The reason for the trip down to London was that my frolleague* and mentor; Lou was in from Nevada for a Yellow Pad session with our Customer and I had managed to blag an "over nighter" so I could join up with the deal team for a few drinks, a meal and a lot of laughs.**
My working day was spent in an office in Victoria where I kept a few balls in the air and helped out my Boss with a key opportunity that is described as a "must win".*** The support was mostly to do with engaging a somewhat obstreperous Pricer and invovled me formatting costs to align with her demanding requirements.
At some point in the afternoon I finally got to meet Lou face to face for the first time and after congratulating her on her successful session with the customer we chatted for a while before heading off to complete our working days.
It was just shy of seven before we had all finished up and we then headed off to a nearby pub for a few drinks and a natter. Fortunately the weather was fine and we were able to booze "al fresco" where we actually stood a chance of hearing each other above the noise of a packed London Pub.**** As the evening progressed our numbers thinned as the locals headed off home and we headed to another pub for dinner and more gin.
I rolled out of the pub at a respectable eleven o'clock and decided that I couldn't face the Tube. A cab was hailed and twenty minutes later and twenty quid lighter I was deposited at the doorstep of the Roach Motel.***** I have to be fair to the Cabby and report that he a) declined a tip and b) knocked a pound off my fare because we got held up in traffic around Hyde Park.
Within ten minutes I was checked in to a "budget" room and settled down for the night.
* noun: portmanteau of FRiend and coLLEAGUE
** The Sales Guy insisted that I had every right to be there after I had helped out by attending a workshop with a vendor and had assisted with knocking up some estimates to support our ROM pricing.
*** always a dangerous statement to make.
**** The Phoenix, Victoria
***** Normally expense guideline would not allow an overnight stay in the capital for a team meeting, but my Boss was flexible in view of the fact that it was a rare chance to meet up with a US based team mate. Lets just say that I had to be somewhat creative in my choice of Hotel to meet the cost challenge I was set!