Arrive in Houston (for usability testing of software for work) and things are in surprisingly good shape. Unfortunately my watch band broke so between that and the time shift I spent the week feeling strangely outside of time.
To most everyone's surprise and relief there's a meeting called for end of day Monday at which it is announced that the company has decided to do something actually sane. Mind you, had they taken this decision a couple weeks ago I would not have had to make this trip, but at least they made the right decision. It could have been SO much worse.
Tuesday get there early to set up only to find that participant #1 has failed to show, so how about *I* do that role? Um, sure. Fumble through, make changes, it's all good. Tuesday is tiring, but basically OK. Three user testing sessions and a meeting. Also, I have to crisis-manage a personnel issue remotely in six minutes while trying to get lunch. At least I'm enjoying being in Texas in December when it's dry and mild. Sorry to everyone who was freezing in the slush up here.
Tuesday I still haven't heard about the award presentation I'm supposed to give on Friday, for which I have changed my travel plans. Write to boss saying "hey, what's up with this?" Team dinner Tuesday is nice - we have margaritas and bitch about work, rather a lot. I discover that my polite Texas female counterpart can curse up a storm when she wants to.
I lived in Texas in the era of Ann Richard and Molly Ivins. I learned long ago you do not mess with Texas women. Iron fist in a velvet glove, let me tell you. Except maybe it's calf-skin, this being Texas and all.
Wednesday we do the first actual customer sessions, which go remarkably well. Have to take customers out to dinner, which means we get nice food on the company dime, but also means I have to be "on" later than I'd like. Go back to hotel room and pack and crash.
Thursday, did I mention I still hadn't heard about the thing I'm supposed to do Friday, for which I'd changed my travel plans? Yeah, Thursday I get told it's not happening. Try not to be too overtly ripshit about it. Am reminded that genteel Texas lady can in fact curse like a sailor.
Hustle to the airport to be early, which is good because United decides not just to change gate, but actually move us to another terminal on approximately the other ass-cheek end of the airport. I make it, with time to get froyo on the way, because I am that level of paranoid. Flight is PACKED but at least we make it. Bus is late but at least I'm not driving (because 93S in the morning during rush hour would likely make me homicidal). Get home, fall down.
Friday I miss the end of our debrief meeting so I can drive up to Nashua and be pissed off in person. Then drive back and decide "frell it, I'm not going into the office for two hours" and go home instead.
Saturday up early, on the road around 9 for a meeting north of Hartford at 10:30. Mind you, this is voluntary, unlike the past week. It's the Ingress event called an anomaly which involves crazy people walking around in groups playing a game on their phones for four hours. By the way, it's COLD in Hartford in December. Just noticing. Lunch at Rein's beforehand to fortify and a handwarmer in my gloves during didn't quite make it tolerable, but I met some new people and gamed with some I've known for a while. Also we kicked ass, which was necessary payback for getting stomped last time in Cambridge.
Leave Hartford around 5:30 to head up to Amherst and pick up Sariel for the drive to Waltham and a party. Good company for the drive - I can't remember the last time we had an hour+ just to chat and we certainly could've filled twice that time with things we didn't have time to get around to. Still, driving. (I'll leave out the comedy of errors around getting to leave; suffice it to say that the gremlins were out.)
Got to the party around 8:30 to discover that, as Pygment had warned me, it was LOUD. My social spoons were nearly gone by that point and I lasted barely until 10 and found I needed to flee in order to be safe driving home.
Sunday was supposed to be visiting a party - but that got postponed - and a friend's crafting exhibit. I passed on the latter so that Thing 2 could make his class that he didn't want to give up. The recharge time was much needed. Now to get through this week, then I can go away for the holidays.