Event Conclusion

I know I still owe you the last post of my Japan adventure, but first I'll finish telling you how my recent work event concluded.

The third morning started around 6:00am. I had one of our biggest speakers showing up about 8:30 and had some other meetings and side events before that happened.

The speaker showed up sooner than expected, he and his entourage driving straight into the building through a back entrance in two black Suburbans.

I love when that happens.

So me and my client rush over to shake his hand and I fall in line walking right behind him, and right in front of the biggest security guard you've ever seen.

And I'm so in the zone that I don't even see the giant guard at all. As in, after the event was over, my coworker commented on how large this man was and I didn't know who he was talking about. It wasn't until I saw a photo later of us all marching down the secret back hallway that I realized who I'd slid right in front of in my effort to keep pace with the speaker:

I should probably work on my observation skills....

Anyway, we start to prepare everything backstage and begin the program.

And the entire program ends up including:

1, a total of four sex jokes told from the stage, some made by a former cabinet member and some made by a former governor...

2. one of the event staff having to squat down in front of the stage - in front of thousands of people in the audience -- and tell a tycoon that his time was up

3. a prominent politician deciding he needed to use the bathroom right as he should've been going on stage
I was not pleased. I had finally gotten that speaker up the stairs and into the capable hands of my staff behind the curtain and as I'm breathing a sigh of relief -- back down the stairs he marches, right past my shocked and confused face while I'm stammering "him...supposed to be on stage...right now!" and my team member just looks at me and says "He has to use the bathroom...." and we both stare in horror at the speaker disappearing into a dressing room. And then I hear the backstage staff squawking in my earpiece about needing him on stage and all I can do is say "yep, I realize that...." 

4. a prominent senator showing up over 30 minutes late because their driver got lost
That ended up messing with our program so badly that my client later described what we went through next as the I Love Lucy scene in the chocolate factory:

Except instead of chocolates, we were frantically trying to fit all our other speakers in at different times and every time we tried to move one, it seemed we would lose another one, so we'd try something else, and the cycle went on for awhile...
"...If we move X back, he won't make his meeting at the White House..."
"... well we can't move Y up because her flight doesn't land in time..."
"...could we throw these two people together up on stage?..."
"...do we have to let our boss speak?...."
Slippery little devils, those chocolates. I mean speakers.

5. We had to get one of our speakers toast with salt.

When I'm famous and powerful, I'm totally asking for more interesting stuff than red M&Ms, hot food, and salty toast.

"Yes, Miss Dana will need a bounce house and a hibachi grill in her dressing room please. Thanks."

6. I saw two different adults dancing backstage from nervousness. One of them was my client.

I'm sure I'm forgetting countless other things we endured but my brain is fried and I can't think of them all. I will, however, tell you what happened when I went to take Chloe back home.

Do you remember in my first post on this event where I said I visited our venue twice in the same day the day before our event started?

So about that.....

The night before our event ended, I knew I needed to deliver my contraband feline back to our apartment because I'd need to check out of my room the next morning and I'd have no place to store her for the rest of the day until the event ended.

So late Tuesday night, I shove Chloe back into her carrier and make my way out into the cold to locate my car.

And my feet hurt. And it's raining. And Chloe is bouncing around in essentially a pink duffel bag with airholes.

We are pathetic.

And I take the elevator all the way to the top of the parking garage, because I distinctly remember having to park up there because the cheerleader invasion had taken up every other floor back when I first arrived.

When I first arrived, that is, the first time. I completely forgot that I went back home after that, and the second time ...that I first arrived... I parked on the bottom floor. Confused? So was I.

And I told you HERE about how my car was stolen back in the day. Well, the latent effects from that have been extra paranoia around my car. Every time I can't find it -- I immediately think it's been stolen (it's usually been towed. ahem.) So when I can't find my car in the garage, I get slightly panicked.

And it's late, and it's dark, and there's no one around except a scary looking van parked on the floor I'm on, and my feet hurt and I have a cat sloshing in a duffel bag on my hip.

In other words -- I'm done.

So first, I set Chloe down and look around the immediate area, up one floor, down one floor, and my feet can't take it anymore and I'm picturing myself getting kidnapped by whoever owns that van. So I call my vendor.

She assures me the hotel would not have towed it and she can hear in my voice that I'm panicked so she sends out hotel security to pick me up.

Great. So much for hiding my cat.

I'm so tired, I let the security guy come for me. I move Chloe back into the elevator bank and I just sit down on the floor, in my suit and my pearls and I wait to be rescued.

And the guard comes and I stuff Chloe in his backseat, I sit down in the front and I explain why I know for sure that my car was on the top because I distinctly remember having to go up every floor because of the dang cheerleaders on Sunday morni....

Oh. Crap.

And that's when I realize I parked in a different spot Sunday night.

I immediately begin apologizing profusely. "I'm SO sorry, it's been a long week, and I was scarred from having my car stolen a decade ago, and....and...."

And the guard is so great and tells me this happens a lot (I doubt it) and says "hey, I have to work until 11pm regardless" so he doesn't care how he spends that time.

And we get back down to the first floor and I get ready to start thanking him profusely and he just turns and smiles and says "this was fun!"

I may have just had a date with the security guard.

Doesn't matter! He didn't say anything about Chloe and I can finally drive her to my apartment, turn in my homework while I'm there since I couldn't get the internet to work for me in my hotel room (of course), and get back to my fluffy hotel bed and my belching Shrek wake up call.

And on my drive back I decide to treat myself to a McDonald's ice cream cone on the exit back to the hotel. And I bite into that ice cream:

and find a piece of plastic in it.

You can't make this stuff up....

So I throw the ice cream out, give up on the day, finish my event, chocolate factory moments and all, and mark another work adventure down in the history books.

Aaaand exhale.