Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mr Wiedz:Travel to Philly

It seems that the two most recent questions in my life are:

1. Mr. Wiedz, what exactly do you do?
2. Would you please blog about your experiences and travel?

I fully admit I have been hesitant to post any blogs, as it is not really my thing, I am concerned about security, and I really don’t think my professional life is all that exciting. With that said, others seem to think global travel and a billion dollar business is worth discussing. With that said, and a basic frame work established, I will try and examine my experiences while traveling globally and discuss non proprietary information on the Wonderful World of Wiedz.

Mrs. Wiedz sent me off to Philadelphia, a city in which I have never visited. Reason, a real estate conference. Now, I had very little interest traveling to Philadelphia, not because I dislike to city, Primarily due to future travel obligations and time management. I went so far to check in with “The Boss” to ensure he wanted me to visit. His response was simple, “Mr.Wiedz, wherever you go, good things happen”. Although flattering, this did not seem like the best reason to go. Non the less, I flew via Salt lake, to Philadelphia, arriving on a Saturday afternoon. From the minute we hit the ground, the whole trip was a little off kilter. To begin, we arrived at the gate 35 minutes early due to an emergency on our airplane It seems as if an older lady had a mild stroke. Although she walked off the airplane, we were all taken to the baggage off load and bussed in to the terminal. This took nearly 40 minutes. Once in the terminal, it took another 35 to get my single suitcase off the carousel. After finally getting my bag, I departed the wrong side of the airport, and therefore had a difficult time finding a cab. In the end, I made it back to the other side of the airport, and found a taxi. By this point, I am slightly aggravated as all I want to do is put my feet up, and rest. I departed for PDX at 3:30am the night before.

I made it to my hotel, the Courtyard Marriot, which was a far cry from the original Ritz Carlton in which I would have stayed if adequate time would have allowed. Upon check in, my credit card declined, and locked down due to a “Security Breach”. Lesson one, if you are traveling outside of your daily living area, call your credit card company and let them know. After a few phone calls, clearing up the mess, I made it to my room, which was pleasant, and put my feet up for the evening. I ended up eating at a local pub with a couple of beers, 5 pounders to be exact. Just what the doctor ordered after a start like that.

Sunday, I awoke early, got dressed and pulled up the computer. Now touching briefly on what I do. Simply put, I am the Director of Global Sales for a project in South America, operated by one of the strongest luxury hotel brand in the world. Primary responsibilities include global management of 90 real estate brokerage houses from every quadrant of the world, managing my sales staff in South America, and playing golf and selling to the worlds wealthiest. No exaggeration.

With these tasks comes a little pressure to ensure our global brokerages perform and stay motivated. My casual morning turned into chaos, as urgent business commands my every move. I made it through the morning, stabilized the boat, an called down stairs to order a shoe shine and steam for a shirt. Upon my amazement, the shoe shine guy in the lobby did not work Sunday, and the laundry service was also closed. Just what I needed. For those that know me, it is the simple things that get messed up that set me off. I got dressed in a navy suit, button down, tie, and walked to the hotel next door where the gentleman kindly shined my shoes, shared with me about Philadelphia, and showed me he cared. I rewarded his $6.00 fee, with a $14.00 tip, smiled, and told him to have a great day. This helped change my attitude.

I walked about two miles to the Philadelphia Art Museum, and enjoyed the afternoon noon. What a place. Original work by Van Gogh, Renoia, Picasso, to name a few. I could have easily spent an entire day appreciating the gallery and museum.

Any down time at the hotel is filled with e-mail, phone calls, a quick shower, a couple more e-mails, and out the door. The evening presented a cocktail reception, followed by a dinner at the Ritz Carlton. Hate to say it, but any steak I cook at home with a couple of beers was better than than $150 a plate dinner. The evening wrapped up with cocktails and networking post dinner, then to the local pub, and yes, we shut it down. I face the challenge of pacing myself during the evening gala. Trust me, your body wears down quickly. I finally hit the pillow around 2:00am.

Breakfast was at 7:30 am. Why so early, I don’t know, but I was tired. I made it through a couple of morning sessions, constantly answering the same question, “What is Jumeirah again”, my response “you know the Burg Hotel, yes the worlds only 7 star hotel, the one with 15 white Rolls Royce. Our project is there first latin America project”. I find it amazing, out of nearly 150 participants in the conference, maybe 2 new the Burg. With that said, take the time to view, and

I skipped out on the late morning session, had a big pastrami from the local market, and sat through the afternoon motivational speaker. I then went back to the hotel, did 40 e-mails, showered, a couple of calls and out the door to the black tie dinner. Again, dinner stunk, sea bass and some potato dish nobody could identify. Made it back to the room by 9:00 with the intention of getting to bed early, made it to bed by 1:30 am, left the room at 3:30 am for the airport, via Atlanta, and I made it home.

It was great to see everybody right up to the point when #4 projectile puked in the car 3 times. Welcome home dad!

This trip was rough, my first rough trip where I could have gone without. I am off to NY shortly to host an event in the city. I will post during the visit. hopefully I did not bore you all with my first post. Until next time:


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