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10:25 p.m. - August 28, 2007
The Historic First Trip - NOOB!!
Back, back I am. Back inside the apartment that is either cold or stuffy. Itís darn humid up here now, so I can hear the Bickersons in the building next door. Iíve heard them at least four or five times have just knock-down-drag-outs with sobbing, wailing, yelling. But it never seems to escalate and stops after a while. It is still annoying though.

I shadowed a couple of consultants at a client site, and it was an experience.

For one, I realize that I CAN do this job.

For two, I need to listen and be more patient. Perhaps I will do this easier when itís MY client and MY billable hours. But we collaborated on stuff and seemed to be in agreement.

For three, I AM a noob, as I had a couple of travel faux pas.

I thought that I had packed a second pair of socks, but I didnít and now I canít find them ANYWHERE in my apartment. For sure I thought they were on the chair, but noper. I have plenty of socks but they were good ones. They didnít vaporize Ė the atoms didnít disintegrate so they MUST be around here. So we had to run by a local discount store (think of Wal Mart but more local and hayseedy) and I got a pair. Actually, for $2.99 they were pretty good socks. How long will they last, though? (And who cares?)

Then, this morning, I was rushed. I had a conference call for work at 6:30. (In this line of work, any calls made to discuss business within a practice is done very early, since when you are at a clientís site your time is their time and at night, too, you may be at dinner). Then I met for breakfast at 7. The other consultants had brought their stuff to the breakfast area on the concierge floor but I didnít. My room was only two down, but since I was running a bit late for breakfast and then just did a grab-and-go of my packed bags after breakfast, I left a book in the room.

It wasnít a very expensive book, and itís one that I may or may not replace, but still it was a book I left behind. I left two messages at the hotel, but nothing. Hmpf.

But it made me feel better that both of the other consultants have had stories like going to Satanís Discount Store for a blazer, or leaving cell phone chargers and all kinds of things in hotel rooms. It happens. Plus, the lead consultant and I drove there, and he says that when he drives instead of flies he always forgets stuff because heís not as meticulous getting into a car as opposed to a plane. Like this time, he needed contact lens solution.

But I didnít forget my suits, my laptop, or my iPod. So Iíve got that going for me.

Also, during this trip I realized I have to engage the work ethic. After working all day at the clientís site on Monday, we debriefed, changed, had dinner, then went to the lounge so we could work on a webinar that we are presenting on the 13th. I feel bad because my brain was a bit mush in trying to think of things for the webinar, but hopefully Iíll get my sea legs.

Yes, Iím going to work hard, but it will be worth it, I think.

No, waitÖ

I KNOW it will be worth it.

In this job, you have to try to get the client to understand what you are recommending and take action on their own, otherwise youíre just wasting their time and dollars.

Without being all hubris-y, people at this firm could do the job at the clients site in their sleep 99% of the time. But, weíre not there to DO their job for them, since weíre only there for a few days. We need to make their operation better from top to bottom.

Weíre hired because we know our stuff.

Wow, I have affirmation that I know my stuff.

UmÖ.coolness, I guess!

Now I must get my body acclimated to the hours and the schedule. Some of my new personal habits should help in that, but still, a 6:30 conference call, then breakfast, then meetings, and only a couple of 10 minute breaks until a late lunch means you need to bring focus and clarity early and often.

Well, alrighty then. If itís focus you need, Iíll bring it onÖ

Ö.as soon as I find those blasted socks. I mean, they were comfortable, and were tight on the calf without being too tight, and didnít slip down to your anklesÖ


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