Friday, November 20, 2009

Air Travel

I finished the 2nd of 3 programs this week and was scheduled to fly last night on Horizon Air from Spokane WA to Sacramento to deliver the last program today. I had a connection through Portland. And there was no weather in Spokane, Portland or Sacramento last night so I had no concerns. One hour before the Spokane departure, a delay was announced due to a mechanical problem. The length of the delay meant I was going to miss my connection in Portland and it was the last flight to Sacramento for the night (of course). I was forced to spend the night in Portland, and then I had to change my hotel reservation, change my car rental reservation, make sure my suitcase was routed to Portland instead of Sacramento (and the worst part) tell my client that instead of starting the workshop today at 8:30am as planned, I would not be able to get there until 11am. I know the airlines avoid delays whenever possible, but I really don't think they have any idea what it does to us, the paying passengers, when a disruption in their service occurs. It really is an utter disrespect for my time and they all continually send the message to customers that our time is of no value. It's unbelievable that any business can run like this.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stress

I had three days of programs to do in 3 cities so I sent all of the materials in advance via UPS. I follow the same process for out-of-state programs and have been using the same Staples/UPS drop off location for the last dozen or so shipments without incident. On this particular day, I shipped 3 boxes at the same time. I arrived on Tuesday morning of this week to the first of the three program locations and no one could locate my box. So we did a search of the office and when it didn’t turn up, I went online to see who signed for it. Two of my three boxes showed a delivery confirmation and the one I needed showed that it was never even picked up from UPS, let alone in transit. I called Staples and they said that they didn’t have the box and would put a trace on it. So essentially I was left with a room full of 27 participants and no handouts or workbooks. Panic set in.

I called the local Staples and asked if I could email the documents to them for printing and they said they could have them ready in a few hours. I punted for the first couple hours of the session with just a flipchart pad and pens and ran at the lunch break to get the materials. I was so unnerved by the whole thing that I felt I was not able to recover and that the learning really suffered. I have been doing training for 20 years and have done this exact program for 13 years so of all classes, this one was the best for it to happen to because I knew the content cold. But it still was so stressful, I couldn’t believe how it threw me off my game and rocked my typical calm self. Of course, I was so mad at myself for not tracking the boxes sooner, so I would have had some recovery time. That is what I get for shooting from the hip so much. I still cannot figure out why that box didn’t arrive when the other 2, shipped at the same time did. I think it must be a reminder that I need a major vacation if I am making little mistakes like that with such serious consequences. I get it! I couldn’t have learned the lesson some other way???? Jeez.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Working Mom

So I am on a business trip and had a meeting today with the senior HR team of my super conservative, life insurance client. Always dressing the part when I am there I brought my pearl necklace and earrings to wear today, and pulled them out of my jewelry pouch on my way out the door this morning. I got to the client's office, gave my presentation and then stopped in the ladies room on my way out. I looked it the mirror and noticed that I was covered in sparkles all over my neck and face. My little girls often use my jewelry pouches for putting teeth in for the tooth fairy and apparently when I pulled out the pearls, a load of pixie dust came with it! I looked like a cross between a trannie and a girls night in Vegas. OMG what was going through their mind when they saw it?!?!?