Dagdha's Blog

Sinless Sin City

Posted in Uncategorized by dagdha on February 24, 2010

Shut your eyes and think of somewhere
Somewhere cold and caked in snow
By the fire we break the quiet
Learn to wear each other well

Silence is golden, unless you have a coworker who won’t shut up, in which case an iPod is priceless.  After five hours at the airport on my fourth day of a business trip to Las Vegas, my poor ears finally found solace from a coworker’s endless tirades and tireless proselytizing – which I guess worked to some extent because I thanked God for my noise-canceling headphones.  I had never expected to need a drink leaving Vegas.

I began the trip excited and optimistic.  It was going to be both my first business trip and first trip to Las Vegas.  I was eager to learn as much as possible from the experience – business networking and politics, VoIP training and implementation (the main reason for my trip), and first-hand knowledge of the legendary luxuries offered by Sin City.  Unfortunately my energetic optimism would brutally die within the first twenty-four hours, and the next three days would be an exercise in patience, a task complicated by its nemesis – sleep deprivation.

One of the services offered by the company I work for is VoIP (voice over internet protocol), a technology that allows phones to work utilizing the internet instead of traditional phone lines.  The headquarters of the company that provides the physical backbone for this service is located in Las Vegas, and this is where they hold training for all of their partners.  The curriculum for this training covered everything from implementation, to telephone models and features, to marketing and selling strategies, and took three full days – that’s twenty-four hours of mind-numbing technical specs and data that leaves one feeling like he’s trying to drink from a fire hose.  Needless to say my mind wandered and I constantly fought the urge to close my eyes and fall asleep.

The first day was difficult, but one of the company’s execs kept us motivated with the promise of happy hour immediately following that day’s training.  As soon as the clock struck 5:00 PM, everyone was down the street at a local bar called Boma’s, and we all began drinking on the company’s dime.  Free single malt scotch is by far the best alcohol there is.

Eventually a smaller group of us decided to head downtown to a club called The Blue Martini to celebrate one of the employees’ birthday. Here people continued to buy me drinks, at which point I started to question whether I was still myself or if I had somehow transformed into a beautiful, flirtatious woman (a quick glance in the window confirmed that I maintained the same ugly mug).  I was beginning to understand why everyone seems to love Vegas, but this was quickly ended by the aforementioned coworker – we’ll call him Bob.

I had just finished a shot of Patron, my fifth drink of the evening and a rather conservative amount given the timespan, when Bob came over and told me to stop drinking because we still had training the next day.  At this point I didn’t mind because at least he had been talking someone else’s ear off for the last few hours, and I was having some decent conversations that didn’t involve his ex-wife or my impending salvation. Where he really damned himself though was a half hour later when he insisted we end the night and go back to the hotel, at 10:30, in Las Vegas.  From there the trip only went downhill.

Day two was exhausting.  Not only had I stayed up until 2 AM working out and simply enjoying the lack of Bob’s voice, but the entire day of training was taught by a man who resembled Ben Stein, both in mannerisms and appearance, but without the dry undertones of humor. Coffee and Monster did little to combat the relentless urge to sleep.

When Bob announced that he was going to the strip that night to take pictures and walk around, I was ecstatic at the thought of enjoying a quiet night alone.  He must have realized there would be no one to whom he could whine and ultimately changed plans so he could torture me some more.

The third day came and went with the promise of a flight home and some much needed peace and quiet, but not before enduring a seven hour wait at the airport, compliments of Air Force One and the delayed air traffic from Obama’s departure earlier that day.  After five hours at the airport, I simply could not listen to Bob bitch any longer.  At one point there was an opportune lull in conversation and I slipped on my large Sony headphones with the speed of a mongoose on meth and closed my eyes.  Bob must have gotten the point because I was able to make it all the way home with very little conversation thereafter.

I could go on and on with complaints about the trip, but I fear that would only indict me of the same crime as Bob.  I suppose I learned a lot from the trip, but like many experiences it is not one I want to repeat any time soon.  Still, I definitely would like to go back to Vegas with some friends and really experience Sin City.

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