Friday, February 02, 2007

My Worst Presentation Ever: Part 2 of 3- Roadkill

The painful recounting of my worst presentation continues...
Read Part 1 here

When I arrived in Dallas at 10AM for my 11AM meeting, it was already a surprisingly hot and hazy day. I grabbed a cab, gave the driver the address, and started to review the presentation during the drive.

About 20 minutes later we pulled up to the address but the building had a sign letting us know that if we wanted kids music they couldn't help us, but they had plenty of building supplies if we were building a new house.

Turns out the cab driver had transposed the street number and had driven to the opposite side of the city. We turned around and headed in the right direction.

As we got close to the real address, he radioed his office for help- he couldn’t find the street number. I hoped he had a cell phone I could borrow, but no luck (a taxi driver without a cell phone? This was my lucky day). After a few minutes of confused conversation between the driver and his home base, while idling in a non-descript parking lot with 10 minutes before meeting time, I gave up. I paid the fare, and jumped out to navigate the area by foot.

I wandered from building to building, none with company names or signs to guide me. I saw a man getting into a car nearby and took a chance he knew where Radio Disney was and asked for help. Good news- he knew where it was, and pointed out the building to me. Bad news- it was some distance away across a huge weed-ridden empty lot. I could get there by going “around the block,” but Dallas must be a land of giants. A city block in Dallas is not like anywhere else in the world. I estimated it would take me 20 minutes to walk around, or 5 to walk through. Through it was.

Traipsing through the lot, in my business attire and briefcase in hand, I arrived at the front door of ABC Radio/Radio Disney 5 minutes later. After picking off the burrs and stickers from my pants, and wiping the voluminous sweat from my face, I rang the security button. The receptionist let me in, and after ringing Mrs. J’s office, informed me that the meeting was bumped back and hour because she wasn't feeling well and had to go to the doctor’s office. They called my cell earlier that morning and left a message- "you didn't get it?"

I was also informed that the meeting was cut to an hour since Mrs. J needed to get out of the office early as she was leaving for vacation that day.

As I mentioned earlier, I had some urgent E-mails to handle and so decided to use my newfound hour wisely and pulled out my laptop. Unfortunately Radio Disney didn't have an open wireless network for guests, and I asked the receptionist if there was a nearby Starbucks. “Yes- there’s one across the street. Go out to such and such street, turn right, take your next right, and its right there- it’ll take you 2 minutes.” She should have finished that sentence with “…if you have a car. If you walk you’re insane, and it will take you much longer, and there is a bunch of construction and no sidewalks, forcing you to walk on the edge of roads with cars driving by at 50MPH and you will likely die.”

But she didn’t.

I headed out the door reasoning, with good logic as men often do, that if Starbucks was down the long side street, with a right turn and another right turn, it should, again logically, be straight out the door and through another maze of buildings, parking lots and side roads. It wasn’t.

I got to Starbucks 15 minutes later, dripping with sweat again. I bought a giant cold frappuccino and sat down to hammer out a few urgent E-mails. I couldn’t log on. The friendly barista informed me that the wireless was down and should be back up again in a couple hours. Back I went, replacing the sheen of sweat I had wiped off in the Starbucks bathroom and risking the fate of many an armadillo in the great state of Texas- death by speeding car.

Continued...My Worst Presentation Ever: Part 3 of 3- Time's Up

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Anonymous said...

OOch! You're trip has been riddled with "portents and omens...portents and omens" as a friend of mine would say, or rather, intone. Your description of Dallas being the land of the giants. Yep. Everything is super-sized. And the lack of sidewalks. I travel for my job and sidewalks have disappeared in most areas across the country! I once wanted to walk to a restaurant about 10 minutes away by foot. Impossible to do unless I wanted to hike around the massive drainage ditch that crossed under the road entailing something along the lines of your burr-gathering exercise across the lot.

Pedestrians might as well be dodo birds as far as drivers are concerned. I've startled drivers as I've waited for the light to change in intersections. If you don't catch their eye, you will be roadkill.

I look forward to tomorrow's post!