Monday, March 16, 2009

Ode to My Inner Dilbert.

I had wanted to do a little bit about people with note books at trade shows, but that didn't come together today. Look for that tomorrow, but basically, show up and take notes at my table, and you'll get 100% of my attention.

As for today, it was a tough day at the day job. We were stuck for a big part of the day at the hotel as I tried to get emails, voicemails and conference calls done.

On the way down to San Diego we passed a lot of places that I remember from business trips in the past. Hotels and convention centers that were familiar and brought back lots of memories. Some of them going back to my days in college working on political campaigns.

On all those trips, probably in the hundreds now after 25 years of business travel, I can't ever remember standing out. I was always just another 'Dilbert' or 'Pointy Haired Boss' in the crowd of travelers. This trip though, as we've been stuck in the hotel a bit, I've had a much different experience.

When I'm usually on business, my job is hard to explain. I've always worked for medium or small size high tech companies that most people would have never heard of, doing things that are hard to explain on products that most people will never see, touch or know about. The front desk, the valet, the bartender, they all ask what you do. You try and explain, pitifully, and you can see their head click off: "oh another Dilbert."

So now I say: "Winemaker". "Oh, wow, really? Why are you in town?". Something different, something that hasn't been in a Dilbert cartoon. And they remember. At the bar, in the restaurant, at the valet, at the front desk, everyone has remembered who we are and what we do. A totally unique experience for me. We joke a lot about the 'celebrity winemaker', mostly when we make our friend Kathy drive us somewhere and I sit in the back of her fancy BMW, but there really is something a little celebrity about it. At least in that people remember you and what you do.

It's cool to have a job like that. One people know right away and understand what you make. It's easy to relate to and easy to talk about. For me that's a great thing in the job. At least on a few trips a year now, I'm not Dilbert.

As for Stefania, I'm a little worried she's turning into Dilbert. She's always been one to shun technology, but now she has a new IPhone. I've never actually texted anyone from the bathroom, but she thought that was funny. Right now she's learning the calender application. I just hope she doesn't get mad and pull out the hands of death.
We wound up the day about 5:30 by the pool. My self portrait is above. Tomorrow I'll have more pictures from the Pasadena show and more thoughts on our trip.


Stefania said...

I can't believe you geeked me.

Dave said...

When people ask me what I do, I usually say I'm a geek. It often gets a smile, though I think I pissed off the lady at the credit union one time when I refused to put down any other job title on the form.

Paul Romero said...

I've used geek also or tech geek. Both will work in a pinch and it is usually more information than they wanted anyway.