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Use of time

The sum total of my day's work was to say "yes" two times.

In order to do so, I had travelled across England - from Harpenden in the home counties (where I lived at the time) to St Austell in Cornwall the previous day, and I had stayed overnight in a hotel. After attending a meeting at which my two "yes" answers were my only contribution, I travelled home again.

So was this a worthwhile trip? Was the cost of my train ticket (I had no car in those days) and hotel justified? It turns out that, yes, it was. My role at the time was to provide UK based, English speaking technical support on a niche product, and I was joining my company's sales rep for a presales meeting with a customer just about to place a major order. My visit not only assured the customer that we had support staff in place, but also that their order was important to us and we were willing to provide that support, on site if necessary, even though they were remote from our office.

A year or two later, I took over as the sales rep for Cornwall, and got to know many of the clients nurtured by Brock (who had arranged the visit above) much better. A lovely group - and I did have an excellent product to sell - and I learnt a lot too. Even though I was just one of twelve people on the sales team, my territory was geographically huge - lots of "green fields" which, for Computer Graphics products, wasn't going to be needed on every corner. It was still a four hour drive to Cornwall. But what a pleasure to do so, and more than amply rewarded and justified too.

Why does this come to mind today? Because I'm writing this from Belgium on my way back from Munchen (Munich). I drove down all through Sunday to give a 2 day course, and I'm driving back up all through Wednesday. Those are LONG drives. For each hour of teaching, I have another 2 hours on the road. Yet it IS worthwhile. I've only to see the lights come on on "Object Orientation" with the trainees to realise that half an hour of my time clarifies what half a day or reading books for them couldn't make clear, and that's happening 8 times over with the group. Oh - and there are some 32 half hours during the 2 day course. That's a lot of justification.

Extra links ... training in Germany - details and pricing

(written 2005-02-16, updated 2006-06-05)

 
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