Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Teambuilding Hell Day One

I'm writing this with my knees crammed up against my rickety hotel door, because that is the only location in my room where the free hotel wireless signal is strong enough (29%). Predictably, instead of being housed in the main Edwardian country house part of the hotel, we are in a sort of motel annex across two car poorly lit car parks, and my room is down so many corridors and fire doors that I was tempted to lay a trail of breadcrumbs. I survived our afternoon start session: a 3.5 hour meeting in a windowless basement room, where I amused myself by watching both the secretary who had organised the meeting, and the facilitator who had just flown back from Canada, trying to stay awake. The facilitator's alertness strategy was to frown horrendously while forcing her eyes wide open, making her look quite mad. Then there was the usual muddle of trying to get eleven people to all collect their bags, go to the bathroom, and get out of the building, where we jammed ourselves onto a subway to get to the train station,.Waiting at the station at the other end were two grumpy taxi drivers (grumpy because we were 10 minutes late) who threw our suitcases into their cars and crammed us all in somehow. Our fashion designer media affairs manager had a luxury leather designer suitcase which she didn't want to have to carry on her lap, so the driver made several attempts to get it in the back, repeatedly smashing the hatch down like it would somehow magically close, and eventually broke off her handle then didn't even apologise. At the hotel, when we found out we were being put in the motel-like annex, we stood around for another 10 minutes while our secretary objected, to no avail. So here I am - the walls are so thin that I could hear my team mate hanging up every article of clothing in her room, which doesn't bode well for watching tv later. They've all rushed off to the bar to salvage the evening before we have to meet up for a team dinner. I am planning on an hour of peace, quiet and sanity restoring knitting... In fact, by the time I had packed three lots of knitting, my little laptop for the internet, and some books, there was no room left in my suitcase for clothes so I had to snatch the next largest suitcase off my son when he got back from his school trip last night.

Update: Dinner wasn't actually too bad, some of the workaholics actually loosened up and became a little human for a while. The menu, while pedestrian, was tasty enough. Halfway through the staff announced they would move our things to new rooms if we would give them our keys. I had to say I would move myself, as I was very conscious that I had left my knitting out on my bed and i didn't want to take the chance that they might overlook a needle or something vital. So at 9:45 pm I trekked across the dark wet car parks to pack my things and trundle back to the main part of the hotel. I am now in a much bigger room with a huge bathroom. This room is far too hot (the previous one was freezing), still very noisy (luckily I brought earplugs), but has the virtue of wired internet access which I was able to stretch across to the bed so I am now typing in relative comfort. Only two more days to go... and I've started knitting the last finger of my Noro gloves.


swooze said...


ShinyNewThing said...

I forgot to add that the really annoying team member was making a list of everyone's room numbers on a napkin, for some unspecified purpose of her own. I pretended I couldnt remember mine...

Sarah Nopp said...

That was hilarious! I have been ever so lucky with most of my business travels. But one time when I brought my husband along for the week, we actually changed hotels, it was so bad. Ohhh, the joys of rooms by the night :_)

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