idea where I could get one?


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