So I've come to a different city on an out-of-town client engagement. This is my fifth client within the first three months that I've been on. Most all clients engagements that I've been on so far have been two to three week engagements. Its nice because this one is in Olympia, the state capital of Washington. Its far enough from Seattle to not warrant a daily commute from home and so I get to live in a hotel. Its close enough that I can drive here. And I've brought a ton of stuff with me!
I've got more than three paper grocery bags worth of stuff which includes six books that I'm reading, lots of fruits and some food that I cooked in a marathon session on Sunday. And I've learned a few things about traveling and working.
* Staying in a hotel: Try to ensure you dont have to share a room. I cant emphasize how important this is in helping you spread out and make the room just the way you want it. Especially if you're going to be there for the next four nights. No matter how well you know your co-worker, sharing a room is still slightly awkward. This is usually a given for us except for trainings, when we have to share rooms with a randomly assigned colleague.
* Bring food: Bring lots of food, especially fruits that you like and convenience food like chocolate or nuts. I've brought it all, since I had my car and the convenience of my trunk space. I cant believe how fun it was working from 8:00 pm onwards while munching on grapes (my favorite fruit)
* Bring lots of stuff - if you're driving by car to the engagement and will be living in a hotel for more than three days. Spread out in the hotel room. Make it feel like home and you'll enjoy it. Keep in touch with friends.
* Bring as little stuff as possible - if you're flying. Flying is horrible and what makes it worse is lugging a lot of stuff and/or waiting for baggage claim. I absolutely hate traveling and only carry one carry-on as long as it is for one or two weeks. I have been carrying five pairs so far every time I've had to fly but on a coworker's advice, I'm just going to carry two pants and three shirts and just recycle them in different combinations. Anything to reduce the luggage.
* Play random television in the background - it helps make it feel like you're around people, if thats what you care for. Dont put on sensationalistic news. They're usually too good at catching your attention and retaining it. Dont watch reality television. I got caught watching that dance reality TV show while trying to work and guess what - I got no work done. I got more work done in the half hour when Donny and Martha were talking random stuff than I did in the entire hour and a half of the dance show.
* And last but not the least, bring at least one meal with you. Preferably cooked or whatever you have when you're home (even if its ready to eat stuff). Eating out grows old very quickly, no matter how expensive the restaurants you can afford to go to.
Thats pretty much it for today - maybe I'll write more of my experiences later on. For now, I'll get about an hour more of work in before calling it a night. Good bye and good night from the state capitol Olympia!