Consulting Boot Camp (aka Learning to Balance Drinking and Work)

I’M BACK IN VIRGINIA!

It’s been two days since I tried to jump off my plane as it taxi’d into Dulles and kissed the floor outside gate B76, and I am so happy to be done with training. Not that it wasn’t fun, but it is really freaking hard to live in a hotel for two weeks and also not do laundry for that entire time. Which I guess is my fault. But I also missed my dog because he is so stinkin’ cute!

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There is literally not a soul who wants to hear the minutiae of my two week crash course in consulting (if you do please visit a shrink because I am worried about your interests) so I will br-br-break it down now.

Hotel Room Life

Somehow, by the magic of the powers that be, I have Marriott platinum status. I don’t entirely know what that means because I’m afraid if I ask they’ll realize I’m a fluke and take it away from me. What I DO know is that my room came with a robe that made me look like Obi-Wan Kenobi and they put chocolates on my pillow every night. Most importantly, though, you needed exclusive access to even get off the elevator at my floor (keeping out the hooligans, right on) AND I got access to the ~club lounge~. That’s right, folks. While everyone else was forced to socialize at 7:30 AM over their sad plates of watery scrambled eggs, I was under my covers with my greek yogurt and coffee, laughing along with the charming hosts of the Today Show while doing the daily USA Today Crossword*.

*Having access to the club lounge magically causes you to age by 40 years

I’m currently experiencing withdrawal and am seriously considering paying my mom $1/day to make my bed and put chocolates on the pillow.

Food

Marriott food leaves a little something to be desired. And by something I mean just about everything. After eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for almost two weeks, I never want to look at iceberg lettuce ever again (not that I wanted to look at it in the first place…). Then, there were the snacks. This was like the cruise in that you could always be eating, but at least on the cruise I didn’t want to eat because that meant leaving my Mai Tai-inspired bliss. At training, we wanted to leave the classroom frequently just for some movement, which led to over-snacking which led to sadness and also I spent 3 hours in the gym this morning.

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Never eating granola bars again

The good thing about dinners, though, was the open bar. I made a lot of friends at dinners.

MO COOKIES MO PROBLEMS
MO COOKIES MO PROBLEMS

Atlanta Food, though, is a WHOLE different story. Shit’s good, man. Among the highlights:

Cookie cake at Cameron's going away party
Cookie cake at Cameron’s going away party

How we said goodbye to Cameron as he left for the Air Force! Also by getting trashed at a brewery and then grilling hot dogs. And also with makeshift chocolate melting cake. And a frozen pizza. And a Domino’s pizza. It was a rough night, ok?

Robert loves rainbow sprinkles
Robert loves rainbow sprinkles

Steak and Shake! On the roughest day of my stay (aka the day I didn’t get out of bed till noon and then proceeded to take two more naps throughout the day, only leaving bed to puke (sorry), order room service, and take a bubble bath). I had the cookie dough milkshake, which was divine and the perfect accompaniment to our lively debate about cargo shorts.

Pure joy
Pure joy

Let’s just take a minute to acknowledge the pure, radiant joy on Spencer’s face in this picture. We went to Fox Bros BBQ which my friend David summed up well by channeling Rihanna: “You found love in a barbecue place.” IT WAS HEAVEN. We all left in food comas, luckily our Uber driver was kind enough to roll us to her vehicle.

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On the last night, we went to King & Duke Atlanta, a classic Southern restaurant. So classic, in fact, that they were filming a TV show there for the Food Network! Unfortunately we are all terribly awkward, and I highly doubt that any of our clips will be allowed through to a national audience.

Host: Wow, that looks so good. Why did you order it?
Nicole: Um… it sounded good… and it was the daily special? Jesse, can I borrow some of your vodka?
Host: Wow! What a great reason! Mind if I take a picture of it for my Instagram?
Me (under my breath): Wonder what filter he’ll use…
Producer: Wow ma’am, that was a great comment!!!!!! Mind saying it louder?
Me: WHAT  FILTER  ARE  YOU GONNA     USE     ? ? ?

We drank heavily this night.

Partying, Partying (YEAH)

The best part of training was connecting with our new coworkers by drinking excessively! How the best bonds are forged. As I mentioned earlier, we would usually get a solid buzz going during dinner, and keep it rolling afterwards either at the hotel bar or in my room (I brought a bottle of vodka with me because idk how else to make friends). This was fun, but a little too close to the facilitators for our comfort, so we waited till Friday night to really go cray.

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My new best friend, Dennis?!

These people take going out SERIOUSLY. By the time we sat down for dinner on Friday, we were already 2 margaritas deep and had more on the way. Except for the asshole at our table who ordered a Manhattan, to whom I would like to say, you’re a prick.

Me and Dennis, back at it
Me and Dennis, back at it

The night would progress from there to playing drinking games in my room, and then calling several Ubers and trying to find out where people were. Answer: people were EVERYWHERE. It was my drunk socialite’s dream. At one bar, this guy Chad was buying drinks for everyone because his mom had given him money to use to make friends. Fuck. Yeah.

Big Sky Buckhead!
Big Sky Buckhead!

One night, we even made it to a legit SWINGER’S CLUB. One minute Spencer is complaining about wanting to dance, and the next thing I know we’re in a dance club where the average age is 65. I shit you not. This was the best night of my life. You had all of your usual suspects: a midget, a creepy old man with a ponytail and bandana, “that guy” who is just there and always staring at girls but never makes a move. One guy handed me a piece of broken glass and said it was a diamond and proposed. The wedding is in May at Pippin Hill Vineyards. The midget is the ring bearer.

Spencer reflects on his night of dancing
Spencer reflects on his night of dancing

Overall, this trip was excellent, although I’m not itching to stay in a hotel any time soon! I miss my new friends but I’m sure we will travel across the country to see each other over the years. If not, I will just poke them on Facebook till they are forced to acknowledge me.

NOT CONSULTING
NOT CONSULTING

Oh yeah, and I guess we’re good consultants too, because we had to make a fucking structure out of spaghetti and marshmallows and tape.

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