Wet and trying to tell people 0*C isn't cold

Monday, February 26

Here's my team for the two weeks I'm in Chicago. We represent Italy, Canada, England, and the US via India and Lebanon. We are known as "THE HOFFS" and if you look close you can see our team mascot and mentor on the stick there, David Hasselhoff.

After a half day of class on Saturday I got to escape what we're affectionately now calling our prison and head to Chicago for a day. As I put on my jacket I came to the sad realization I hadn't worn it since I got here almost a week ago because the only time I'm outside is running over to the pub 100 meters away.

We headed to Chicago in style in a limo, or at least it probably looked like style from the outside but inside we stuffed 10 people in the back on each others lap for the hour long trip. Chicago was a mess of rain, sleet and snow hovering around 0. While I'll freely admit the weather sucked I spent much of the weekend explaining that it really wasn't that cold to people who were wearing layers upon layers of sweatshirts or parkas if they had them.

It was a quick trip that felt like it was over before it began. We didn't do a ton but the highlight was drinks in the Hancock Center. A lounge on the 96 floor looks out over downtown and Lake Michigan. Drinking a martini looking at at the swirling snow and sporadic ice on the lake made me think life is pretty good these days. However walking back into our prison for another week last night was a little heart breaking. But the waffles, pancakes, fruit and coffee all spread out before me for breakfast mended it.
nicholas, 11:10 AM | link | 1 comments |

Stop the Buffet!

Wednesday, February 21

I've now spent 3 days in what is essentially a giant hotel and conference center an hour outside Chicago going through trainings with my company. It's been pretty intense but by far the most intense thing has been the meals. The Q Centre has a giant dining hall complete with three full buffets for every meal. While the food changes daily, it pretty much tastes the same everyday. We've run through Italian, Indian, Cajun (a nice salute to carnival), and pretty much everything else you can imagine. Every meal is accompanied with dessert and Starbucks coffee.

As if that wasn't enough, at breaks they have free candy machines, cookies and pop machines. The novelty of just getting pop for free out of a vending machine has led to line ups of people who mostly just want to press the button and then look a little sad about having to drink their free pop after.

I'm not sure exactly what the strategy is with this yet but I'm sure there is one. Maybe they're working on getting us to a suitable size that it would be hard to leave our desks. In the end it is slowly killing us but I've noticed after a couple days of indulgence everyone is starting to back off in the buffet line and leave at least a little room on their plates for some thing green.
nicholas, 7:39 PM | link | 2 comments |

Catching Up

Sunday, February 18

It's been awhile since I've been able to get on here to post. The drawbacks of working so much the last week including a 24 hour day last week and completely working through valentines day. I got some making up to do :-). A relaxing weekend with my brother in town has now segued into my first out of town business trip. I just got into Chicago, the windy city for two weeks of training.

The flight down was delayed of course but Air Canada came through with flying colours to salvage the situation. I know, you could literally taste the shock and amazement on the plane as they passed out free snacks and bar. As I stretched out in my over sized seat normally reserved for basketball teams and rock stars on the Air Canada jet I enjoyed my red wine and cashews while cruising to Chicago. When I got in I met up with another Accenture trainee and we managed to find the bus that was booked for us. The movie the Guardian was playing and my review of it, well let's just say I'm glad the trip was only an hour long and that's all I'll ever have to see of that movie.

Have a great week all and I'll let you know how things are going here in this rediculously nice conference centre / hotel I'm put up in for the next two weeks. Can't complain with a 24 hour fitness center and a yoga class on Wednesday...
nicholas, 8:38 PM | link | 1 comments |