Saturday, April 13, 2013

Working like a dog....or a meeting planner


There is working and there is WORKING  

I like to think I work hard ( and I do at times and a lot..) but working a meeting is sort of like doing an Ironman. See I am a sales person , who are often perceived as lazy (according to convention service managers when I worked in the hotel )  I always was mildly, okay really offended, at those comments.  We had late nights drinking wine and having dinner,  really tough sight inspections drinking wine and eating and a lot of stress.  The stress is real…having a quota and having to make numbers is real stress.  Anyway I am not trying to decide who’s job is/was harder.  But I will say meeting planners work hard!!  Meeting planners are my clients. I do the sourcing, site selection and negotiating of contracts to save them time and money.  They do the REAL work!  When prospective clients say to me " you want my job ?"  I have always said NO, but now, I really mean NO!  I am happy with my job.  

This past week  I traveled  week to “work” (physically work)  one of my clients meetings.  I said OK, put me to work.  This is  all business….we meet at 6am (every day) for breakfast and a recap of the day and then we Day 1- stuffed bags for hours and hours. 1600 bags is a LOT. I will NEVER complain about my goodie bags at a race if one cliff bar is missing….it was an accident, truly you go bat shit crazy after a while.   When the bag stuffing became just too much it was a litany of other deeds, buying office supplies in downtown Minneapolis in 35 degree weather without a car 4 blocks away, running errands, finding staff, reviewing room set ups,  confirming dinner, karaoke machines, and the list goes one…. We did a final tour of the hotel and I literally could not stand up any more- my legs were Ironman tired.  Then a staff reception and then pizza…which I missed – 6am -8pm I was happy to swing by and pick up a salad and eat it laying in bed and falling asleep responding to the 77 emails from those who I am still working for. 

Day 2-  I really wanted to get a run in before the long day – because I am an idiot and had no idea how long and tiring the day would be.  Alarm went off at 4:30 and I was in the gym running at 4:45 – it is 30 something degrees and we  are downtown, so no running outside.  I was done by 5:30, showered and changed and ready for the day by 6am for briefing and breakfast.  More of the same chaos…. More bags, organization, and I was tasked with hiring ASL Interpreters – no problem.  Ha….24 hours notice is NOT sufficient , snow storm coming and not many interpreters can sign DRUPAL.   Meanwhile I am hunting down a  Dodge Ball and an Air Guitar.  Really does not seem too hard…again no car, 30 degrees and downtown….after walking many habitrals to stores it dawns on me- Amazon Prime- duh, we can have these tomorrow. Regrettably Amazon does not have ASL Interpreters but I managed by 5pm to have 2 line up for 9am Thursday!  Meanwhile Registration opened and I worked that for 3 hours and learned a LOT.   Adding the few items to the Tote Bags when handing them out is a major problem when you have a long line.  Just when you are sure you have memorized all the FAQ’s you get asked if on day 3 there will be any vegan options at the afternoon break.  Uh yes.    6pm and we are “done”.. dinner plans.  Hmmm – my phone is locked  in the office, my feet are swollen and hurt, I am hungry and want a big salad and wine.  I opt for room service  and my 87 emails that  I need to respond to the rest of my work that needs to be done.  I was salivating for my Greek salad and chardonnay when room service brings me a steak and Cabernet.  Really?.... Very apologetic and they leave the meal and go and get the Greek salad....well by the time the wimpy salad and cold wine arrive I am satiated on beef and red grapes!  

Day 3..... wake up call at 4:30, had to bang out anther short run on my swollen feet ( I am a psycho) and then it was Registration ....holy cow!  I learned a  lot... DO not have the coffee on the way to Registration - duh, everyone has hands filled with coffee cups and cannot possibly manage a badge and a tote bag.  And why does everyone need to put the badge in the badge holder with 5 people lined up behind them waiting to get their badge... At times it was jammed up like the free hot dog samples at Coscto.  And don't get me started on the bowl of pens... the grabbing and taking and taking more for a 3 color pen with a highlighter?  Really.... imagine if it was a bowl of shrimp.  

Bottom line....hard work, so appreciate my clients and so appreciate my job!!! 

I was so wiped out I was actually craving Yoga....OMG did I really say that.  I hate yoga, but here I am on week 4 and flying home I was dreaming about hot yoga.   Friday AM I was there....I loved it so much I stayed for round 2 of Sculpt and nearly died.... it's all good!!!