On a Business Trip

I’m packed.

Tomorrow morning I fly from Raleigh to Las Vegas, with a pitstop in Newark, New Jersey.

It’s business, not pleasure. The company holds an annual manager’s convention, one year in Orlando, the following year in Vegas. Last year was Orlando in the weeks after the hurricanes, this year is Vegas.

Three solid days of manager meetings–Prepping for the fourth quarter. New products. New policies. New focuses. In some ways it’s a pep rally. In other ways it’s a party.

It’s our last party, at least as the company we are now. The merger with the competition goes forward, and this time next year we’ll be one, really honking big company. The competition has an annual manager’s conference each year–Dallas, every year. Will we, as a combined company, have a conference? Where can four thousand store managers gather?

It’s our last party. It feels bittersweet in thinking about it.

It will be fun, to see people I’ve not seen since last year. It’s going to be grand. I can sense that.

I’ll have work to do, though. I have a short story pitch to flesh out to an outline. My free time in Vegas, then, I foresee being spent in the hotel room, notecards in hand.

Let’s hope for smooth skies. And the last great party.

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