June 29, 2005

My Time in Philadelphia

Or, The Budding Salesman

Yesterday morning, my three intern coworkers and I stumbled onto the street outside of our apartments at six in the morning. We were adorned with our "Sunday best," so to speak, and we were waiting for one of our supervisors to arrive. He arrived, and we loaded our bags and ourselves into the rented Trailblazer.

We were on our way to an educational technology convention in Philadelphia. I was not entirely sure what to expect. I knew that we were going to be salespeople/marketers for one of my employers' websites, but other than that I was practically in the dark.

I was quite surprised when we arrived.

At ten o'clock (after riding for four hours), we arrived at the convention center. We signed in and collected our exhibitor badges, and we walked into the convention. My jaw then hit the floor. We walked by displays and booths featuring Microsoft, Macintosh, National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, and many more household names. We met people from California, New York, and everywhere in between (including Canada and Mexico).

This convention was featuring new educational technology and electronic resources. Teachers, librarians, and school board members from across the United States and several other nations were in attendance, and my job was to introduce our website to as many of them as possible.

That's right. For this convention, I was a salesman.

For those of you who know me, I'm sure this thought must be entertaining. Can you seriously see me walking up and starting conversations with random people who linger for an appropriate time near my booth? Thankfully, I was not alone with this. Two of the other interns seemed really natural in this type of situation, a fact which surprised both ot them.

Anyway, we worked our booth and the convention from 10 AM to 5:30 PM, with a break for lunch somewhere between those times. We then walked to our hotel, walked to a Chinese food place, walked to an ice cream/cupcake shop, and walked back to the hotel.

Today, we worked at the convention from 9 AM to 3 PM. We left Philadelphia around 4:30, and we arrived back in DC at about 9:30.

Altogether, we probably spoke to a couple of thousand people. I feel completely drained. Fortunately, we do not have to go to work tomorrow.

Of course, I do have a briefing at the State Department tomorrow afternoon. I'm looking forward to that, but I can't wait for the weekend.

Posted by Randy at June 29, 2005 10:00 PM | TrackBack