Friday, February 4, 2011

Pacing between the bagels and coffee

It was about 11:15 when my friend and colleague, SR, and I were booted unceremoniously from the hotel lounge and made our way to the "premier" hospitality suite at the hotel. It had been a long day, and we figured another 15 minutes of chatter wasn't going to hurt. Though, the barkeep seemed to think 11pm was too late for any sane minded person to be awake. Or, he just really wanted to go home. Hotel bars aren't exactly Cheers.

This hospitality suite, barred from low class patrons like myself, was opened with her key and the spread that awaited was ... in a word.. troubling. Instant noodles and frozen pot pies and M&Ms and orange juice. And a 30-something man talking on his cell phone and pacing. He was talking business, which at 11:15 Pacific time made me wonder to whom he could possibly be talking. Our interruption of his personal space clearly was as welcome as ants at a picnic, but we couldn't help but recall - this wasn't his office. It was the premier top ramen hospitality suite.,

The next morning, we returned to the suite for breakfast, as the main dining room was, for some reason, not allowed to serve Total cereal. Total was for premier people. Frosted flakes were for the proletariat. Who should we find in much the same clothing, pacing and on the phone? Same guy. Still looking miffed that we invaded his personal space - which had now transformed into a hotel breakfast destination.

As we got up to serve ourselves coffee, he bristled at our interruption to his pacing. He spoke loudly of marketing plans and product demos for a product with no particular specifics. "Allegra" can be a floor wax or a software package or a pill. And apart from the dirty looks at our clearly distracting normal human conversation, he wasn't in any way compelled to react to the fact that breakfast was happening, people were arriving, and this was not his hotel room.

Why? Why would anyone do this? Here's my theory... he thinks he's important, but he works for a startup, and shares a room with a guy named either Rajesh or Bubba. So, he has to escape to get his freedom. Bubba's back in the room watching Nascar. He had to bring him on the trip to explain the thing he's selling. And a room full of women dressed like they are going to pick up their kids from after-school-band-practice aren't important enough to respect with a little normal human decency. So, since Bubba is cramping his style, he's cramping ours by running over us on the way to the bagels.

At times like that, the only thing to pray for is competitive intelligence...

1 comment:

Capt. BS said...

This guy is clearly the liaison to an outsourced team based on Asian. He has two conference calls a day with this team: a "this-is-our-plan-for-today" call at 10:30pm Pacific (i.e. noon in Hyderabad, when there is an 80% probability that all team members have arrived at the office), and a "how-did-we-do" recap / status update call at 8am. In between those two, this man is charged with briefing his superiors as to the team's progress (and explaining why it isn't *that* disappointing), evaluating their progress against the project's ultimate goals, planning their next steps, and probably doing some cleanup work himself. In short, this man's life sucks.

So, if a sense of entitlement and importance is what keeps him afloat, more power to him.

Otherwise, what the fuck.