I suppose I forgot to mention that I have to give a presentation to approximately 40 people at this convention, which is most of the source of my anxiety. Most, but not all. I'm also anxious about the long days, and how much advanced material I'm expected to learn. This is not a typical pep rally sales meeting. This is a nerd convention, hence the allowance of jeans. This should be my people. I keep telling myself I'll be fine. Apparently I'm not a very persuasive liar.
Yesterday, I took a taxi from the bumfuck train station to the fancy hotel. I had a choice of this taxi or nothing. I wisely chose this one. After he threw my luggage in sideways and didn't even close the collapsible handle (wtf?), I immediately verified if he accepted credit cards like the whole civilized world. No, he did not. But he could drive me by a sketchy ATM to withdraw lots of cash. Seriously, dude? Fortunately I'd planned ahead and had some cash squirreled away in various pockets, zippers, and hidey-holes to cover the fee. Because we were in backwater Florida, it wasn't that expensive.
The hotel was indeed grand and lovely. I broke a $20 bill at check-in to have tip money for the week. I had used all my existing singles on the train. I jokingly assured the man checking me in that I would not be sneaking off to a strip club, so he shouldn't feel required to report me to my company. He gave me an uncomfortable smile. Oops. Must remember to dial back my sense of humor here. I'm back in Corporate World.
There was an opening reception the night before, for which I debated changing clothes. I'm glad I didn't because I almost felt overdressed in my ensemble of jeans, boots, and t-shirt. Most people had traveled from much colder climes and were taking this time to break out their short pants.
Do people still buy and wear toupees? I stared at the back of one man's head for close to two hours in this morning's opening meeting, trying to decide if it was a toupee or a weird haircut. (I was extremely bored in case that wasn't obvious, and decided not to sleep through it like the gentleman next to me.) And of course, that made me curious what the back of my head looks like. But not curious enough to try for more than a quick glance and say fuck it.
I sat with regular co-worker friends at breakfast and lunch. I talked shoes and boots with a Canadian, who told me about Blundstone. His looked extremely comfortable. By dinner I got brave and sat with all new people. I met a fellow AC/DC fan, a MotoGP fan, and some men with strong Indian accents who said they were from Texas, to which I said, yeah I could tell by the accent. They were dumbfounded until I said I was kidding. Then they thought I was hilarious. Yay, someone liked my humor.