...the phone rings... "FM, this is Patti." "Hey Patti, it's Karen. We need you to go to Baltimore soon." - That conversation (which was much longer than that, but I'll spare you the details), was Friday. It's the following Monday and here I am sitting in my hotel room in Linthicum, MD. My travel companion sitting on the bed with the cookie :) He can keep the 310 calorie cookie...
Talk about last minute travel - it doesn't give you much time to plan, what to pack, what to eat, where to go when I get there! It's a good thing I am secretly superwoman, otherwise I would feel completely defeated right about now. Multiple things couldn't have all happened at once to make me so thrilled to be away from home at this moment. For instance, the pharmacy not filling my prescription in time, so I am sitting in the chair in my hotel room with cramps so painful it makes it difficult to breathe - and did I mention I look wicked fat?! I am so bloated you would think I was pregnant. To those curious minds out there: NEGATIVE. Oh, also zero transportation unless I want to take a taxi, and I am all alone. Cool. I want coffee. Okay, okay...there are worse things in life to be upset about. I am happy that my company thinks highly enough of me to send me here. We were recently purchased by another company who's technology platform is much more simple than the one that we are currently using. (Boring, yes). So I am here to learn what they do, how they do it, why their process runs smoother and more efficient than the platform that we use. Go me.
My instructions were clear, take a taxi to the office and Mike will drive you to your hotel at the end of the day. Awesome. So the first thing I do when we land, aside from texting my twinnie, Pickle Juice; I call Mike. I've never met Mike, and I don't even know what he looks like. Looks aren't everything, but to me they can be extremely intimidating. I tell him I have landed and I will be on my way to the office shortly...change of plans. He offers to pick me up from the airport and then we can go to lunch to talk about what the next few days will be like and what is expected. No pressure there! I am standing on the sidewalk outside of the airport waiting for the grey 4-door sedan to pick me up. I am not sure what is worse, trusting your being in the backseat of a taxi cab or trusting your being with a man you've never met before. Trust me, the anticipation sucks either way. The Grey Lexus pulls up to where I am standing...two gentlemen are sitting in the front of the car. TWO? Who is this other guy?? The man in the passenger seat opens the door and introduces himself. And then Mike gets out of the drivers side and introduces himself to me. He knew what I looked like because he looked me up on Linkedin. Technology these days....it's a bit creepy to say the least. He takes my carry-on and places it in the trunk, glad I wasn't going in there, too. But unfortunately the thought crosses my mind. Who thinks like that!? I sit in the back seat and we are now lunch bound. Small talk ensues inside the car. He pulls into Chili's and the three of us head in for lunch. (P.S. Chili's is not very picky-eater friendly). We talk business but all I can think about is how in the world did I get here?! On one hand I am feeling so incredibly insecure in so many ways, but on the other hand, these two men consider me to be the brains of my client and truly counting on me to bring new ideas to the table tomorrow on how to implement our current system to their system with such a demanding client. Ahhhhhhh. All I have are questions, not ideas. Mike drives me back to the hotel and leaves me with my mind writhing.
This business trip is so unlike the others I have been on, or so it seems to me. I just feel much more inadequate and inferior to the people around me. They are all older than me, and how am I coming here to teach them about what we do? How can they look at me and think I have enough experience to tell them what they need to know in order to make this implementation successful?? In their eyes, I am only 28. It's too much to think about. And it's making my cramps worse. hahaha! There isn't anything around me to help soothe my stressed and painful body.
I am sitting in front of the heater because I am so cold, and my nose, feet and hands are as cold as a reindeer's in the middle of winter in the north pole. My eye lids are so heavy but I know the sooner I go to bed, the sooner I have to get up and present the non-existent ideas in my head to my boss, my boss's boss, my boss's boss's boss - no exaggeration there, and the two men that picked me up from the airport this afternoon. No big deal.
Sweet dreams fellow bloggers and readers. Wish me luck! All of this happened so quickly...so last minute....so in the eleventh hour!
Health and Wellness to All