Friday, 11 March 2011

No Peace for the Wicked

A hotel room in Cambridge MA. It is 6.30 in the morning. Bad Man is stumbling around in his underwear and a T-shirt packing his suitcase.

Fish                 Badman, we need to talk.

Badman           Sure Amerigo, What’s up?

Fish                 Badman, this relationship is not working. To be honest, I feel used. You had me dragged from the Tank downstairs where I was happy with my fishy buddies and for the past week I have swam around this crappy bowl on my own and you have hardly spent 10 minutes in the room let alone had any quality time with me …..

Badman           But Amerigo …..

Fish                 Don’t you “But, Amerigo” me. You have treated me really badly and I want out of this relationship. You have treated me like crap and I’m telling you I want out of this. I spoke to Sebastian and he said you were a really nice guy but you are a shitty, uptight British idiot and I hope you get a cramped, window seat on a rammed flight that is delayed you ass hole.

That didn’t go very well at all did it? With retrospect I guess that I should have found time to visit the Mall and get Amerigo a gift at the very least. But, what do you buy a hotel fish? I suppose he might have liked some new plastic weed or could have got him a Castle. Mind you, he is very much a US Goldfish so he would probably have been happier with a little plastic Condo to swim in and out of. 

My Mom warned me about people like you !
As you may have guessed I have had a pretty intense week that didn’t leave much room for “me time”.  Working in the States means that my UK based team mates have a 5 hour advantage on me and they use that time well. They devote many hours to filling my in-box with as many emails as they possibly can. This means that my in-box is rammed even though I had diligently cleared it the day before.

The plan for this week is to have 4 days of sessions with our Client with the aim of honing our Proposal to a greater degree of relevance and accuracy. I need to keep on top of the information flows making sure that new data gets fed back to the UK and that UK questions get answered by the client or our US colleagues.

Needing to keep material moving has meant that most days have started with me checking my mail at around 6 in the morning and taking a couple of hours to get the priority stuff dealt with before getting breakfast and crossing the road to the Office. On Tuesday I woke at around 4.30 am due to Jet Lag and stupidly wandered over to my Laptop. I ended up having a chat with Golfy who has been ably “minding the shop” back in Blighty whilst I am infiltrating Corporate America.

The early start is a great way of keeping stuff moving back in the UK but it does result in a long working day. Each day has ended with a hour long Review and Highlights meeting that finishes around 7.30 pm but there have often been additional activities after that. To cut to the chase, I have rarely left the Office before 8 pm and then it has been a case of going straight to a restaurant for dinner and a couple of beers before returning to my room. I have then generally crashed immediately hence the issue with the Fish that is currently demanding relationship counselling.

So, there you have it, the pattern of the week has been 12 to 14 hours days of meetings and information management followed by a few hours of relative relaxation with my US workmates before retiring to partake of the intermittent sleep of the mildly jet-lagged.

I’m basically knackered and the flight home is once again rammed. I think wistfully back to my last trip when I had a row to myself and could stretch out. This time it will be a fitful doze in a Cattle Class seat.

I won’t really be able to kick back and relax on Saturday either as it is TP’s Rugby Tour and I will be driving him up to Newcastle under Lyme in Staffordshire within two or three hours of landing back in the UK.

With that thought at the forefront of my mind I had better sign off. I would like to be able to promise that normal service will be resumed next week but I am guessing that a series of Executive Reviews is likely to occupy most of my time

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