If it’s May, then i’m on the road. Yet another unnecessary business trip – this one, mandated by The Director for the eight of us with the common job function. This trip, while of interest, was not time critical. Given that the eight of us have a rather important product due on Thursday, the timing was pure shit. Given that this trip requires driving – 300 miles away, with no direct air service – it ends up being two days out of the office. We won’t return home until late Wednesday… and product delivery starts at 8:00 am Thursday.
The trip was orchestrated by a senior manager, P, who didn’t share our view that this trip wasn’t time critical. The Director and our Chief Scientist are also along for the visit. Vans were hired, drivers assigned, and the big ol’ group-grope was underway.
Not feeling particularly sociable, i sneakily made my own arrangements and hired a car. Told the rest of the group that i’d join them there. One other woman shares my general world view, and i offered her the chance to avoid the van. She was grateful, and accepted…
We had a great drive, making amazing time and sharing hardcore work gossip office intelligence along the way. Arriving at the hotel? A somewhat run down Days Inn* – a ‘park-at-your-door’ place, adjacent to a decent Hampton Inn, and across the street from a lovely Doubletree Hotel. i had to double check to make sure i had the right place, where P had booked a block of rooms for the 15 travelers.
Confirming the disaster ahead, we checked in, and were a bit incredulous at the quality of the hotel – a place that i would gladly stay at if i were traveling on my own, but NOT a place i want to be on an unwelcome (and inappropriately mandated) business trip.
After a quick inspection of the rooms, we hightailed it for the nearest drinking establishment. We sent an e-mail to P – “Have you arrived yet?” and he wrote back “Yes, we’re just preparing to head to dinner. If you’d like to join us, meet outside the hotel”. i wrote back: Are you staying at the “park at your door, bring your own sheets, smoke-filled place, or are you at a hotel with real glasses in the bathroom?”.
We then hoofed it across the parking lot to meet the departing dinner crew… after just two beers and some unbridled outrage, i was pretty lit, and immediately hit P with “You are TOTALLY going to have to smell my sheets, Sir”. Just as The Director appeared. My companion said the look on his face was precious! We had some more “you can’t be serious” discussion, but once i’d confirmed that P and the senior folks were also staying at the same venue, we let them go…
Oh, and the fact that we were still carrying bottles of beer from the bar? Probably didn’t go unnoticed.
We wandered across the street and found a nice bar at the Doubletree. Glass elevators? Wow. While knocking back more beer, we sent the e-mail to The Director and Chief Scientist:
We have indeed confirmed a suitable team-building venue exists at the Doubletree Hotel, should you care to join us after dinner. It’s left to your discretion as to whether to invite P…”.
I copied P… but only at the suggestion of my colleague. Getting no response, i vaguely wondered if i hadn’t done a little career Hari Kari…
Ater the drink fest, we stumbled back across the street, and ran into some of the other folks who’d been at dinner. They said that the e-mail was received and both The Director and Chief Scientist snorted appropriately. As did P. And once again, i have delayed avoided termination…
* But unlike the Hilton at Tysons Corner, the Days Inn in Cornhole, TN has GREAT wireless. For $69.00/night. Amazing….