Travelling comes easy to me. I am usually a well oiled machine on the road. The world revolves around me. Sitting on a flight right now to NYC. This is a day trip. fly up this morning and fly home tonight. I should be in my own bed by midnight.
I had a comedy of errors getting ready this morning. First, I forgot to set my alarm properly. Fortunately I woke up without it, only 30 minutes late. Second, I couldn’t find one of our 5 cats. Only 4 came out for breakfast. Old Jack (OJ) was missing. He is 21. Crap. Just my luck that the old guy would curl up and die on me when I have an early flight. No we are not crazy cat people.
Next, the closet light is burned out. I get dressed in bad light, and I rushed, because I had to go look through all the bushes for what might be a dead housecat.
He came to the front door when I walked out to go find him. Still alive LOL.
We took OJ in as a hospice deal. He was an outdoor cat at the Sanctuary for 18 years. Somebody dropped him off at the gate as a kitten. The staff moved him inside when he started going blind. They were afraid one of the leopards might get him if he wandered too close to an enclosure… a fate many of his compatriots have suffered. He was moved into the intern housing, where he quickly deteriorated. His kidneys started to fail. The vet figured he had less than 6 months to live. We have a great yard with lots of sun, a high wall and no leopards. Friends asked if he could live out his last months in a good sunny spot in our yard. That was over 2 years ago. His kidneys have greatly improved. Turns out what he really needed was TLC, a more frequent feeding schedule (4 small meals a day vs 1 large one), and some sunshine. Each time he doesn’t show for breakfast I think he is done. He is a great cat who has dodged lions, tigers and leopards his whole life. A noble campaigner, and still a good mouser.
My work wardrobe is navy, black or gray. My slacks all have the color written in the waistband, even though I am not color blind. I need to mark up the coats too, but haven’t gotten around to it. I ended up with a black sport coat, navy slacks, blue shirt and black socks. I noticed the black coat when I headed out to the garage, but don’t notice the socks until just now on the plane. Minor glitch, no one will notice. Still bugs me though. There’s a little Sheldon Cooper in everyone.
My boss and I are meeting in NYC to tag team our largest software supplier. She hired me because she needed a bulldog, and I am experienced in dealing with this particular software company. I have made a career specializing in this software company which is based in NY. The key to dealing with them is ruthlessness. Doing business with lead pipe cruelty is their culture.
T and I actually worked together at this software company for many years in their Seattle office. Two of the many things I love about T: she knows how to travel, and she has a ruthless heart for business. She and I have a mantra: “sans ruth”. Even today, I’ll clear my mind when I walk into the conference room. Silently chanting to myself sans ruth, sans ruth, sans ruth… Something I miss about our relationship is working together in business. We are a great team. Our motto was Fuck’em, Kill’em, Eat’em. When I have a tough meeting planned, she will sometimes still text me: “FKE Baby!” No text today though L .
I work for a Brazilian company now. The New Yorkers of Latin America. Ruthless in their own way, but with more finesse. Inigo Montoya vs Fezzik.
As years have gone by, T has been less and less interested in business. She loves the animals, and the sanctuaries benefit from her business acumen. Animal rescue people often do not have a single business bone in their bodies. Everything takes money. Even rescuing leopards from failed circuses. They call her the Leopard Seal. Adorable and unexpectedly deadly. Everyone thinks that species of seal is cute. They will also tear out your throat in a NY minute.
Conversely, I have been more drawn deeper into business every year. The technology industry is great sport for me. I am a strategy gamer. This is a real life game of Civilization: explore, colonize, research, expand and conquer.
I chose the navy suit for the blue shirt. I have blue eyes. My version of a low cut blouse. My boss is a woman, and the top exec in the room for the opposition today is also female. Use every tool.
My boss has 6 direct reports. 5 of us are men, three of whom are tall, blue eyed blondes. She is Eritrean, and spent 10 years in sales. Tough lady, sharp business mind, and ruthless. I soften them up. She slips the knife in.
T and I worked together for a pig of a sales manager at one time. When one of the women on the team closed a deal, he would bounce a quarter across the conference table into her cleavage as his reward to her. If one of us guys closed a deal, Pig would choose one of the girls for us to bounce a quarter into. He never chose my wife for me when I closed a deal, but always made sure I was there when he rewarded her for a deal well inked. Fun times.
I missed my quota by a mile that year. My heart just wasn’t in it. That was my last year in sales. I have been in delivery ever since. Like T and the sanctuary people, I found that delivery and operations teams had no idea how to deal with sales and revenue.
The difference between my current boss and the Pig is night and day. She is a consummate professional and a mother of 2.
I see this post is approaching 1000 words, so I’ll close it out here. Apologies if it seems to be a ramble.
Wish me luck.