Friday, November 11, 2011

Stuff I Don't See At Home - OR - Where Was Alison This Week

In office on Monday.

Work at home on Tuesday.

Wednesday: 5 a.m. - alarm goes off and I groggily drag myself out of bed to face the dark sky of morning. 6 a.m. - in the car headed to the train station.

6:06 a.m. - digging for change to put in the parking fee box at the train station -- I've been nabbed before for "cheating" the system with the absence of a quarter that I didn't have....

6:16 a.m. - dragging my roller suitcase up the steps into the train headed to the airport.

7:07 a.m. - a rare, kind gentleman grabs my roller suitcase to drag it down the train steps upon our arrival to the airport.

7:10 a.m. - the shuttle bus at the airport glides up to the pick up stop and I once again drag my roller suitcase up the bus steps (although this step is very short and only one and very close to the ground level - yay)

7:17 a.m. - the bus arrives at the shuttle train and I once again drag my bag off the bus and hitch a ride up the elevator to the train.

7:25 a.m. - the shuttle train for the terminals arrive and the mad rush to cram on quickly before the doors close ensues.

7:36 a.m. - the shuttle train actually arrives at terminal 1, my terminal.

 7:45 a.m. - "patiently" waiting for Mr No-Prepared to unlace his shoes as we pass through the security line.

8:00 a.m. - after grabbing a Jamba Juice and running through the underpass I jump into the boarding line at the gate. When I swipe my boarding pass on my phone it gives a procrastinated beep and the I hear the sweetest words ever "Miss Behn - you've been upgraded". Thank you!!!!!! It would be an extremely long flight sandwiched between two other passengers on the 4 hour flight out to Seattle, but now I have a front row seat in first class.

10:30 a.m. - arrive in Seattle, WA. This is the coolest thing - to leave in the morning, have a long flight, and arrive in the morning.

This leaves me with enough time to stop in a - GASP - coffee shop, open the laptop and get some emails and reports done.

Then - here's the exciting thing, I get to get in my rental and drive down to Portland to see my brother! :) I picked Karl up from work and we went to Powell's bookstore. Its the most exciting place ever! Its 3 floors which stretch for a couple of blocks, lined with rows and rows of books! Beautiful, paperback, hardback, pictures and words books, new and used and just screaming my name. Its overwhelming and it sucks that I live like 1000s of miles from the place because its always with limited excitement that I can look because it always entails me lugging them back home again. Thats so sad. I guess I'm going to have schedule another venture up to Milwaukee to the big book shop up there.... Anyone up for a trip? :)

Anyways - after books, Whole Foods, then a walk around Nob (aka Snob) Hill and all the kitschy little shops there. And then, another highlight - Papa Hadyns! Ok, if you're ever in Portland, you have to try Papa Hadyns. Its absolutely fabulous food for dinner and then you move on to the desserts and its like you've died and gone to foodie heaven! Its an adorable place and cozy and so friendly. Love it!

Movie - "The Men Who Stared At Goats".... An interesting film, but I guess its worth a look-see. I think the winning factors are the actors. I like almost anything with Ewan McGregor and then Jeff Bridges is pretty great too.

That was Wednesday, Thursday was my big appointment day so I had to leave Portland around 7 a.m..... This is the view that I saw as I buzzed up the highway towards Puget Sound.... Photo
 In case you can't tell - thats Mt St Helens in the sunrise...

A stop for coffee at Peets Coffee which is a west coast thing but we sadly don't have one by us. Its pretty good coffee. The bad thing is that you can't really work there as, if you buy something, they give you an hours worth of wifi, but then after the hour, you have to buy something else for another hour. Thats pretty stinky when you travel and your only office the place that gives you wifi.

So, as my GPS starts to announce Seattle, this is the view I see out of my window... Photo
In case you can't tell what this is.... Its Mt Rainier in the distance...

I have my first meeting at a hospital that made a conversion to us about three months ago. The department manager is a nice guy, but is a temporary manager and is going to be transferring to a hospital in CA in December so I'm hoping this meeting will pay it forward to another account on the south west coast.

The second meeting was awesome because its an IDN (an integrated health network which is a group of hospitals). The new manager as of a few months ago is actually a guy that I worked with at the IDN in Minneapolis that I was just in last week. He's the nicest guy ever and I was a surprise addition to the meeting and he was actually quite pleased to see me which made me feel like I do ok at my job if I can get repeat business in other places. Here's the cool thing is that the newest business fad in hospitals is that one IDN links up with another unrelated IDN in order to maximize their buying knowledge and power. In this IDN case, its a group of pretty large hospital in the WA area and they have joined forces with another IDN which is large IDN of smaller hospitals all up and down the west coast. Potential! :)

After our meeting, the four of us who were at the meeting figured we'd go out for a nosh and a drink on the water. I've never really had time to explore Seattle so the water front experience was new and gorgeous. We went down to the Edgewater Hotel and sat for a couple of hours talking about business, life and other such things. This is the view that progressed as time went on.... Photo Photo Wonderful, huh? We even had the pleasure of seeing a sea otter bobbing around the water.

On the drive to my hotel, I passed piers and shipping yards filled with truck containers which had just been shipped or were being shipped to far off locations. And then, I passed the hub of all coffee. Its alittle blurry and far away, but ---
Its the Starbucks headquarters! Coincidentally, for those of you who don't know it, Starbucks and I share a birthday... We were both born in the wonderful year of 1971. Isn't it oddly delightful that we share that common factor! :)

And now, Friday, I'm on my way back to the Windy City and all that awaits me there.

A good week on the west coast.... Next week is a busy week so we'll see what I have time to write about.

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