I woke up to the phone ringing - it was Robert wondering if I was ready for breakfast. Ummmm, no... you just woke me up. Apparently I slept right through my alarm clock. It was 7:10 and our meeting started at 8, so I knew I could make that. I told Robert to go on to breakfast without me and that I would see him at the meeting. Oh, well, I'm not much of a breakfast person anyway - I just need my coffee and I am fine. I got into the shower and got ready in no time. I walked to the hotel coffee shop, hoping to find something that would be comparable to my usual coffee back home. I ordered the special from the sign - it looked and sounded good - then I went to the conference center to get to the meeting. I got there before it started, found Robert in the huge crowd, and took my seat beside him.
I had no idea what to expect, but the theme of the meeting was the Olympics. Lenovo was a huge sponsor of the Olympics and had chosen that for the theme. The lights dimmed and all these people in togas made their way up the center isle. They all took their places on stage around the pillars and 2 men in spandex white shorts came out on stage and faced each other. Talk about muscular. Oh my.... I don't think I could begin to describe how ripped these 2 are - huge muscles!! The 2 men began a routine of complicated stunts, some things I did not think were possible. They took hold of each others arms, one's right arm locked onto the others right arm by holding onto each other's forearms - close to their elbows, and one of them laid down on the stage. He locked his arm that was holding the other guys arm and the 2nd guy balanced and paralleled his body - suspended in air by their single arms connected. The guy on the floor then proceeded to stand up while holding ... (ok, "the guy on the floor" and the "other guy" terms are getting confusing and hard to describe, so I will give them names... let's go with Chris and Dan.. :) much easier lol) OK, so Chris stood up while balancing Dan on his one arm and held him above his head - as if they were trying to form the letter T. Several of these balancing and lifting stunts were performed. It was amazing. One other that stands out in my mind is Chris standing with his head down - chin to his chest, with Dan upside down in the same position - on top of Chris. They were NOT holding onto anything - their shoulders were touching and that was all. Chris turned in a circle while Dan balanced - only by his shoulders on Chris' shoulders - upside down with his feet straight up in the air. I do not know if that is descriptive enough for you all to know what I am talking about, but the bottom line is that these guys were AMAZING! Oh, and they were very, very hot!! :)
After that, the opening meeting continued and it was actually funny and interesting. Not your usual boring speeches and boring material. They kept it light and funny. At 10, we were released to go visit the vendors, then we had to break into smaller groups for training. There were several vendors there, all giving out something... pens, golf balls, towels, USB hubs, USB mice, re-tractable Ethernet cables, and so on. So I had a ton of stuff to carry around. I had left the bag that I had received upon registration the previous day in my room.
Our training started at 10:30ish, I had to go with the managers and Robert go to go with the techs. Of course they got to play games and have fun, while we got to watch slide show presentations and listen to people read them to us. That always amazes me. They do a slide show, make copies to hand out to you, then they have to stand up there and read them!! Seems like a big waste of time to me. If you are going to make a slide show, you can point out major points, but other than that - unless the people you are giving it to are toddlers and cannot read - you should just let people read it them selves!
We were released for lunch at 11:45, to return to the meeting room in 1 hour. Robert did not get a lunch break at the same time as me, so we did not see each other until dinner. After lunch, the guy went through things rather quickly and released us at 1:45 for break, but we didn't have to return until 3:00, so I went back to my room and read a bit. Our 3:00 guy went really fast, too, and he released us at 4. Since the bus to dinner wasn't leaving until 6:30, that gave me a couple of hours to myself. I went to my room and caught up on my work email to make sure there wasn't anything that needed immediate attention. Then I went ahead and got ready for dinner.
For dinner, we were all bussed to the House Of Blues - they had rented out the music hall for the entire night. There were people walking around with food as well as a buffet set up on 2 sides of the room. There was an excellent band performing and an open bar. It was a lot of fun. I got to meet a lot of the other people there - more of the managers that I hadn't already met, and several more technicians. I got a lot of contacts to use when we need service to one of our customers in their areas. We also spent a big part of the evening hanging out with our Vice President - I always had liked him before, but now I like him even more. He is a great guy, very down to earth and not at all pretentious as some people in his position would be. We had a great time.
There were supposed to be busses running every 15 minutes to take us back to the hotel, but when we went to get one, there was a group coming back that said they had been waiting for 25 minutes with no luck. So we went to another area to see if maybe they were at the wrong place. There was a taxi sitting there and our VP walked up to him and asked him to take us back to the hotel. He paid for it and we all piled in. When we got back to the hotel, it was 11 and Robert said, "It would be a shame not to make use of the pools and Jacuzzies while we are here..." so we went and got our suits on and met back at the pool area. There were a few others who had the same idea. We hung out there for a while, talking, telling stories, laughing and having fun. I was the first to leave - it had been a long day and I was tired. The hot water in the Jacuzzi just added to that, but it did feel good. I slept very soundly and had no problems waking up the next morning for breakfast.
Day 3 continued at a later time....