Queen of Prussia, Pennsylvania

Anyone who has seen my Facebook knows that I went on my first “business trip” (also known as a corporate training) this week to King of Prussia, PA. I’d actually never been to the area before, so I was pretty excited to go on my first trip all by myself. Talk about feeling like an adult!

The training itself was on Service Excellence; I am now one of about 600 Service Excellence Champions (what a name!) for my corporation. That may sound like a lot, but it’s out of 65,000 employees. It was a fantastic opportunity, I loved the training, facilitator, and all of the fabulous people that I met.

Monday

I arrived in town Monday evening, after a pretty eventful morning. I woke up and my car wouldn’t start! I wasn’t home, so I had to call and have roadside assistance come start my car for me. Luckily, it started, but after waiting ten minutes then driving to a gas station…it wouldn’t start again! Turns out, the battery had short circuited, probably from snow coming up and making a mess. My parents were super helpful and got me into our local mechanic and he had it changed really fast. I fiddled around with getting everything together, and then entirely over packed, but finally made my way up to the Hyatt Place and checked in.

HyattRoomCollage

My room was gorgeous! King bed, desk, bathroom with a HUGE shower, a sitting area with a little movable table that I was for some reason totally enthralled by, and a flat screen TV that swiveled. That about changed my life, folks. The second picture shows my shawl on the back of the couch and yoga mat on the floor. I kind of move in, even if it’s for 48 hours.

Unfortunately, I did not take any photos of my first evening. I caught up with my friend Tom (or, as we called him in college, ‘TB’…long story) at ‘The Fox and the Hound’ right outside of the mall. I still feel silly taking pictures of food in public, not to mention photos of myself (especially after a drink or two…I have my mom’s penchant for wine teeth). We had a few drinks, him drinking beer and me drinking a martini and wine, and grabbed a bite. I’m not going to lie, I ate the crap out of some fish and chips (ohh…soooo gooood) and fell asleep feeling pretty fat and sassy that night.

Tuesday

Training started at 9am on Tuesday, and even though the headquarters was only about a mile and a half from my hotel, I wanted to get an early start. So, up at 7…okay 7:15, ran for about a mile and a half on the treadmill in the fitness center, showered, breakfast, then headed out! Aaaand proceeded to get lost. In a mile. Not the headquarters fault, completely mine.

ExerciseRoomFin

Hyatt had a particularly fabulous free continental breakfast with fruit, cereal, oatmeal and toppings, bagels, all sorts of juice, and a “skillet bar” with pancakes and meat/egg/cheese type sandwiches which I am obsessed with and will learn to make at home.

Breakfast1

So good.

After the training, wherein they served a pretty darn good lunch (sandwich on crusty bread, AMAZING pasta salad, chips, cookies, and soda), I made my way back to the hotel and very quickly found myself bored again. I don’t usually need constant entertainment, but I had left books at home and the only book on my iPad (which I did remember!) is my “Journey to Joyful”, which I just wasn’t in the mood to read. So I spent most of the afternoon and evening reviewing the information I had to present today, practicing some yoga, perusing WAY too many health blogs, and watching Castle. I even meandered to the King of Prussia mall, which scared the bejesus out of me. Alone, with not very much spending money, in a mall with a THREE STORY Urban Outfitters?! Bad news Batman. I checked it out, picked up a work out shirt that could pass as a bathing suit, and headed back to the hotel. I ordered food from the hotel for dinner and was pleasantly surprised.

Dinner

I fought a lot of fried cravings Tuesday night for some reason, even coming to the point of looking for directions to Wegman’s. I knew that I wasn’t hungry and the craving was useless, so I distracted myself by working out (again?! again!) and spending some time in the pool and hot tub. I have to tell you, I missed swimming so much. I forgot to snap a photo of the pool and hot tub, plus I didn’t really want to bring my phone in there, but the pool was a great temperature and the hot tub was huge! I went an hour before it closed for the night so most of the time I was there I was completely alone. I’d love to include the strength workout I did, but I have to look up the names of some of the arm work I did (ha! I didn’t even know what I was doing!). I’m going to look it up and put it in my next blog post though, because I’m feeling pretty sore today.

After that, irritatingly enough, I was still craving something salty, crunchy, and cheesy. Begone cravings! I made a big ol’ cup of tea instead and settled down to watch The Adjustment Bureau and fall asleep.

Wednesday

Presentation day! Started my morning off slowly, checking out and eating breakfast. More fruit, more coffee, and another egg/cheese/biscuit thing. I ended up pulling the biscuit off to save calories but it was still delicious.

Breakfst2

My performance went pretty well! After years in theatre, years public speaking and presenting, and a year and a half facilitating groups to 60 people, I’m pretty comfortable in front of others. We presented ten minutes of the training we’d facilitate on our own back at our respective companies, then gave ourselves a “what I did right, one thing I would change” opinion, then everyone else did. It reminded me a lot of my Advanced Fiction Writing class and made me feel a little nostalgic. Being that I was the youngest person there, I thought I did really well. My main issue is that I speak a million miles a minute and have extremely high energy. The energy is good, but I need to work on balancing between supreme energy and calm efficiency. I never realized until recently how naturally self-deprecating humor comes to me. I’ll make little jokes about myself all the time, which kept the group laughing. I feel pretty confident in my ability, which is wonderful. I could rave about my experience for about three more pages, but I won’t. All I can suggest is that if you have an opportunity to attend trainings for your work to better yourself as a person and employee, do it.

While at the training, I had a Chobani yogurt (the only yogurt they sold, bless them!) and a chicken wrap for lunch. Yum yum!

My drive home was a very long three hours but I’m happy to be home. It’s time for dinner – my mom made frozen pizza. How cruel is she?!

Lastly, I’m also participating in the 28-Day Blog Challenge. Basically, it’s a combination of spring cleaning and general adding to my blog. I want to take this, hopefully, from a twice a month rant-fest to an actual blog, an actual hobby. I’m still going to rant, don’t you worry, but I want to work toward adding a health blog aspect. I’m obsessed with health blogs. So, you’ll be seeing some changes. Like what I write? Share it on facebook! Or Twitter! Or Google+! I’ll end with questions:

What would you like to see more of or less of on this blog?

Have you ever gone on a business trip? How was it?

How would you make this blog better?

More later! – a.

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One thought on “Queen of Prussia, Pennsylvania

  1. Yes! More of the blog. It is fun to read stories of friends lives over a cup of chamomile tea.

    My first business trip was late in 2005, right after I had graduated from college. I was working for a Department Of Defense contractor in Haggerstown, MD. They decided to send me to Denver Colorado for a week to gain my opinion of some network monitoring software.

    This was my first time flying. Ever. I drove from Hagerstown, MD to Dulles airport in northern Virginia just outside of Washington DC (where I’d be living in just shy of a year). I printed off map quest directions…yeah, that long ago…and I got a wee bit lost. Which means I got to the airport late. Which means that I didn’t grab all (read none) of my luggage when I ran to the “take me to the terminal bus”. Which means I had to go back to my car. My arrive 3 hours early plan was a failure. I finally arrived ready at the ticket counter an hour before my flight left. I missed my flight.

    I was able to get a stand by ticket for Denver in 8 hours. 8 hours of hoping you actually get to Denver without needing to tell your boss how much your nervousness screwed you up (he found out anyway).

    Luck was on my side! I got on the red-eye flight to Denver. I arrived in Denver around 3 or 4am. Plenty of time to get my rental car, check in to the hotel and get some sleep before I had to be at work at 8:30.

    I hate southern Denver. Every road is named Yosemite. I got lost. Right around the intersection where Yosemite Road turned into Yosemite Boulevard. At the corners of Yosemite Way and Yosemite Lane. I kid you not. Fuck you Denver. Your drunk.

    Checked in, overslept. Yay! I got pulled over speeding while lost; trying to find which god damn Yosemite something I was supposed to turn on. Luckily the cop took pity on me. Only a warning, and directions.

    Two hours of sleep and I’m meeting with a few top officials in the DoD computer security office. Super.
    The week of meetings actually went well.

    I spent a couple of nights with at a casino outside of Denver, down I-70 playing black jack. I was there so often they gave me a parting gift of actual casino playing cards before I left. One night a coworker named Charlie went with me. We were sitting at a table, and Charlie didn’t play in to the hand. I asked him “Charlie, you not playing this round?”. Well, an older asian fellow was sitting between us. He looked at me and said “No, No. Not this round.” In a thick accent. I wanted to crawl into a hole. “Charlie” is an old racial slur for Asians, specifically Vietnamese steaming from the Vietnam war. I’m not sure if he believed me when I said my colleague’s name was Charlie.

    I got home fine…but getting there was an adventure.

    Best business trip : London (first time). When everyone (jokingly) accused me of burning down the next door building. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/5173808.stm
    I didn’t do it. Honest.

    Worst : Montgomery, Alabama. Boring…very boring.

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