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Road Trip report

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For the first time in about 4 months, I drew the straw to get on a roadtrip with a couple of our Sales Engineers. We've spent some time putting together a demo client for this prospective customer, and since I did the work, I got to go demo it. Just a quick trip out and back to Los Angeles. The outbound trip was a no-brainer - everything clicked and I got there by 8:20am pacific time with only the effort to drag my ass out of the bed before 6am. When I got to LA, the plan was to chill at the Continental President's club, but I didn't realize that to get to Continental from American that I'd have to leave the air-side. My fear was unfounded though - when I got to the Continental screening and handed them the American boarding pass to LAX, there was a momentary look of puzzlement, but they let me through when I mentioned the club. Good policy.

I settled in, had some coffee & worked on Bell for a while. The SE in charge of the visit showed not too long after I did; we worked for a while and then headed out to Hertz & to pick up the other SE. Turned out we were stylin' in LA with the '04 Kia Optima. Whoa. Feel the power. I attribute it to the company going public; saving some $$ on sales calls with the rent cars now. Driving from LAX to Pasedena didn't disappoint: plenty of smog and haze, lots of traffic, but sunshine from horizon to horizon, and as we headed north I could see the Hollywood sign on the hills in the distance. We made it to the meeting 30 minutes early, so we ran to find something to eat prior. There were a few moments of scarfing down the rest of the sandwich in the parking lot, but the deed was done, and we were ready for the meeting.

It really did go pretty good; got all the questions answered in short order, and the demo went very smooth. There were a few moments where I got to kick butt in the meeting; at one point the customer had asked something about our ability to monitor an installation, and the sales guy started to respond with how our product gets installed, but I helped him get back on track. After the demos, some code walk-through, and more Q&A, the meeting wrapped up in short order. My colleagues called it a "high-five" meeting, and I'll concur. We've got something to bring to the table that they can use. The drive back through LA rush hour was easier than I expected, and the three of us parted ways.

My overnight near the airport wasn't anything special, and I made it to the airport with an hour before my board time. Good, right? Hardly. 4 minutes after I call Chaz & tell him that it looks like I'll be home in time, My return flight on American started getting pushed out. It turned out to have a 3hr delay all told, as they pushed it out 1 hr, then 2 and 3 right behind one another. I left the air-side again and headed down to Continental's lounge for some work, some free wireless, and a Heineken. Okay, 2 Heinekens.

I supposed I should have never placed that call saying I'd be on time. Curses!

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