Friday, October 12, 2007

Land of Minnehaha

In Minnesota for work, I was able to rendezvous for dinner on Saturday night with several of the Twin City Betsy-Tacys, which was such a nice way to begin the week. Betsy Sundquist and her husband Kip picked me up at my hotel (Kip is a new acquisition since my last trip to Mankato, and had already shown himself to be a kindred spirit, not to mention a skillful city driver) and we drove to a place called Brits Pub not far away where Linda Gesling, Julie Chuba and Barbara Carter were waiting for us. I had not met Barb in person before but she was just as nice as in all our correspondence, and both Julie and Linda are old friends. As all Betsy-Tacy fans know, it is so easy to talk about every topic under the sun when we are together! Thus, it was also hard to tear ourselves away (and dinner was good too) but I still had several patents to read about so we left about 11 or so. Julie and I were amazed at the nightlife (and some of the outfits we saw) but the weather had been in the 80s so maybe it was a last hurrah before winter hits... It was a pity not to see the Target Center while I was there (oddly enough the Timberwolves were in London playing the Celtics!) but I was as charming as possible to all the local partners I met in the hope that they would ask me to come back to assist them with some important trial (however, don't hold your breath since a) there were plenty of very able new associates in that office too, and b) I may not know enough yet to be all that useful although I know a lot more than I did a week ago).

Left to right: Barbara Carter, Betsy Sundquist, CLM, Linda Gesling, Julie Chuba, Kip Sundquist. The ever thoughtful Betsy had also brought me a book to read, and the minute I saw the cover I remembered checking it out of the John Ward School library about 4th grade.

My work conference, which they called "boot camp" was both exhilarating and exhausting, with seminars and lots of practical application and role playing. I enjoyed getting to know the other new associates from different parts of the country but got very little sleep because we were working long hours (I have not mastered all the new technology yet and when I entered my hours for Tuesday, the computer argued with me, "You cannot work 26 hours in one day!" and I realized I had entered Tuesday and Wednesday in the same box. )

Here I am, hard at work, with two of my new colleagues, trying to fight off an (imaginary) infringing company:

I was amused to find the guy in the middle had been 19 years behind me in college! Needless to say, I did not share this with him. He was quite brilliant, and I have never seen anyone so adept with a computer who was not an IT professional. I wished he had been with me the first week of work when I was wrestling with PowerPoint! I have now signed up for a class since it is clearly going to be important to improve my computer skills.

I am always afraid in hotels that I am going to sleep through the alarm and miss my meetings, and Westin's Heavenly Bed threatened to smother me besides. I picked the nicest guy in my group (who unexpectedly confessed he watches Grey's Anatomy with his wife) and made him promise to call if I was missing at breakfast but luckily I made it down by 7:30 every morning.

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