Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An Engineer's Guide to Top Drawer Business Traveling - California

1. When you have a 60 pound booth to set up, do like every other business does and have it shipped ahead of you to the EXACT LOCATION where it is supposed to be assembled. DO NOT have it shipped to the nearest UPS store thinking it would be easier to haul it yourself. Hint: In California, nobody holds the door open for you while you struggle through with your crap (Disclaimer: I'm sure they do, I was just bitter that day).

2. When you go to pick up your rental car, go ahead and pay the additional $5 to get a bigger car. Go ahead and get the $23.50 insurance. They ask you lots of questions really quickly and everything they say seems like the smartest and most sensible thing you ever heard. Just make sure you know that they are talking “per day.” But it’s okay…your company will reimburse you after you get home and explain why you spent an additional $40 a day on a car you’ve driven 18 miles so far. And don’t forget the $10 a day hotel parking fee.

3. Make sure you know what size the refrigerator in your hotel room is before you buy groceries and a 12 pack of beer.

4. Learn this two word phrase, ”Expense it.” This does not, however, apply to a day pass to Disneyland, even though the restaurant you want to eat at, which your company WILL pay for, is inside the park. Hey, a girl has to try!

5. When at a business convention, make sure you bring pens, coffee mugs, candy, something…ANYTHING for people to take. They feign interest in your company until they look down and see you have nothing to offer them other than pricing brochures and a business card. They really don’t care.

6. While at a conference with a big student population in attendance, let them use their big new words like algorithm and hydrological. They know more than you – just ask them. They don’t eat meat and they smoke two packs of cigarettes a day because they love nature.

7. Make GOOD friends with the gal who brought pecan pralines to hand out. BEST friends in fact.

8. Drink all the complimentary coffee you can. It’s the only thing you don’t have to hang on to a receipt for.

9. DO NOT let on to anyone that you are traveling completely by yourself. Otherwise you get asked to dinner by convention attendees and vendors in the booth across from you who don’t care that you are wearing a wedding ring (they certainly don’t care that they’re wearing theirs).

10. It is not advisable that you drink the huge glass of complimentary wine after a very long, busy and frustrating day when the only things you have eaten are thin "fancy" crackers and cheese that smells like ass. Well, on second thought, maybe that’s the perfect time for a free drink!


  1. Good points for any convention! Thanks Carrie! I'll use these!

  2. Being one who worked conventions for a brief period of time, I have to admit that these are all good points! Great post! Stopping by from the LBS Tea Social. I have also "Liked" you on FB.

  3. Great post! I am a new follower from the Saturday Tea Party. www.elephantstrunkLLB.com

  4. hha. This is funny :) My husband owns his own business it and "expense it" is definitely one of my favorite phrases! I love your blog - I'm your newest follower :)