The spring PAC, held in winter, is over.  I am officially done taking notes.  Ninety-seven pages of the partners’ real thoughts and Microsoft’s best attempts at directing them are held within those pages.

So very tired.  I managed to make it to kettlebells this morning to get the juices flowing again but it was brutal.  My shoulders are a bit tight and my neck feels like it’s molded of one muscle.

I am starting to know the guys on sight and by name.  They tend to sit together, the Netherlands, German and U.K. on one side, Brazil and everyone else scattered around the room.  Makes it feel a little like a mini United Nations.  Had two new women this time who were very nice.  Generally, the women at these things look down on me.  Or maybe they’re just not happy people.  Not this time. One of the new gals introduced herself to me and commented on how fast I typed.  Very kind.

In fact, the whole group was a lot of fun.  Some hilarious things happened.  During one of the breaks, the guy from Germany said to me, “You never talk.  We never hear your voice.”

Uh…yeah.  that’s the point.  “I’m supposed to be invisible,” I replied.  Like I have *any* real feedback to add.  I’m still trying to figure out if CRM is the same as Serum.  It’s all in the mouth of the speaker.  It sounds different when the Brazilian guy says it from when the gal from China says it.

My PAC host is a great guy. He’s funny and is able to keep the group from imploding on the hot topics.  He speaks well of me and treats me like I’m part of the group, within reason.  This time we scored a huge room.  I told him it was like Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  He laughed.  Last time our room was like a shoe box.  This time, you could have a breakdancing party in it.    He had the Hyatt folks remove two tables.

We had a new member from Australia this time.  In fact, about half the participants were different.  Same companies, new faces.  The Australian guy talked a lot and had several axes to grind, legitimate beefs, actually, with Microsoft.  He got a reputation as a rabble-rouser within the group.

When called on his garrulous nature, he said to his critic, also a big talker:  “Well, we have an expression in English about a pot and a kettle.”  Oh snap!

The food, as usual, was phenomenal.  Two types of main dishes each day for lunch, plus a couple of kinds of vegetables and a casserole, luscious desserts and all the coffee, tea and soda you can suck down.  And this time, I didn’t mistake a partner for a notetaker.  Whew!

Lastly, after the group was dismissed, the Dutch partner came over to my table.  Keep in mind I don’t talk to any of them unless I have a question about what they said.  This time, during a break I tried to get the soft-spoken guy from the U.K. to speak up a bit.  So much for that.

“For the person who has been working very hard, and I can’t take it on the plane”, he said and handed me a bottle of Columbia Riesling.

I was stunned.  I shook his hand and thanked him.  I didn’t expect anything.  It was nice to be remembered.  Never mind that I don’t drink.  It’s the thought that counts.

Now the real work begins.

P.S.  Forgot to mention that my computer locked up. Twice. Figured out, with the help of my boss, that it was overheating due to the tablecloth. Sigh.


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