Saturday, March 22, 2008

Road status...

Blogging about work can be dangerous. All of us have heard tales of people being fired
after posting, shall we say, "negative" comments on their jobs. I am going to try and be vague about certain things and those of you who really know me just assume my true feelings and you'll probably be right.
So far it's been NYC,Harrisburg PA, Chicago, Cleveland,Detroit and Columbus. Each city having it's own issues that just drag out the day. We have a "Premium" show at the beginning of the week then a "Standard" show the second half. Premiums have an actual keynote on a stage with an audience of usually of about 2000+ socially challenged programmers. Now Steve A, if you chose to use your social and programming skills for evil, you could rule the world. 95% of these goofy guys are looking for a leader just like you so they would follow someone that can complete a sentence AND who has actually kissed a girl. You would be their hero! Ok, back to task...
Set up day consists of a 2 hour(ish) load in and a 7 to 8 hour room build. Every city so far has had venue issues that turn that build into a 10 to 13 hour build. Then the "Company" we work for came up with this brilliant plan. Let's have each city do it's own keynote show. 80 minutes of Keynote, demos, customers....
Issue. Instead of picking one dynamic presentation team to go out and wow North America, they went for the local guys. After a tiring set up we then have to stay and rehearse these people and let me tell you some of them just weren't ready "Let me try that again" NOOOOOOOO!!!! So for these days, up at 5 or 6am, back in bed by 11 or 12am. Hmmm....I wonder why I got sick on the road, no sleep, run run run.
Only one humorous story out of this whole depressing mess. In the Columbus Convention Center, the rooms were to set up in had to be at least 90+ degrees I went to the convention manager and they stated that set up day was not in our contract to be cooled and if we wanted that it would be 250 dollars an hour. I tried to explain that it's near impossible for fat guys to work in rooms this hot. "I'm sorry sir but the contract states...." yes, I heard you the first time. Ok let me start over. I am not working in rooms this hot, we are going to lunch, please clear it with whoever you need to and cool these rooms down, it's just plain mean to heat these rooms up and then muscle us for air. An MS person overheard a little part of my argument and got on her cell phone and called the manager of the tour who called her boss who called her boss the president of the MS tour division and told them all that my company walked off the job in Columbus. That president calls my company owner who calls my boss.
Here's where communication helps, on my way out the door for lunch with my crew, I called my boss to let him know what was going on. so when he got the call 11 MINUTES LATER!!!! that we quit, he knew the real story and put the fire out right away.
what silly silly people.


Angie said...

Holy over-zealousness, Batman!

Steve said...

I am honored - honored, I say - to be given such a shout-out from a fellow geek who does have the sentence/kissing thing down solid.

I'm glad you made it home for Easter. Wish you and yours weren't under the weather, but sick with family is better than sick on the road.

Neat story on the Columbus short-circuit. Always pays to keep your boss in the loop.

And whoever made the decision to use the local yokels was a chowderhead. I mean that in the most kind and loving way possible, of course. If you're gonna have the newbies run through their schtick every time, then you hire the build out to the locals, and leave the rehearsal to the folks running the show. Man, what a pain. Or you fly a team of softies out to each location a week early to prep the amateurs. Once somebody has reached 50% overtime, they're pretty much at a wall. Yelling and complaining might buy you a litle bit, but just like in Columbus, it's the techies that are running the show, and the suits better learn what's going on.

Is there some site where people like you can hang out and swap stories, and warn others about what to expect in places like Columbus? You could start one. is available. Lots of possibilities for where to take this. No time at all for doing it. I'm singing the same song at this end.

Hold your head up.