When did I first feel grown up?
When I traveled for the first time on official business.
I contacted one of our government contractors in St. Louis. I ordered products (digitized maps) from them and had a hard a time figuring out which ones we needed. My agenda was to tour their operations and give them comments about the trouble I had with ordering the correct maps. We needed them to make a product catalog that made sense.
So, I arranged a meeting to tour their operations and provide feedback. My host asked me to talk to his employees about how our team used the products they made. I told them I would be happy to. Yikes! Now I had to write a presentation. Things were getting a bit complicated.
I scheduled the trip to coincide with my St. Louis cousin’s wedding. My dad called this kind of thing – a “double-dookie”. He would have been so proud. This also saved my boss the hotel and parking costs by staying at my BFF’s place.
The day I flew into St. Louis I made my BFF and her son ride with me into the city and back. I knew I would be less nervous tomorrow if I practiced today. The trial run went well and we made it home in time for supper.
After a sleepless night, I gulped coffee, triple checked my briefcase and asked BFF to pray for me – and off I went. I left early because I figured there would be massive commuter traffic, like in San Francisco. There wasn’t. So I’m an hour early.
I think I caused a bit of a panic for my host, but he was gracious and welcoming in spite of my early arrival. The agenda for the day was to meet with operations and see the catalog and graphics they were working on. Then lunch. My presentation would be the grand finale. Great.
I am the kind of person who prefers to “get things over with”. Especially things that are
freaking causing me stress. I had 1/2 a salad for lunch because my stomach was full of butterflies.
The conference room was packed.
Everyone in operations wanted to hear my presentation. They were even excited about it. Later, I found out that I was the first person to visit and show them how we incorporated their digitized maps into our computer software.
I could not believe how well my presentation went. Afterwards it felt like a press conference with all the questions the audience asked. I knew the answers to most of them. Some I promised to get back to once I returned home and asked the computer scientists.
I ended up having fun. In fact, I even started to feel like a savvy business woman. My confidence and ego swelled like my ankles on a hot day. I thought I was so awesome.
Until I got totally lost on the way home 😉