Business Trip!

2 Mar

So I’ve been slipping again on my commitment to CP fans the world over–my deepest apologies. En este momento, I am writing you from The Big Apple. That’s right, for those of you unfamiliar with fruit-city analogies (JTS, is your current location ever referred to as “The Big Peach” or “Grand Ole Peach”?), New York City. Queens, to be exact. And for further exactitude, the La Guardia Airport, which I actually will not be leaving this trip… Disappointing, I know, but I am currently geographically located in the world’s favorite city, so I figured that would be a better “hook” than “I am writing you on my way back from Burlington, during a layover that just happens to be in New York.”

OK, at this rate I’ll never finish the entry before my flight leaves for Virginia… I am just concluding my very first business trip inside the US. When my supervisor came down with a terrible sinus infection late last week, it was clear that she could not make a short-notice trip to Burlington to supervise the first printing of a label for baby formula cans destined for Saudi Arabia. As #2 in the International Graphics department, the weight fell on my shoulders and I whole-heartedly agreed to a day and a half out of the office and a night in a Sheraton Hotel. And a sweet rental car.

So Friday afternoon I got in touch with the company-approved travel agency, and in a matter of seconds I had four flights, a hotel room, and a Kia Spectra reserved for March 1 and 2. My sole responsibility while in Burlington was to be a “press check”–showing up to the first printing of a label to be super-anal about colors, coatings, and alignment so that they print our labels as perfectly as possible. After barely a month in the biz, I’m already a pretty big deal.

All went well with the flight to VT, which included a layover in Philly, and the car rental process was much less painful than I had anticipated. The only catch was that I had to pay a stupid “young driver” fee because of my age–never mind that I’m a world-respected businessman on a super important mission to save Saudi Arabia from labels that have too much magenta in the purple silhouettes of pregnant women…

I had brought my GPS from home, so I had no problems finding the hotel last night and the printer this morning, and I got to meet some charming locals with New England accents along the way. I dressed up for the occasion, and as you can hopefully see in the picture below, spent some time practicing critical and inquisitive poses in the hotel room.

The staff at the printer were very friendly, and they even offered me some coffee as the Press Check began. The pre-press manager, who brought me printout after printout throughout the day, was actually harder on the labels than I was; I found myself just expressing agreement with him more than my own dissatisfaction, just to come off as more experienced than I am, but I definitely agreed that there was too much cyan in the purple pregnant lady on the front panel. And I spotted a few places where things didn’t quite line up just right. The purple lady ended up being the biggest issue of the day, and the one that kept me chained to the inspection table label after label after label for hours. But I got a free lunch out of the deal, a tour of a massive printing facility with every type of printing and packaging machine I could have imagined, and if I don’t close here and proceed to my gate I may very well miss the flight. Would not be good. Chao, adios, TTYL.

Practicing scrutinizing expressions for the big Press Check

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4 Responses to “Business Trip!”

  1. joe 3.3.10 at 8:12 am #

    Fantastic! “Never mind that I’m a world-respected businessman on a super important mission to save Saudi Arabia from labels that have too much magenta in the purple silhouettes of pregnant women”. That pretty much made my day.

    Get those pictures up if you can, I’d like to see you practicing inquisitive poses.

    It will facilitate mockery…

  2. derrickvanleer 3.3.10 at 9:11 pm #

    Just as an update, I did indeed make the flight and returned safely to VA–if anyone was worried or anything… Anyway, there’s not much more to say about the rest of the trip, after where I left off. A little before 3pm I finally signed my approval to a label that was about as close to what I was looking for as I was gonna get (still a little, tiny bit too much cyan in the blue and purple, but who’s really going to notice?), and then I had to rush back into town to catch my 4:30 flight out of New England. In true businessman fashion, I ordered ginger ale on the plane (a weathered businessman a few seats away ordered the same, confirming my hunch; honestly, what complimentary beverage looks classier than a clear plastic cup of shimmering ginger ale?); kept my necktie straight and tightened until I was back in the safety of my own home; and made a show of operating multiple electronic gadgets at the same time while leaving the airport (cell phone in one hand, GPS in the other, which filled in as an iPhone/Blackberry/superSmartPhone look-alike). So overall, I’d say it was an excellent trip, and I’m looking forward to many more, perhaps to places slightly more exotic than Burlington, Vermont.

  3. Lydia 3.5.10 at 2:18 pm #

    You are an inspiration Derrick. What would we do if those labels were improperly proportioned?!? Honestly, I do not want to know the answer to that question.

    Just messing with you. Sounds like you have a very cool job and I’m happy for ya.

  4. miscellaneoussheepery 4.6.10 at 9:14 pm #

    You look so dapper and handsome in that photo Derrick! I’m jealous that you’re a world traveler and snappy dresser, and I spend all my time hanging out at Walmart. Seriously, it’s awesome that they sent you on a job like that. I’m glad you’re doing so well =D

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