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Gil Humplestead is a 23-year-old, recent college graduate who recently got his first real job as a Junior Marketing Assistant Coordinator with Incorporated Partners & Co. Today, he chronicles his company’s training seminar.
Monday, October 7, 2013
It’s been a couple of weeks since I started here and I can already tell I’m making my presence known. I even overheard a couple of my colleagues laughing about my desk nap the other day through the pane of glass that separates my cubicle and the break room. They were really amused. I’m already a hit. The only problem I’ve had is with one of my bosses, Mark. He told me that I’m a little overdressed on most days. Mark told me that the way I dress may be off-putting to some of our clients. Sorry my cufflinks cost more than your shoes, Marky Mark. Must be jealous. So, I toned it down a bit, I guess, but I still rock my $400 Cole Haan wingtips like a boss. I even proposed that we have a shoe-shiner present in the office at all times at Tuesday’s staff meeting, but no one seemed to be listening to me.
After the meeting, one of my bosses pulled me aside into his office. I thought he was going to give me a raise, but instead he told me that I would be going to the company’s training seminar on the East Coast. Man. I’d be rubbing shoulders with the company CEO and all the bigwigs at corporate. Gil Humplestead, your ship has finally come in.
So on Thursday I flew out to our company’s HQ in Buffalo for the weekend for our corporate training seminar. It’s just how I pictured it in my head. I didn’t even have to pay for my own flight or hotel! They really know how to treat their employees here at IPC. I almost missed my connection in Cincinnati because I got hung up at Chili’s after a few too many Bloody Marys. How else was I gonna pass the time on my four-hour layover?
The company didn’t spring for first class, because Southwest doesn’t have first class, but I was in boarding group “A,” so it was pretty much like being in first class. The flight from Cincinnati to Buffalo was like 10 minutes, so I didn’t really get a chance to nap or anything. I got off the plane, picked up my luggage (Samsonite, haters) and hopped on the hotel shuttle bus. I had never stayed at an airport hotel before. I bet they put it near the airport so all the shareholders could fly in to meet the cream of the crop of the latest round of hires. I had assumed the company had a big block of rooms reserved for the hundreds of new employees and had a huge convention hall rented out for speeches by board members and the CEO. Man, I couldn’t wait for the weekend.
They had booked me a single queen room, but apparently the hotel was overbooked for the weekend and they upgraded me to a single king. They knew how to roll out the red carpet for their VIPs. Gil Humplestead requires only the finest in lodging accommodations. There was a welcome card on the bed with the Wi-Fi password and two free drink tickets for the bar and grille next door, Horizons. Sounded really high end. I bet all the new IPC employees would be there, maybe even a few heavy hitters. So, I threw on the always deadly camel hair blazer and jeans combo and headed over to the bar across the parking lot.
I showed up around 8:30pm, fashionably late, of course. The place was dead, so I just posted up at the end of the bar and made small talk with the barkeep. Finally, a group of young people came into the bar and sat in a table in the corner. My coworkers had arrived! I ordered a round of drinks and brought them over to them, just to let ’em know how excited I was to be here. They looked confused at first, but quickly picked up on who I was after I explained a bit. They said they were from the Chicago office, so I started talking them up about how awesome our office was and how their office sucked. They needed to know their place. Only the best branch in the company would hire someone like Gil Humplestead. I’m in the big leagues and they’re in double-A.
They didn’t know much about the company, but I just assumed it was because they were new hires like me and just didn’t have the same drive and ambition of a Gil Humplestead. Ha, welcome to life in the NFL, rooks. I’m gonna run right over you. I kept ordering round after round. I’d drink them into submission and establish my dominance as the alpha male of this new round of hires. I would use their carcasses as stairs to my penthouse corner office with IPC (metaphorically). Kill or be killed.
One of the guys was pretty wasted. It was almost like it was his first time drinking. What a loser. His friends looked pretty concerned and one of them ducked away to make a phone call, probably for pizza back in one of their rooms. Ha! Getting loaded and ordering hotel pizza on the company’s dime. Classic.
I went to the bathroom to break the seal and hoped to come back to the table to discuss what more shenanigans we’d be getting into later that night, but when I came back out they were gone, so I went out to the parking lot to see where they went, but I saw them loading the super drunk guy into a Plymouth Voyager. Must’ve been some sort of courtesy shuttle. The courtesy shuttle driver didn’t look too happy either, she kept screaming and shouting at them. Probably didn’t want the drunk guy spewing all over the shuttle.
I went back in for a couple more drinks before the place closed down at midnight. It was probably for the best. I had to be up at 8am the next morning for my orientation. I could barely sleep, I was so excited. I checked my itinerary before turning in. Conference Alcove B, Best Western-Buffalo Airport, 8am. Conference Alcove B, huh? More like “Conference Alcove Make You My B-otch.” BOOM. GIL’D.
I woke up the next morning and threw on my suit and headed down to this “conference alcove.” I didn’t know what an alcove was, but I assumed it was bigger than a room with a fancy name like that. Couldn’t wait to see what IPC had in store for me.
I arrived at the alcove a few minutes before hand so I could look prepared. I opened the door to the alcove, expecting to be met with high energy music and a laser light show, but instead I was met with a small conference table with a polycom on it, a TV on a rolling stand and two other people sitting at the table in a windowless room.
They looked relieved as we started our orientation, which was pretty much just them showing us the training videos all day and having us fill out questionnaires. I kept waiting for more people to show up, like maybe we were just split up into smaller groups and then would go to a bigger room for the main show? But instead it was just us three. Myself and two other guys who looked like they were in their 30s. Where were those people I met last night?
After 10 hours in that room and a stale Subway sandwich tray for lunch, we all hopped back in the airport shuttle and they sent us back from where we came from.
All in all, I’m not sure it was necessary to send us to Buffalo, but I guess they think that highly of me. Plus, I got a great bar story to tell later this week out of it. I really should write a book. Leave this 9-5 corporate nonsense behind.
Rise and grind,
-Gil “The Hump” Humplestead