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Friday, March 13, 2009

Things I learned on my business trip...

This is a list of my realizations on my trip to Anchorage... Some of you who know be best probably already know some of this, but it is fairly new to me...

1. I am a redneck... Seriously, I was almost gawking at the doorman to our hotel... I have NEVER stayed at a hotel with a door man... Do they still do charm schools where you learn to be a civilized member of society? I mean, I was told that our board meeting was pretty laid back (as this is Alaska) but MAN! I am so not used to that kind of treatment. I was so out of my element. And they were lying about the laid back aspect. I imagine it's not as strict as, say a board meeting in New York or something, but it was still a bit more buttoned up than they led me to believe...

2. I was intrigued and somewhat offended (I know, weird combo, right?) that the toothbrush I bought at the hotel gift shop to replace the one I forgot was in packaging that was in English, French and Arabic... Really? Arabic? Is there a high concentration of Arabic speaking people coming to Anchorage? I can understand the English/French thing, because we get a lot of stuff from Canada, and everything there is bilingual... But Arabic? (I do have to say here that the language is beautiful. It looks like a piece of art that says what kind of toothbrush I bought). I would have expected the English/French/Spanish combo, but never Arabic... That was one of my many surprises...

3. I get really nervous when I am meeting new people, I am really bad with awkward silences, and feel the need to fill them with what ever is in my head at the moment, making myself look like a blathering idiot... I did this with a couple of board members, the chairman, and with my supervisor when I gave her a ride home from the airport... I'm not saying that this was the first time meeting my supervisor, but I generally don't spend time alone with her outside of a work setting. Admitting the problem is half the battle right? Hopefully this will get better and I don't make a fool out of myself at the next one...

4. I have adapted some meditative techniques when I fly... I have a tendency to get anxious when I fly, not because of the fact that I'm flying, but due to the number of people on board. The more people there are, the more anxious I get. When flying commercially, I HAVE to sit on the aisle, unless I am traveling with people I already know or there is no one else on my row, and I HAVE to sit either as close to the front of the plane as possible, or as far back in the plane as possible... If I am in the middle, my anxiety gets worse when we land and everyone stands up simultaneously... It's very nerve-wracking. So, this trip, I practiced some breathing techniques that I do when I do tai-chi and it seemed to help. At least, until the poor mother one row behind me had to deal with a very upset child who was screaming... I feel bad for parents who have to deal with this situation, but as a fellow passenger, it is upsetting to me... It's also one of the reasons that we own an airplane. I don't get anxious on our plane, and when someone is crying, I just tell my husband to be quiet. LOL ;) There is a lot more control involved... And I will say this, that the kid was quite for most of the trip, but that was mostly because he exhausted himself screaming from the time that the plane was pushed back to about 10 min. in the air... And they had to de-ice us after we had boarded since some frost built up on the wings while we were waiting.

5. In reference to item #1, I couldn't drink what I wanted at our big dinner the night before the board meeting... I took my cues from everyone else at the table, who ordered very classic, very simple cocktails... And then they switched to wine, which made my stomach upset this morning... I had to order room service for ginger-ale at 5:30 this morning... It's still not very steady...

6. I am insecure... I am so afraid of offending someone, mainly because if/when I do or have offended someone, no one usually tells me until sometime later. This usually add to my nervous tendencies making #3 even MORE pronounced...

7. I feel like an ignorant person... One aspect of my new job is taking the minutes of the meeting... I really only got down about half of what was said, and understood less than that, when they were going over the company's financial standing... I have never understood investments and what they mean and how this applies to that... I found that if you don't understand the subject matter, your notes are going to be incomplete and serious gobbel-de-gook... I am SO glad that my supervisor was tag-teaming the minutes with me so I wouldn't miss something my VERY first time doing it... The insurance part that I have been involved in for the last year was a lot easier to understand. I feel my notes from the afternoon session will be much more complete... I'm going to have to schedule meeting(s) with my supervisor to have her explain it so that I will be much better prepared for the next board meeting.

8. I have very little patience for stupidity... I constantly wonder if I am just not communicating well, because it seems that I am surrounded by stupidity... Case in point - I had several emails and phone calls with the hotel staff (sales & catering) on how our food for our meeting was to be arranged... Very detailed and precise... Yeah, they just kind of did what they wanted... We didn't get the full breakfast that we ordered, and some yahoo put us down for our dessert at 2:00 PM when we CLEARLY requested it to be served with lunch... Yeah, I think they are getting a phone call to recap and possibly get a credit on services ordered but not received... And then they tried to say that we were getting a "Mixed Dessert" in addition to the one we special ordered... In fact, we tried to order a variety and they told us then that they couldn't accommodate us on the desserts since our group was so small this time... Whatever... I looked at the banquet order that catering was working off of and it wasn't even on there... Don't know where they pulled that one out of... If it is my communication skills that is the problem, then someone needs to tell me so I can do something about it... Seriously... See #3.

9. While I have no patience for stupidity, that doesn't mean that I am not stupid... I cannot figure out what I did (at least, not yet) but I screwed up our phone system just before I left so that anyone calling the office would be put into a never-ending loop unless they were smart enough to select my extension or one other person... For some reason, we were the only one's who's voice mail was working properly... Unfortunately, the ones who weren't working properly are the ones who's work phones were supposed to be transferred to their cell phones... I can tell I'm leaving a lasting impression on everyone, if not a very positive impression...

10. I am not very intuitive in new situations... I need someone to tell me what to do and when to do it, again, so I don't look like a blathering idiot... But then the sheer fact that I feel I need someone to tell me what to do makes me look like a blathering idiot... It's a catch-22...

So, that's all I can think to list at this time of night... I will say that the babysitters worked out wonderfully. Noni enjoyed her time and bonded with their teenage son. They pal'd around together, she slept with him, and they generally enjoyed eachother's company. He was happy she was a smaller dog and could "snuggle"... I guess he doesn't think the 2 big dogs are great snugglers... I was told that anytime we need them to watch Noni, they would be happy to. So I've already enlisted them for the first weekend in April when I go away for the weekend. I feel better knowing she has such a great place to go to.

1 comment:

lonestar said...

LOL - I can relate to a lot of those.

I'm glad everything worked out with the dog babysitter this time :)