May. 2nd, 2009

lance_sibley: (wake me up)
You know you're tired when you haven't posted an update in six days and despite having had a busy week, you can't think of what you want to write. I make no promises that the following will be coherent or grammatically correct.

I had my first full week at the new job this week. Things are going well - I had a meeting on Friday with the project manager, in which I showed her what I had gotten done. Apparently she was very impressed with the amount of work that I've done. It doesn't look pretty, but that's because the style sheets haven't been done yet. But many of the portions of the site are already functional. And considering that I was told to throw away everything that my predecessor had done and start from scratch (which I didn't quite do - I think I may have kept about 20 lines of his original code), that's not bad.

Last night, [ profile] dx4 came and picked me up at the office as we were going to Montreal to tour the two hotels we're looking at for the 2010 Gaylaxicon. Originally, several other people were supposed to make the trip, but one by one, they had to drop out. (I'm not criticizing... stuff happens.) It was suggested that we reschedule, but there's so much going on this summer that I wasn't comfortable with putting the trip and the decision making process off any further. So we got on the road around 6 last night.

After making a couple of stops (coffee, dinner, bathroom) along the way, we arrived at the Hyatt Regency just after midnight. We had been given comped valet parking, so [ profile] dx4 pulled up to the front of the hotel. We got out and approached the valet on duty, who made a comment about the hotel being "closed". I thought he was making a facetious comment about the lateness of our arrival, so I didn't say anything at first - besides, I'd exchanged emails with my contact there on Thursday and everything had been in order.

We went in and went to the front desk to check in - whereupon we learned that there had been a fire on Wednesday in one of the restaurants in the adjoining mall, and that the hotel had been evacuated and was, in fact, still closed. Presumably my contact hadn't mentioned it because she's been working from home with a back injury. I hadn't had time to look at my email all day because I was so busy at work, so the last thing I had heard from her was "Are you still coming on Friday night?" to which I'd answered "Yes."

They'd made arrangements for us to stay at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, which was one of the hotels I'd originally contacted with our RFP but had decided not to pursue because the room rates were too high - $239/night. This was unfortunate because we'd been hoping to sample the Hyatt's rooms and service during this trip as part of the decision-making process. (Ideally, we would have stayed a night in each hotel that we were visiting, but we didn't really have the time to spend the whole weekend there.)

Anyway, we got to the Fairmont around 1 and checked in with only some mild inconvenience, caused by the fact that the folks at the Hyatt apparently can't spell my name despite everything having been arranged with the sales manager by email. [ profile] dx4 sprawled out on one of the beds while I hooked up the laptop and discovered the Hyatt sales manager's email from late yesterday morning telling us about the fire and asking if we could reschedule. *facepalm* (We probably would have asked to see what we could anyway, because we were also scheduled to see the Marriott Chateau Champlain in the afternoon.) I answered the email, apologizing for not having responded earlier but explaining that I hadn't had the opportunity to look at my email all day and if she had been trying to phone me, I hadn't gotten the message because my cellphone battery had died and I'd forgotten to pack my charger. [ profile] dx4 called the Hyatt and made arrangements for someone to show us around anyway. I then called Eric and we chatted for about an hour, while [ profile] dx4 interjected occasionally from behind me.

As an aside, Eric passed both of his Apple hardware re-certification exams this week - yay! :)

I woke up around 10 this morning - I must have screwed up setting the alarm clock, because I'd set it for 9. [ profile] dx4 was already awake. I freaked a little because the initial plan had us going to the Hyatt at 10:30, but [ profile] dx4 said that he hadn't gotten any calls from them yet. I checked my email while he called them to find out if they were expecting us, and arrangements had been made. So we showered and dressed and got over there around 11. The front desk manager met us and handed us off to the maitre d' to show us around.

After we finished, we headed to the Marriott, where the Sales Manager then showed us around. He was aware of the fire - apparently Montreal's hospitality industry is quite tightly-knit, and they all know each other. He was quite friendly and helpful, and had given a lot of thought to where we could put various things. [ profile] dx4 took a lot of pictures, so we'll discuss the two options and make a selection over the next couple of weeks.

After the Marriott tour, we went to a diner for lunch, where I had a smoked meat sandwich and [ profile] dx4 had a burger and poutine. We got on the road around 3:30 and made good time coming back (despite difficulties in finding the entrance to the highway, and having to drive around downtown Montreal in circles for a while), and I was home a few minutes after 9.

I have a ton of emails to look at, but so far it's been all I can do to make something for dinner. And I wasn't even the one who spent 12 hours out of the 27 hours of the trip driving. (29 hours for [ profile] dx4, since he had to come from, and return to, Kitchener. I wouldn't be surprised if he was already asleep...)


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