Friday

The One About The Conference

When I moved to the Bay Area from Upstate NY in 2000, I got a job as an Associate Director for an adult literacy program. After the first month there, the branch of the program I was part of (Inmate Literacy) was sent to a conference in San Francisco. I was pretty excited. It was my first conference. It was my first long trip to San Francisco. I loved my job. I had, what I thought was, the best boss. The conference was in a fancy hotel in Nob Hill. I didn't have to pay for anything. It was going to be great.

The night before the conference started I drove up to the city. When I checked in, I discovered not only was I sharing a room with my boss and another boss from another program, but there were only two full-sized beds. Not sure what the proper business etiquette for this sort of thing was, I decided that being a boss meant you got your own bed and as such I would have to sleep on the floor for three nights. Fine. I like the floor. No big deal.

Our group got together with some other literacy folks, had dinner and then we all went back to our room for several bottles of wine and some "serious" talk about the state of education in this country and the lack of funding for the education of adults, especially inmates. By 11pm everyone was drunk, way off topic, and had decided that since tomorrow was the first day of the conference we should all get some sleep. My boss, the other boss, and I got ready for bed. I took a pillow and an extra blanket from the closet and went to make a space for myself in the corner. My boss wouldn't have it. She insisted that I get in bed with her and wouldn't accept "No, really, I like the floor" no matter how many times I said it.

So, there I was, the very first night of my very first conference, intoxicated and sleeping with my boss.

The next morning it was clear that we didn't budget enough time for three showers. I decided to skip breakfast and meet everyone downstairs for the opening speech from the mayor before going off to our individual talks. I don't eat breakfast often, especially when my only option is to eat it at 7am, and I prefer taking my time getting ready. And, to be honest, I wanted to sleep a little more because I spent most of the night making sure I didn't accidentally roll over and rub up against my boss's leg.

I was almost 15 minutes late to the start of the conference. I ran down the hall, and when I turned the corner I was relieved to see a whole bunch of people hanging outside the room. I didn't recognize anyone from the night before, but at least I wasn't going to walk in there alone. One of the men smiled at me, and I reached to open the door for us saying "Oh, thank god, you're late, too!"

He laughed. "It looks that way! Where are you from?"

"NY. Well, I just moved here from NY. I live down near San Jose."

"Oh? Really?", he asked, "Is this your first time in San Francisco?"

"Basically... I was here really briefly about a year ago."

"How do you like it compared to NYC so far?"

And with that, I launched into a small rant about how many homeless people there were, how dirty the city seems especially since NYC had really cleaned itself up lately, how public transportation was less reliable here than there, how hard it was to get a cab, etc.

He didn't really respond, just sort of starred at me and nodded, so I finished opening the door and told him I needed to find my co-workers. "Besides", I said, "now we're both really late."

He agreed and walked in after me. I sat down. He, on the other hand, went to the podium, apologized for not starting on time, and welcomed us all to his city.

3 Comments:

Blogger kelly said...

only you. thats wicked awsome.

12:43 PM  
Blogger j2 said...

daayum!

oh well, it's the truth though isn't it.

5:35 PM  
Blogger haji-o-matic said...

Then you DIED!!! OMG that is the funniest one yet....

7:56 AM  

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