Before I joined Oracle, I was honored to be an ACE Director for several years, and boy did I get spoiled. Especially at Oracle Open World time.
Oracle paid for my airfare and hotel. They set up the hotel reservation. They picked me up in (non-stretch) limo and delivered me to that hotel. They drove me back to the airport. Nice....
Then I rejoined Oracle in March of this year.
In late August, I was talking with a friend at Oracle and mentioned that I had yet to arrange my hotel.
"Whaaaat?" she practically screeched in the phone. "You don't have your hotel? Oh, Steven, you better get on that right away."
Turns out I had received an email on 7 July saying, in effect, "Congrats, Steven as Oracle employee. We have confirmed your registration for the now. NOW GO RESERVE YOUR HOTEL ROOM."
But I didn't notice that last part. Just filed the email away.
So I followed the advice of my friend, and went on-line to get my hotel reservation set up.
Guess what? I am staying in Emeryville, across the Bay. An hour long BART commute back and forth, that still leaves me 2 miles from the hotel. A big change in the daily dynamic. In the past, I could casually stroll from hotel to first session of day, or to a breakfast meeting. Then at the end of the day, I always knew the hotel was just a few minutes away.
Now, I must commute to OOW each day (and back at night). I will not have my hotel room as a place to return during the day. I will lug my backpack around all day. I will think about how late I want to stay at that "one more" event in the evening.
Yep, a care-free "celebrity" no more.
Kind of a relief, really. I never did feel very comfortable having a driver just for me (not that I ever turned down the airport pickup, though I often arranged to get back on my own).
And I always found it a little bit silly to be featured in the "Celebrity Seminar Series" when I did trainings for Oracle University.
I realize it's going to be tough, but I think I can do it. I can ride public transportation. I can pay more attention to my plan for the day and evening.
Or maybe I can find a friend with a hotel room at Union Square to crash with.