by Melissa I just got home from 48 hours of chaos at VMworld in San Francisco. After talking to a few attendees about their trips, I concluded that we all share similar thoughts about the West Coast being a little "different" from the East Coast. For example, when riding up an elevator, it takes twice as long to open the door when you reach the floor you picked. You are left standing there wondering (only if you're from the East Coast) if you are stuck and you should press the alarm button. Then, all of a sudden, the door opens. After you get off the elevator, you walk to your hotel room to put the card key in the door and the green light takes three seconds longer than it does on the East Coast. These two examples might sound crazy and target me as an impatient person (which I am), so we'll use another example. Apparently, there are signs everywhere on the West Coast telling people to report the use of illegal limos. These are limos that drive around charging visitors an arm and a leg for rides. However, the hotel staff ignores the signs and tries to force patrons into these cars when they are more expensive and, most importantly, ILLEGAL. Then, if you do not take the limo, the hotel staff fights with you about why you NEED to take this car instead of taking a cab. They do not back down. (Usually, this does not happen on the East Coast because if people you do not know sense anger, they back away). From a PR perspective, I'm sure they could find another way to "sell" their services with a lot less attitude and physical aggression. But, if you do push the hotel limo hailer out of the way and grab a cab, you face risking a very stressful situation with schizophrenic drivers. These are drivers who talk to you constantly about nothing, screaming at you and stressing you out after 48 hours of meeting with clients, getting less than five hours of sleep, walking the tradeshow floor and schmoozing. So, after I returned home and regained my energy, I looked back on the strange happenings during my visit at VMworld in San Francisco. Don't get me wrong; the show, restaurants and meetings were worthwhile, but something I will not forget was the strange San Francisco chaos I experienced. Good luck to all you East Coasters who frequently visit California on business. You can only pray for more patience.
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