This past week, I also learned something else. When organizational strife (AKA MERGER) is getting me down...forget the integration process and get back to the people I work with and the actual work I do. When I can wipe out the politics and pressures in that merger environment and remember why I work in the clean water field, and get to know the people I work with, it is really energizing.
Of couse, working in another timezone means nearly 24x7 work hours. My days began with a 7:45AM meet in lobby for cab to office. We hit the ground running and by the time NY was up and running we were halfway through our local day. We continued until about 6PM where we then proceeded to work team dinner meetings, and then for those of us from U.S. we hit the computers again at night to catch up on U.S. work. UK team didn't have it any easier as I learned. Most of them have 2+ hour commutes since London is too expensive for any of them to live in. So we all averaged about 4-5 hours of sleep a night.
Being global....is an interesting thing. One of the reasons for our MERGER was to finally position ourselves as an international business. On Wednesday night I found myself at dinner for five - one from U.S., two from Netherlands, one from Brazil, one from UK. We talked politics (danger zone) and business, and life, and culture...and it was a great experience to really feel part of a global team.
Finally on Thursday, I realized I had already worked about 60 hours for the week and I quit at 5PM and hit the concierge up for theater tickets. My Brazilian colleague and I grabbed a quick bite in the hotel bar and the hightailed it to the theater and caught a comedy - A Flea in Her Ear.
I figure I caught about 85% of it, given British colloquialisms and accents, and I'm sure my colleague got a little less, but we enjoyed it immensely all the same.
And then Friday, I finally made good on my promise to not waste these international trips by only seeing office, hotel, and restaurants, I hit the city bus tour. I decided early on to listen to the very knowledgable (and live!) guides and enjoy the tour instead of trying to snap pictures on the move...but caught a few iconic shots.
Mind the gap! It's the Underground.
The London Eye from a distance.
I love that these come in two's.
Biggest ship in a bottle ever.
Whitehall gardens...considering home is covered in snow, thought this was a lovely patch of green.
Golden Jubilee bridge.
World War II Memorial with Churchill quote. Very moving.
Bagpipes by the London Eye.
Big Ben over the Westminster Station Underground stop.
I had a little time to waste between bus tour and river boat tour, so I grabbed a burger with a view of Big Ben and Parliament. This bird was very interested in my eating habits.
Proof I was there and it wasn't just google images!
By 3PM I was back at my hotel and catching a cab to the airport. Was a great relaxing way to spend my last day in town and just whet my appetite to go back and see more and learn more about this incredible city - not to mention the rest of England.