Woke up Thus morning at 5:30a CST to get on an 8:30 flight from DFW airport. The flight went well, and my new $100 5Gig mp3 player lasted without incident. We landed in John Wayne airport in Irvine, CA. Quaint little airport. Went to the hotel, and the only rooms available at 11:15a PST were smoking rooms. I will never volunteer to stay in a smoking room again. I'm still hacking up nasty things from that.
After changing into appropriate attire, my boss and I waited on our ride which never came. We decided to cab it over to the clients' office. Client was in another building, so we walked half a mile through an office park to the actual office. She had already left for a lunch meeting that we were supposed to be at. We walked another 3/4 mile to the Macaroni Grill, where we exchanged pleasantries with the main point of contact for the client. She seemed nice enough. The guy who was supposed to pick us up from the airport was already at the restaurant. We left with him to the meeting place. What was about to happen was totally unexpected.
This was supposed to be an opportunity for us to meet a few technical folks and work out details of how our project was going to get done. What happened was a beating, plain and simple. We were lead through their building into a conference room jam packed with about 30 people. Most of them had no idea why they were there, but had been called in at the last minute. Whatever agenda we had when the meeting started quickly disintegrated as internal power struggles and bickering soon took over. Each group that was invited obviously had serious problems with each other. There were mild temper tantrums on every side of the table, and we found ourselves sitting in the middle of it. For 5 hours we sat as they shot down each others' ideas. Nobody could finish a sentence without somebody jumping in and shooting it down. Motives ranged from laziness to incompetence to ignorance to a seriously misguided notion of what the hell we were trying to do. Some of the people later apologized for us having to witness the mess.
As it turns out, the main point of contact that we were supposed to be shmoozing all evening just left as soon as the meeting was over, not even offering a parting salutation. It was supposed to be her meeting, and all parties involved around her took over. I suspect that she either left in shame or went immediately to go bitch to somebody higher up in the company. Either way, our plans were altered quite a bit.
We went back to the hotel and just drank all evening. I got fairly toasted while hanging out with my boss (who is pretty cool in his own way). We exchanged gossip, speculated on the future of this and other projects and generally had a decent time. Being So Cal, I guess it wasn't strange to have a sushi bar in the lobby of the hotel. I fattened up on california rolls and booze. About midnight PST, we headed off to our rooms and knocked out.
The room was very stinky. Like old bar stinky. I went to sleep without much adieu.
At about 5am PST, the room started filling up with smoke. Cigarette smoke. I guess this was coming from other rooms and circulating through the ventilation system. I was getting sick from it. I couldn't sleep. It was about then that I noticed that the alarm clock wasn't set accurately (am and pm were swapped). I snoozed a little while, half relying on my phone to wake me up. I wasted an hour in and out of sleep. I finally got up around 6a PST and got ready to head home. The flight was at 9a, so we left for the airport at 7:20. Plenty of time to get there. I waited in a line at Starfucks for about 45 minutes to get my medication. It wasn't worth it. As it turns out, my ticket back was upgraded to first class. Apparently, the travel agent screwed up my boss' flight and made up for it by sitting me next to him in first class. That was nice.
The flight back was uneventful. I got sleepy about 10 minutes before landing at 2pm CST. Lucky me. I came home, took a 2-3 hour nap. Brindle woke me up and we went to vampymissk's place for cocktails. We got home sometime after 5a (CST).
I slept in till after 1p today. I'm still not right.
I took some images. They're at http://nullcraft.org/drupal/blog/1 for now, and I'll probably post relevant ones here, but I'm still lacking personality from my sleep deprivation experience of late.
I'm just glad that the trip is over. I don't like 24-hour trips like that. They are very draining without much time to actually get much done.
Apologies for this being so dry and matter-of-fact. I should have a personality again in a little while. I guess I'm still in shock.