Plano 2012: Day one

(this is the first post in a series detailing my work trip to Plano.)

On the road again …

For those of you who read my blog when I was in Houston last month, welcome back! Those who are new readers, welcome, and I hope you check back often.

Apparently I made an impression on my supervisors during the opening in Houston, because I was asked to return to Texas for another store opening and well, here I am!! The best thing about this store opening is the fact that seven of the 11 members of the Houston training team are here with me. We did an awesome job in Houston, we all got along really well, and of I had my way we would travel the world together opening these restaurants. This crew is amazing.

I made it down to Plano, Texas just fine. I flew out of MBS International Airport this time since it is closer for me than Detroit and because it cost me or my family too much money to get me to the airport. The only downside to flying out of Saginaw, which I knew was going I happen, is the fact I would have to leave really early. And, 6 a.m. is wayyyy early to be flying. In fact, I didn’t even go to bed last night. I had a late softball game and then I had to spend some time with some friends who were out of town and it was the only chance I had to see them. I figured I could just get some sleep on the plane.

I got to MBS at about 4:15, early enough to go through security, but I got there too early, apparently; I was the only person in the airport. TSA wasn’t even letting people through security yet. Hell, it wasn’t even open. So I sat down and watched TV for a little bit, where I saw the news about the movie theatre shooting in Colorado. Such a sad moment hearing that news.

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My connecting flight to Dallas/Fort Worth was delayed when I landed in Detroit, so I found myself a comfortable place to lay down and counted sheep for about an hour or so.

Tommy, (bar trainer in Houston, from Flint, Mich. whose home store was in Lansing, Mich. before it closed) met up with me in Detroit when he arrived from Lansing because we were on the same flight to Dallas. We caught up with each other for a little bit while we waited to board our plane. He’s an awesome guy, I was pretty geeked when I found out he was going to be making the trip too.

We got picked up from the airport in Dallas by Shawn, the Vice President of International Operations. Then we had to pick up the rental car, which was a story all its own.

Originally, the rental car was going to have Heather listed as the primary driver but since she isn’t 25 and Tommy doesn’t have a valid driver’s license Shawn had to make me the primary driver. Best situation ever. I can’t think of any other instance where it has benefitted me being the oldest one in the group (at that moment). I get the privilege of being responsible (and essentially being the only one who can drive) a 2012 Chevy Impala. Let’s just say I love that car.

This time our hotel room has a fridge and a microwave, so I’m going to go to the store tomorrow to stock it up with food (read: BEER) so I don’t eat out every night. It gets expensive going out to eat twice a day and I’m going to try and be more frugal this time around.

After our introductory meetings at the store we all went to an “English pub” for our trainer dinner tonight and it was great food. I had meatloaf, per our server’s suggestion, and only my mother makes better meatloaf. It was awesome.

Tomorrow should be a pretty easy day. All we have to do is get flip charts done and get prepared for Kickoff Day on Sunday when we get to meet the employees for the first time. Kickoff Day is a lot of fun because it’s filled with energy and awesome getting to meet the employees for the first time. However, it was the hardest day for me when I was in Houston (click for link) because the of the language barrier, but I don’t expect it to be as difficult this one. It should be awesome.

Until next time …

[Keep checking back for updates throughout my travels while I’m down in Texas. I will try and post every day.]

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