Okay.. so I had like this great blog idea...

I was thinking the other day, which I do from time to time, about what you might want to read about here.  I post resources to events and webcasts, questions and answers, random geeky or fun news, etc… but I thought perhaps you might like to see an entry containing “a day in the life” of a TechNet Presenter on one of his TechNet Event days.  And I was going to document the entire thing with photos so you could get a feel for my day visually, because as I always say, “a picture paints 999 words”.   (Yeah… That one is mine. Are you going to argue with me?)


I found out today that “a day in the life” of a TechNet Presenter is too busy to have time for photographs.    So you’re just going to have to bear with the extra wordinesses.


05:30 – Room at the Marriott Residence Inn, Redmond Town Center

[Phone Ringing] 

Gaaaa! What?  Huh? … oh man…<yawn-n-stretch> what was I thinking?  That wake-up call was WAY too early.  Okay… I’m up.  Turn on the coffee maker.  Turn on the computer.  Get in the shower.  Shower.  Lather.  Rinse.  (No… I do not repeat.  I got stuck in that infinite loop once… and that’s why I’m no longer a developer.  Fool me twice, and all that.)  Get out. Dry off.  Fix hair.  Shave.  Fix hair again.  Put on aftershave balm and deodorant.  Put on extra deodorant. (Presenting events is stressful.  Presenting Microsoft events IN REDMOND, doubly-so.)  Fix hair one more time.  Get dressed.  Dang… I lost my comb somewhere… gonna have to buy one.  Pour a quick cup of coffee and attempt to download the most recent event data to my cell phone (for event registration on our PDAs later), and do a quick check of email.

Out of the hotel.  Checked out.  Turn on the GPS and wait for the thing to see the satellites… plug in the address of the theater, and I’m off.

06:15 – Arrive at Theater.  

Ooo… I’m early.  Hmm… there was a Starbucks across the way (Really?  In the Seattle area?  Go figure.), and as luck would have it, the grocery store next to it is open.  Do they have a comb?  Yes!  Purchased: One extra-heavy-duty comb.  …and a tall black coffee at Starbucks.  Mmmmm yeah.  Head back to the theater. 

06:30am – Arrive at Theatre (for my friends in the UK)

“Which Theater am I in?”  The bigger one is Theater #1, and since we and MSDN have BIG registration today, we take that one.  Upload event data from cell phone to PDAs.  Help our concierge Angel (that’s both her name AND her title, in my opinion) set up, and then go plug in my laptop.  “Are we going to have two speakers today?”  (two of our AV Company’s speakers were stolen in Spokane, so we had to make due with one speaker in each room.)  I’m told that we will.. but probably not until the afternoon.  <sigh>  Complete setup… Hmm… I have a choice of the room being too bright for people to see the screen, or too dark for them to see their evaluations (or me up front).  I make the call that it’s better for them to see the screen, so we have the big flouresent lights turned off.  (Theaters don’t usually have many lighting options… and why should they, really?)


Take one of my two photos as people are just coming in.  This is my view for the day.

Click for the full picture

08:00am – We begin!

Good turnout.  Full room.  GREAT questions!  …pretty tough ones… some I don’t have the answer to…but I’m okay with that if they are.  (Are they?  Depends on the audience.  Anyway, I’ll have the answers for them via email or on my blog.) 

Am I having fun?  You bet!  I love this.  Sincerely – the biggest thrill is to deliver really good news about cool new technology, functionality, or just ways to help these people have a better life in their jobs.  I was an IT pro for a lot of years, so I KNOW WHAT THIS IS LIKE to sit there in those seats and hope to find something useful.  And now… wow… I’m in a job where I’m able to DELIVER IT TO THEM!  Am I a lucky guy, or what?!

09:30am – Break

09:45am – Part II

10:40am – Break II

10:50am – Part III

11:50am – Wow! Nice timing today, Kev!  

We wrap it up, collect the evaluations, and draw for prizes.  (BIG thanks to Rob Westover for running over to his office and picking up some additional goodies for this.)

12:02pm – Rats… we went over.  

Oh well… two minutes isn’t too bad.  But I’m feeling pumped up about a GREAT day!

Now I pack up the laptop, get out to the front table, and it’s my turn to help out with registration for the MSDN event.

12:20pm – 1:15pm – Just a blur.

We had so many people registered for the MSDN event, and it felt like just about every one of them came.  I’m frantically scanning people in… and then one of my coworkers runs out and tells me to stop, because for some reason they’re getting all the wrong names printing out.  Very odd.  So I take the other PDA and help scan some more. 

1:30pm – Meeting with a Microsoft person.

This will remain mostly a secret.  But suffice to say, our discussion over coffee will set the course for Microsoft for years to come.  (Okay.. maybe I exaggerate.  A lot.  But we were focused on all sorts of cool ideas on how to “engage” the “IT Pro” “community” in ways that will bring “value” and “promote” “good will” to our “audience”.  Stay “tuned”.)

1:35pm – …no, actually 2:10pm. Go get lunch.

Ordinarily in the past the theater would order lunch for us through their caterer – often it was Boston Market or some-such.  This year, though, they’re being more flexible and giving us a choice of what local restaurant we’d like them to bring in food from.  I like it!  Unfortunately, I wasn’t sure if my meeting might include lunch, so I passed on the brought-in food.  No worries, though… I walked over to Nicholson-in-the-Box and had me an adequate burger and limpy “curly” fries.

2:45pm – Return to theater.  

Look over my evals.  Ouch… a couple of people didn’t like the lighting… and others were hard on me for not having all the answers.  Fair enough.  I didn’t write the product.  I’ve never been a DBA, even.  But I still felt I gave them a good talk.  Oh well.  I’m still here as a resource, and I will learn from what I didn’t know for the next audience.  I still feel like I’ve done a great job.  I’m exhausted… so I know I certainly have expended enough energy into this morning!

3:15pm – ooo… I gotta run.  

Ordinarily I need to stay until the afternoon events are over and help out with the giveaways, etc.  But Rob Westover (these were his events I was covering this week) was here and kind enough to fill in on that part of it so I could get back home tonight.  I say my goodbyes to the team (the most excellent people a person will ever have the opportunity to work with.  Seriously.), get the GPS fired up in the car (“To the Airport!  And step on it!”), and I’m on my way.

3:30–5:00pm – STUCK IN TRAFFIC

Ouch.  They weren’t kidding.  Southbound I-405 is a parking lot.  My flight is scheduled to leave at 5:55pm.  I’m wondering if I’m going to make it to my pre-checked-in first-class seat. Ah… finally traffic lets up, and I do.

05:10pm – Get my boarding pass.  

“What? Delayed?!”   Just my luck.  Flight isn’t leaving ‘til 6:45pm.  I guess I would have had time to gas-up the rental car.  <sigh>

05:20–06:10pm – Eat dinner

I parked myself at the bar near my gate.  Sam Adams.  Tall.  And another, as I eat my turkey sandwich.  And upload the event data from my PDA. 

06:30pm – Boarding!

I’m in seat 2A.  Nice.  A320.  More room than the 737 I came over on.  But they are asking me what I would like for a “pre-flight beverage”.  That’s okay.  They’re anxious to get under-way, and so are we all.

07:00pm – Takeoff! …and I sneak a quick nap right through it.  

Now… I have grown so very accustomed to flying recently, that the minute I hear, “Please direct your attention to the front of the cabin for some important safety…. “… It’s like hypnosis.  I’m asleep.  And snoring.  Snoring loudly.  I suppose I could wait to sleep/snore until the plane is actually in the air and generating some “cover noise”, but no.  I usually wake up to the sound of “We have now reached an altitude where it is now safe to turn on all approved electronic devices…”, and I find that my mouth is open.  And I’ve been drooling. 


But the view from seat 2A is worth taking my 2nd photo.

Click for the big picture

09:20pm (Now on Central Daylight Time)

Type up a silly blog post about how I wanted to create a silly blog post using pictures, instead I typed and typed and typed.  If you’ve read this far, you can have the other half of the Gin and Tonic that I’m nursing here.  Good goin’!

11:55pm – Lug my tired self out of my seat.  

Oh… they tell us that there is no gate agent available yet, so we’re stranded for several more minutes.  We’re thinking they need to wake the agent up.  Or honk the plane’s horn to get their attention.  Finally, we’re off.  Walk the 2.8 miles to the “Off-Site Parking Shuttles”.  I’m in luck.. my off-site shuttle is on-site and in sight.  15 minutes later I find I’m standing behind my car, trying to find where I put my keys in my backpack.  Found ‘em.  Now… I drive home.

12:25am – Ah… it’s good to be home!

“Kevin… why on earth are you rushing home? Why didn’t you stay over and come home on Friday?”

It’s simple.  I love my children and my wife.  And this week my boys are up at a beautiful Scout Camp in Northern Minnesota, and I want to drive up there for their last evening, spend the night in a tent next to a beautiful lake, listening to Loon calls, and help drive a bunch of scouts home on Saturday.  Yep.  That is truly “what it’s all about”.  And that’s where I’m heading right now.