Friday, May 27, 2011

happenings

While last week was birthday week and it may have seemed busy, this week is ACTUALLY busy!  :)

My week started off with a 2-day Administrators Conference on Monday. First I went to work like normal, and on my way remembered about the conference. Yuck! It was going to be a long day! Two good things ran through my mind: 1) my boss was out of town, so work should be “lighter” and 2) the intern that was scheduled to start today had bailed so I wouldn’t have to try to be two places at once!

Got to work and dove into the work that Monday always brings – the conference didn’t start until 11 and was held at work in our 4th floor conference room. I got a good handle on things and headed to the conference with two of my co-workers (one had come from North Dakota—or “No-Dak” as someone kept saying - never heard that before…).

The conference was put on by our “umbrella” company and the compliance team and they started it out with sub-sandwich lunches and some meet ‘n greet time. Then with out much ado they started the first session a PowerPoint of notes from all the staffer’s bosses about their staff person who was attending the conference. It was sweet. My side comment when I realized what was being projected was that I hadn’t intercepted the email nor was I asked to draft anything so who knows what was going to be said! Since my boss had four staff present, he didn’t actually say anything specific, but made more of a general comment about how his staff CARES for people, blah, blah, blah – it really was nice :)

After the initial welcome and lunch we divided into three groups (there were about 40 present) and went to 3 sessions over the next 4 hours. Well, we were supposed to go to 3… Lynette* and I went together to the first two and then ditched the last one because Sabrina* had gone to it while we were in the other sessions and gave us the 4-1-1: “Don’t go!” So we didn’t! We went back to our desks and worked until about 5.

Lynnette* and I did get some benefit out of the first sessions we went to but the session we missed was a little basic. Since she has been in the industry for 25 years or so and I’ve been doing it for four years, to us ol’ vets we decided to skip the basics. ;) Since the conference had never been done before I think the coordinators felt they needed to start at the beginning and also I think there were quite a few newbies in the group.

The first day ended with a dinner at Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse which happened to be two doors down from our building and next to the Millenium hotel. There's not much to say about the dinner except that the fried rice was OUT OF THIS WORLD. So. Good. You haven't had fried rice until you've had Ichiban's. Trust me. If you visit Mpls, do go there and have at least one person order the fried rice - you won't regret it!! So. Good. Yum!! :)

This is a picture of us at Ichiban:


Day two of the conference again started out with work for about an hour and then the first session began at 9 o’clock with breakfast and a presentation/spoof on office etiquette. The presenter used exaggerated pics of the compliance team in action doing the things she was saying not to do (talking on your cell phone with your feet up on your desk, etc.). Thankfully the session was short.

We then went to Round Table Discussions about who to call for what and then what works and what doesn't. There’s not a lot to say about these session's content because they were short, but we did learn a few nuggets that will help us do our job better.

The end of the conference was a pizza lunch and drawings. My co-worker won a door-prize so that was good!

One of fun things about the conference was that in the second session on day one I met a person who I had seen occasionally but had never met. I found out she worked for an advisor group that had been in our building but they had moved their offices to Maple Grove. Also, my co-worker’s husband who is a Lutheran minister had done the wedding ceremony for this girl and her husband.

The session where I met Ellen was not that in depth so we were able to chat about our jobs a little (we also got shushed by the presenter once!). Then at the second day breakfast session we sat next to each other and chatted some more. I really enjoyed getting to know her and am kind of bummed that she doesn’t work in our building any more – now that I know her!

The conference ended and Lynnette* and I headed back to our desks for more work, but later attended a building meeting to introduce a new phone system. They presented four phone options and then said you didn’t have to have a phone base because the system was actually software you use on your computer. They also indicated that we would be getting the new system in June. I’m kind of glad for this because we knew there would be a new system for our new location but it will be good to learn it before we actually move.

There was one more meeting for me that day but the phone system meeting ran long so I missed that meeting. When I got back to our office area I checked in with my boss and filled him in on the phone system. Sounds like we might try to get by without actual phones and just use the computer. That will be weird, I think, but the software has some pretty cool features so I’m game!

Tuesday ended with dinner at Jen's and hanging out with Jen, Morgen, Carsten, & Ethan. We were able to Skype with Dad for a little bit too! I brought over my goodie bag from the conference and handed it all out to the kiddos. They really enjoyed the glow-bracelets, post-it notes, highlighter and water bottle! In fact, I even got a post-it note thank you note written in cursive before I left: “tank you for the lit up braslis” read as, “Thank you for the light up bracelets.” Love it!

The week’s events didn’t end here! Stay tuned!

*names changed to protect the innocent
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