Sunday, October 12, 2008

Things I dislike about Orlando

Please don't get me wrong. I am delighted to be at my employer's conference, to have the chance to see customers and colleagues. I just wish it didn't have to be in Orlando, one of my least favorite places to travel to.

Here are the things I don't like about Orlando. What can you add?

  1. Large furry animals frolicking around at breakfast. Scary before coffee.

  2. "Have a magical day"

  3. Seeing so many people desperate to have a good time after spending money they don't have, and not enjoying it.

  4. That sticky feeling you get when walking outside for more than 30 seconds.

  5. Forgot an important toiletry item (see previous point). No real drug store accessible to get more at reasonable prices.

  6. The $40 taxi ride to anywhere that does not look like the resort I am in.

  7. The 90 minute shuttle from the airport because I am too cheap to spend my employer's money on a taxi.

  8. Hotel windows that don't open.

  9. Air conditioning set too high.

  10. 20% service fees added for my "convenience."

  11. The not quite natural look of the nature.

  12. I'm sorry. Dolphins do not have scales

  13. Food that is good enough to eat too much of, but not good enough to be worth eating a lot of.

  14. I have to go back in January, June and October.

  15. Toll booths every 5 miles.

Notice that I didn't say that I hate Orlando. There are much worse places in the world to visit, so I didn't title this "Things I hate." Hate is a pretty strong emotion I try to stay away from. As much as I dislike it, I don't hate Orlando, I promise. Actually, reading over this again this is mostly about why I dislike Disney World hotels. But they are in Orlando.

Friday, October 3, 2008

How can I be too busy to go to work?

It sounds strange, but I realized this morning that I am actually too busy with my job to go to work. Like many analysts, I work primarily from home. Combined with the time I spend traveling, I rarely get the chance to go into my "official" office. I think that the last time I was in the Amsterdam building was in April.

This month I don't have too much travel, so I was planning on going in this week to see my colleagues, check my mail box, and use the copier. My best intentions didn't pan out though -- I've been too busy, with too many overdue deliverables to get done. I can't afford the time it takes to get on the tram/metro and make my way out to the office, or even to take the car. I know when I get there, I will have less time available to produce the stuff I have to get done. One of the reasons for going in is to to talk to people, a good thing to do, but it takes time away from other work.

It seems odd to say that I am too busy to go to the office. Isn't that what offices are for? A place to do work? Not so much anymore, at least in my case. Increasingly I've seen the same thing with the clients I talk with. An office is a place to coordinate, socialize, and make connections. But as we increasingly adopt digital ways of getting things done, I can coordinate, socialize and make connections from anywhere. I can turn off email to get things done, and open up to email, IM, Twitter and RSS feeds when I'm looking for external input.

There still is a place for face to face meetings, but it won't necessarily have to be in the office. I meet colleagues at events, on audio conferences, and at client sites. In fact, I expect that the office will increasingly start to look like The Office. Depending on face to face, location-based management leads to abuses and inefficiencies. Showing up early and leaving late shouldn't be the key to success as much as actually getting things done.