Adios, Philly!

The end of another great Summit:  We wrap things up in Philly on Wednesday evening.  I have the bad luck of pulling one of the deadliest conference time slots: after lunch on the last day.  It is the last educational session (before the closing session), and many people have already left or are off doing last-minute shopping or sight-seeing.  I expect about 15 people in my workshop, and am tickled pink when I end up with SRO.  People are sitting on the floor, standing at the back, and crowded in and around the doorway and out into the hall.  For once, all the AV works perfectly, and it is a lively session that generates a few more usability enthusiasts.  

The conference experience is completely different for board members.  For example, I only manage to take in two sessions the whole time.  Most of my time is spent working on board-related stuff (meetings, meetings, meetings, meetings, interspersed with shmoozing the trade show vendors).  Every time I step outside my hotel room, I have to be “on”—ready to field questions and chat with members, who can clearly identify me by my tag.  I’m not complaining.  It is just that I don’t get to actually attend or enjoy much of the conference.  But finally it is all over and I can head to the train station.

It is raining and the cabs have disappeared.  One of the hotel bellmen takes pity on me and drives me to the station in the town car, plus helps me manhandle my luggage inside.  With my back in full flare-up mode like this, I dare not lift anything heavier than a paperback!  The Red Caps inside take over, and I am comfortably seated on the train in ample time.  And how.  We end up sitting there for almost an hour while they try to fix the brakes.  Eventually, we pull out and arrive at Penn Station in NYC about 50 minutes late.

At this point, all the Red Caps have vanished, so two other passengers help me with my luggage.  I end up taking the wrong exit out of Penn Station, and find that I have to get the luggage up and down several flights of stairs to get to the taxi stand.  The place is deserted, but a large, drunken street person insists on helping me, and seriously mauls my luggage in his attempt to get it up the stairs.  He actually ends up helping me right to a cab, and I’m happy to hand him some money.  

Looking forward to a low-key day or two. 


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