October 25th, 2005


(no subject)

Ordered room service this morning for 6:30-6:45. The knock on my door this morning came at 6:25. And the person asked me to sign for it, and there was a line for writing in a tip. You wouldn't think that's weird, except that the room service already includes a 17% gratuity. Well, I found it weird, anyway.

I'm in the Hilton in downtown Minneapolis for a conference for work. I got a ride to the airport from a co-worker yesterday, but traffic was a bit worse than anticipated, plus I got picked for extra security screening, so I made it onto the airplane with just a couple of minutes to spare. And then my transfer at Atlanta was pretty short, plus the plane was a little late, and I made it onto that plane with a couple of minutes to spare, too. When I got to the hotel (I'm staying at the same hotel where the conference is, so that's convenient), it took some doing to find the packages that had some of the books I was selling (I carried about 100 pounds of books with me, but that's another story), then I had to set up. I wanted to go get some food, as all I'd had to eat was the little biscuit things and some peanuts on the airplanes (I frequently am too excited/nervous before a trip to be able to eat in the morning), but the exhibit area was open, with random non-exhibitor people wandering through (and I even sold two books to one guy who didn't want to wait until the next day, when the exhibit actually was open), so I didn't feel like I could leave until they locked the doors. And they apparently didn't have a very good security plan in place for the room (there are only 6 exhibitors, and I was the only one there with something to exhibit that was easy to walk off with (another book publisher was supposed to be there but didn't show up by the time they locked the exhibit hall doors last night)), so I had to convince someone with the conference that we needed security for the exhibit hall. After that, I finally got some food, and then vegged in front of the TV for the rest of the night.

Speaking of TV, I'm going to have to be careful not to spend too much time watching TV now that I have DirecTV in the new place. I moved two van loads on Saturday and one on Sunday, and I slept at the new place Saturday and Sunday nights. I only have one or two carloads left at the old place (plus cleaning it), so it's pretty safe to say that I'm living at the new place now. Next Monday will be my first regular commuting day from the new place, and I'm looking forward to that. I can let myself wake up whenever I wake up, spend some time at home on the computer, and then amble in to work. I imagine that I'll often get in earlier than I used to, even with taking my time in the morning. I can see myself being very productive at work for an hour or more before anyone else is in and before any printers start calling or emailing me about things.

I need to do a bit of work now, I think. My boss wants me to review some material that some of our authors had come up with for their new book before I meet with them (they'll be here at the conference), so now is the time to do that. So, besides selling books here, I'm meeting with authors and potential authors. I was a bit nervous about that before, but I've pretty much talked myself down from that. I was worried that they would expect me to know things that I don't know, and that I would end up looking bad (or making the company look bad) as a result. I've pretty much decided that I'm going to do the best I can, and I can always fall back on the (legitimate) excuse that I've only been with the company for 6 months (it'll be 6 months next week). And people are generally nice, so I really don't have anything to worry about.

In some ways, I don't mind being away at a conference. Chatting with people about books that I know things about is fun, and not having anything to do in the evenings besides find dinner and sit around in the hotel room is nice (at least for a few days). However, I think I'll be glad to be at home for a while. Traveling twice in 3 weeks is a bit much. I don't have to go anywhere again until March, which I think is just fine.