Thursday, March 24, 2011


It takes a prodigious day to kick me in the stomach, but this week has been bent on delivering, it seems. One personal frustration, a maternal owie ... and today. Which started off as a challenge and ended as a fiasco, once out of my hands - but still with me in the sights, to take the focus of the "I don't think we should be having these fire drills" reaction as the whole thing fell apart.

At first, a day like today might have provided me the opportunity to distract myself from other thoughts. There was a long-planned event in the offing, and that always gives rise to stuff to do on-the-day. Frustrations, sure, but at dress-rehearsal rush to a performance levels of stress.

Then we found out that someone hadn't booked the room they said we had. And he was out today. Hmmm. Scramble-scramble: call the local Guy Who Helps, he's away. Ping the party planner, tell her the rooms we've been asking for booking confirmations on since MARCH 15 ... aren't booked. Call the backup guy. Call Guy Who Helps again, get confirmation he's never heard of our event, which exactly figures. Stop pestering him and actually do something.

Call the local techies. Call the person who DOES have the room reserved, who's going to get a surprise when a virtual meeting suddenly starts to play on the system this afternoon. He's not there.

Call some more local people, figure out the room thing.

Call the guy with the reservation again, and - miracle - feel surprise and joy when he answers. "And I would not have picked up if it wasn't you."

(Look back on THAT sentence as a key victory for the day, from the comfort of 5:50 p.m., and dog-walking pants, and dinner on the stove. Shew.)


Get the room. Send updates to local techies and main-backup-guy: we can do this - so do it now. Get set to go play Julie McCoy Your Extremely Apologetic Cruise Director at the people actually in the room - get sidetracked talking to the in-house executive and two managers, explaining that there are some communication problems between the setup procedure for our division versus the setup procedure for the entire entity, so we have technology but we almost didn't have ROOMS. Field quick call from Guy Who Helps, to be told he's been told he is no longer supposed to support our division. Be really rude to him, as management is all at my cube waiting to hear what the heck is going on.

Go play Julie McCoy Your Extremely Apologetic Cruise Director. Win a new point for the team, and go upstairs triumphant.

Make a call to backup guy: joyously confirm tech is a "go". Conference on with local person #1 and have a preparatory confab/confirmation session. Start to feel confident. Let Backup guy go, conference on with local #1 and bring on local #2 for extra confirmations and insight into actual operations. Feel way more confident. Exchange cell numbers.

Get call from Guy Who Can't Help, offering to help. Go downstairs and work the tech with him, all of which goes okay.

Go upstairs for no-lunch to be available by the phone until time to go downstairs.

Go downstairs. Watch the event begin. Notice the same glitches the central command says something about. Hear them say "we're going to disconnect and restart" ..

... and basically witness the complete disintegration of three months of event planning.

We disbanded around half an hour in, and attempted to dial in on the audio line.

Which wasn't connected to the main event.

We laughed together. When someone said, "we must have something to say," I responded, "Not without an HR issue" - and got a pretty good laugh out of that.

It was over, but not in the sense of actual completion. Le Sigh.

I hope tomorrow will be a little kinder.

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