Funny thing happened today: I’m on the road in SoCal for customer visits and things are going really great. 4 meetings yesterday, 2 meetings down today and we’re leaving to grab a quick lunch before heading to the next meeting, when my colleague/host realizes he can’t find his car keys.
Ouch. We’re 15 miles from my hotel. And I had returned my rental car the day before (“we’ll drive you around, no problem”). So, understanding that ‘s he’s already embarrassed/stressed I used the time to check some emails, make some calls, etc. while enjoying the California sun outside the customer’s office building.
30 minutes go by. No keys anywhere. A broadcast email had been sent to all of the employees, asking them to look. Did I mention that my colleague/host used to work at this customer too? He’s really pissed at himself too. I’m starting to wonder if he has a plan. But the sun is out, and I’m enjoying the respite. Until he asks me if I picked up his keys by accident. I stare blankly at him.
An hour goes by. Ok, this isn’t fun anymore, because a) I’m going to miss lunch again today, and b) we may be late to our next meeting. And let’s not forget that I’m still 2wks behind on emails and tasks. Value time is ticking away, and I’m seriously wondering how this is going to end.
He calls his wife, who arrives with an extra car key. Great. We’re golden. Oops. Nope. Seems he has some aftermarket super-duper alarm system that won’t let him start his car without the alarm remote, which of course, we can’t find. He’s screwed. I’m tired, and call a cab back to the hotel. Day is over, see you tomorrow. Maybe.
I’m halfway back to the hotel when I get a phone call. One of the employees found the keys, laid them on their desk, then went to lunch. Came back, happened to be looking at their email and said “hey, that sound like what I’ve got on my desk” and finally returns them to by colleague. He wants to know where I am.
“I’m not coming back. Did you reschedule the meeting?”
“See you tomorrow.”
So here I am, in shorts and relaxed with an inbox I’m slogging through. Good times. By the time I get back to Redmond,the story will have much more color and suspense, and the names will be changed to protect the embarrassed. Maybe.