Today. Was. Exhausting.
It started earlier than usual, with our work conference starting at 8am. I felt bad for the people who flew in from California, but I also felt bad for me and my nearly hour-long commute to work. When we got to the office, we were crammed into a too-small conference room that quickly exceeded 90 degrees. And then within an hour of the conference starting, I received frantic emails from a customer that just went Live stating that they weren’t able to use some core functionality and my technical lead is out on PTO for two weeks, so I was forced to learn emergency tech lead processes on the fly. Needless to say, it wasn’t a great start to the day.
The day improved as it went on, though. We had Salem’s for lunch, which is always amazing. And then the breakout sessions I attended were interesting. I was requested to be the official event photographer, so I got to float in and out a little bit. Eventually, the “work” part of the day ended at around 4:30 and we all headed to the Omni William Penn Hotel for our team-building exercise, happy hour, awards ceremony, and dinner.
For our team-building exercise, we were split into teams and had race each other to build IKEA tables and chairs for a local charity. Funny enough, the tables and chairs were being donated to an organization that’s run by my volunteer disaster specialist’s husband (I wasn’t involved in the planning of that, but small world)! My team wasn’t the fastest at building the furniture, but I think we came in second place. Not bad, but also not good enough to get an award. 😉
After my team finished building furniture fairly early, I roamed around the hotel a little and found the ballroom where the awards ceremony and dinner was to be held. I kind of casually walked in, but then started talking to the bartender, and lo and behold the bar was open and no one knew but me. So yeah, I got a bit of a head start on the happy hour portion of the night, but it was so totally needed after the day I’d had. Plus, I was pulled away from my team before the awards ceremony and dinner began, and I had to sit up front by myself and take pictures (i.e., WORK), so I don’t feel so bad about getting the first drink.
Dinner was actually really good, and the drinks were good, but the karaoke that followed was enough to make most of us wish we could lodge a complaint with HR. 😉 Though to be fair, I didn’t have the guts to get up in front of my coworkers and sing anything, so I don’t have much of a right to criticize.
Eventually, around 10pm, people started to get stupid, so I decided to hail my Uber and head home. On the one hand, I really liked staying in the hotel last year because it didn’t involve a commute (morning or night), but on the other hand, I REALLY like sleeping in my own bed and having all of my clothes at my disposal without needing to pack anything. I’m not quite sure which way I prefer. I will say this, though, I’m going to be very happy to collapse into bed in a few minutes, and I know I’ll feel the same way after tomorrow’s sessions as well. 🙂