Traveling Bear Show


This Sunday I embark on my first business trip for BP.  If you know about my previous work at Cessna, I tended to be on the road one to two weeks a month traveling to exotic locations like England, Los Angeles, and when I was bad … Cleveland.  I won’t be traveling as much with this job, but you can guess that travel is a little more difficult.  I get the first taste coming up quick.

I am heading to three days of meetings at the BP Americas headquarters in Houston.  Then I visit my first supplier, first on Thursday in Houston than the same company but different location in Hammond, Louisiana.

The trouble with flying to the lower 48 is that its a REALLY long way.  My Sunday Night flight leaves ANC (Ted Stevens International Airport, Anchorage, AK) at 8PM and arrives around 6AM in DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth).  So yes, I will be sleeping on the plane.  I have a quick leg later that morning to Houston and my meetings begin that afternoon.  Thursday night, after my supplier visit, I hop a plane to New Orleans (my first flight ever on Southwest Airlines, which I hear is like learning a new language … called “sucks”).  I have the meeting on Friday, then roll bay to New Orleans to catch a plane out Saturday morning.

As you can guess, I will be looking forward to that Friday night layover in the Big Easy.

I am looking forward to those meetings too.  My boss sits next to me, but I have a pretty heavy dotted line to a Global Supplier Quality Management group based in Houston — and this will be the first chance I get to meet my dotted line boss, and my dotted line co-workers.  BTW – heavy dotted line is used in contrast to the two or three (I am not really sure how many) other dotted lines I also have.  Luckily I only have the one boss, and because if I reported reported to each of the next dotted lines, I’d be one coffee cup away from having TPS reports without cover letters (bonus points for getting that reference).

To be honest, though, I am most looking forward to that supplier visit.  It’s what I am good at, its what I live for.  Nothing beats walking into a supplier and dealing with the issues that they are having.  You are nothing but a consultant, and you are nothing there but to make your company better and their company better.  I will never be confused with someone who loves to brag on themselves, but I tell you what … when it comes to working with suppliers, I was pretty damn good.  Finally, I get to get my first taste of an oil and gas supplier, and I do it with my boss by my side.

Plane doesn’t leave til Sunday though, so I have a rainy weekend to get my butt kicked at the gym and if time allows … drink.


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