On the Way to Las Vegas

May 16, 2006

I think I alluded to the fact that I would be in Las Vegas all of last week, so naturally, I have a story or two to share. The week was scheduled where Sunday evening through mid-day Wednesday, I was there as a representative of a vendor hosting a conference. There was some time for fun, but not a whole lot. From mid-day Wednesday through the next weekend, I was there just for my own recreation.

You will be as surprised as I was to find out that the stories worth telling were from the work trip. With only the rare exception, my vacation days can be described succinctly: gamble a little, eat a good meal, drink too much, sleep it off. It's not that there weren't good stories from these days. I'm sure there were. It's just that I was relaxed and having fun rather than making mental notes about the amusing things happening around me. The best way for me to tell that story is through this collection of photos.

Stories of this trip will probably drag out a little bit. I would prefer to put up one mile-long post, but I'm super busy this week, so I'll just post what I can as I can. I might even mix in other posts before I finish all of the Vegas stories.

The flight from Baton Rouge to Las Vegas connected through Dallas, and was populated by roughly 15 of my coworkers. Someone, of course, made the obligatory comment about the state of the company should the plane go down, and I pointed out that the group of us didn't really do all that much work anyway, and that perhaps the company would be a little better off. I didn't get much of a laugh at that. The truth hurts.

This wasn't everyone on the flight, but a good contingency of the Equifax people getting ready to board the plane.

The plane from Baton Rouge to Dallas was one of those tiny little tubes, much smaller than a bus. I had the first row -- with bulkhead legroom, and the only empty seat on the flight right next to me. As I was settling in to zone out with a magazine, Steve Uffman -- the Kingpin Honcho of our division -- walked in at the last minute, paused at my row, and said, "I got your email, let's talk about that when we get a chance."

Being in my weekend mentality, I could only just barely fathom what he meant by the term "email." And once I grasped that difficult concept, I realized that I hadn't sent him any email. So my face was clearly confused. He gave me a quick out. "We'll talk about it later."

When he walked off, Lon turned across the 8-inch wide aisle and gave me a heads-up about what he meant. It was a client problem that I had warned that he should be briefed on. Once I was told, it was obvious what he meant. But for some reason, I had failed to see the question coming, and looked like a fool.

This is reminiscent of last year's client conference, where a reception was held at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. As one bus was about to leave in order to return to the hotel, Steve got on board. I was seated next to a co-worker named Holly, who was the only one on the bus who was three sheets to the wind.

She decided to play cheerleader, and tried to get everyone in the vicinity to yell, "HOORAY FOR STEVE" on her three count.

You can see where this is going.

On the count of three, she let out a loud "HOORAY FOR STEVE" all by herself. Then, she got mad at everyone and tried to rally their support for a repeat performance.

Once again, a single shout of "HOORAY FOR STEVE" rang through the bus.

After about three rounds of this cheer, she realized that she was doomed to perform by herself, and put a lid on it for the rest of the bus ride.

Steve had the class to ignore the commotion altogether.

Getting ready to ride out to the hotel.

I had a chance to get back into my game on the way from Dallas to Vegas, as Steve was seated directly across from me, and I had a chance to answer his questions. Once we arrived, I saw him go to one of the limo for hire guys, and made sure to stick behind him, so I could save myself the expense of a cab ride to the MGM.

And then the conference began.