Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sleepless in Seattle

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

This past Wednesday I was asked to take a quick trip up to Seattle to sit in on a pitch to a potential (large) client.

(photo randomly from http://www.murdermysteryamerica.com/)

I didn't have anything too big going on, and I was flattered to be asked (I never have to travel for work, nor is the opportunity ever offered), so of course I said yes. So began the whirlwind. With only a half a day's notice, I needed to finish up a couple days' work in a few hours, go to the dry cleaners, pack, and get myself to the airport. Fortunately, Mr. FGD was not out of town, so I didn't have to worry about fur-care.

I started to get nervous about the trip when I was told that said potential client would probably need us to do a lot of the one thing I have zero experience in. I could foresee the question from big client, "so how much experience do you have doing x?" And me looking scared and sweaty and stuttering. So that gave me several knots in my stomach.


(photo from thinkorthwim.com)

And then my question on attire for the trip was addressed. The knots already formed in my stomach seemed quite small in comparison to the boulders now forming. Potential client is a fairly casual company, so being a couple steps above casual was easy. But finding out that everyone would be wearing suits to the reception I was to attend later that evening was another story. I haven't worn a suit since I interviewed for my job 7 years ago. I never meet face to face with clients. I communicate with clients everyday, but they are worldwide, and everything is electronic. I never have to show my untanned face to anyone but the people in my building! I certainly didn't have the suit I wore 7 years ago to my job interview, and even if I did, I can promise you that I've um, expanded, a little bit since then.

So suddenly the weight of finishing up a couple days' work in a few hours, going to the dry cleaners, going home to pack, and getting myself back up to the airport was compounded with somehow finding a suit to wear. And one that would immediately fit! I was so stressed out.
I did the best I could and got myself out of dodge and on my way to Seattle.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I woke up as early as I could get my tired ass out of the downtown Seattle Sheraton bed, having gone to be pretty late the night before, and began checking my work email.

I figured I would get a little bit of work done, shower and get myself presentable, and then head out to Nordstrom or Banana as soon as the stores open, and get my ass a suit. Pronto.
Then I noticed an email from the attorney who was giving the pitch to the potential client. The email was from the potential client (from now on referred to as PC) giving us background on the company and all of their entities. When I first scrolled down the email, it looked as though there were 4,396 links for me to become familiar with that morning. Which may have been ok if I didn't have to FIND A SUIT TO WEAR!! I was completely panicked at that point. How the hell was I going to have time to shop if I had to do all of this work? Skipping one so I could focus on the other was not an option. I needed a suit and I needed to be prepared for the meeting with PC. Fuck.


I crammed in as much as I possibly could about PC and all of its million (fortunately interesting) entities, keeping my eye on the clock at all times. I figured I would research until the last possible second, and then run (or in my case, walk briskly) to either Nordstrom or Banana (which, I had thankfully figured out the night before were only steps from the hotel door).
But what store actually opens on time when it's a matter of greatest urgency?

I stood outside downtown Seattle's Banana Republic, sweating, pacing back and forth, ready to give whatever unknowing employee on the inside walking by my evilest eye.

My eye on my watch at all times.

10 am.

10:01 am.

Sweating.

10:02 am.

Pacing.

10:03 am.

Cursing.

I had chosen BR because it's such a smaller store than Nordstrom so I figured I would have a better chance of finding something quickly and not having to run around a 4-level store. But I hadn't taken into account that it might not open in time.

When the poor, hapless woman finally opened the door to BR at 10:04 am, I threw myself upon her and screeched, "You must help me! I need a suit to wear today!" She looked a bit taken aback, (frightened?) but pulled herself together quickly and we set off on a mission together.

45 minutes later, I walked out of Banana Republic with a fabulous black suit in hand, along with a lovely necklace to go with the suit, a new top for my meeting with PC along with an equally fabulous bracelet, and raced back at break-neck speed to my hotel room to finish researching PC before my meeting.
(You don't actually think I had time to take a picture of myself do you?)


Fast forward to 8:30 pm Thursday evening: meeting with PC went well (and I loved my outfit; bonus!); reception went well (and I loved my new suit; bonus!); a blueberry Stoli & soda and a pomegranate martini had been consumed (double bonus!!) and all was right with the world.


Note: I had a couple hours of down time between my meeting with PC and the evening reception. I needed to grab some lunch and figured I would head towards the water and Pike's Market. I passed numerous eateries that any normal person would have stopped in, but I, Louis Vuitton bag and Gucci wallet in hand, stepped in the seediest of all possible places. A dirty diner. What can I say, I have a soft spot for diners. There are no diners in Orange County. So, although I really wanted to take a picture of the handwritten sign on the wall that said, "Minimum purchase $2.50" or the guy that asked me how much my grilled cheese was, I settled for an inconspicuous photo of the menu.

My waitress was a doll (I'm a sucker for being called "hon"), my grilled cheese was delightfully greasy, and I walked out full and without being robbed. Not a bad day in Seattle.



6 Comments, shout outs, and other gold diggin' love:

WeezerMonkey said...

I really wish we worked together. We'd have so much fun, and I would've taken a picture of the $2.50 minimum purchase sign for the both of us. ;)

Jessica said...

I was really feeling the suit panic! I'm so glad you found something and ended up looking fab!

dapotato said...

diners are awesome. especially the more, ahem, authentic ones than the one we went to in san diego. is it a new jersey/connecticut thing? my old jersey girl friends LOVED diners. ;)

so glad you found an awesome suit. so glad the quickie trip was a success.

10yearstogether said...

You tell a great story! I was actually feeling the same emotions you were describing as you were saying it. Glad it worked out and hooray for impromptu trips with a happy ending!

wan-nabe said...

i so love seattle.

yay for finding a great suit! i always end up settling for something shitty when i'm in a huge rush for attire. boo.

and when it comes to being called "hon," i'm the EXACT opposite of you :X

amber said...

i'm all panicky just reading that :/ glad you found a suit in time and one you loved to boot!

 
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