Friday, April 27, 2007

My Day Wasn't Like Yours

And your day wasn't like mine.

I can say this without even having the slightest idea what your day was like. I can say it with a reasonably high level of certainty. And I can also say with a reasonably high degree of certainty that you should be glad your day wasn't like mine.

My day started somewhere around 7 due to various alarm clocks going off. I rolled over, checked my email, did some work-related stuff, eventually got up, showered, dressed, and wandered over to the United Nations somewhere around 9 since the day's negotiating would begin at 10.

The morning was fairly typical - well, by my definition of typical. I took a bunch of pictures of diplomats generally not agreeing about anything, got in touch with teammates in Los Angeles and Nairobi to make sure they had flights to Germany next week (one of them will even be on a flight with me!), and stuff like that.

I came back from the cafeteria during lunch with a fruit salad... and found two instant messages waiting for me, both saying to call another teammate who's a retired diplomat from Asia. I called and found out that he hadn't been allowed onto the first of 3 flights he was going to take to get to Africa, because his itinerary involved 2 stops in European countries that are parties to the Schengen visa agreement, and an obscure rule none of us had ever heard of says that if he was flying 
through the Schengen area, he needed some kind of transit visa - arranged in advance - to make more than one stop.

It took me less than an hour to get him a new routing by way of New York and Atlanta. Fortunately, he has a visa for the US! It took another hour to get his original tickets canceled and refunded, during which I got to miss an hour of diplomats disagreeing (the high point of my day, to be sure). Then it was back into the meeting for more photos and all that.

The main meeting sessions went until 5 or 6, then there were some contact groups. I processed photos, wandered around taking more, and so on and so forth. I had the day's web page ready for proofreading by around 9 PM, headed back to the office around 10, set up and configured a network storage device that had been delivered, made some tweaks to the web page, published it, and desktop-published the day's bulletin for distribution tomorrow morning, helping with some editing of the text in the process.

Oh, and lest you think I forgot to mention dinner - no, that happened after work. Around half past 1 in the morning.

Better still, Friday will be the final day of the conference - so there's no telling how late things might go!


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