Tomorrow morning, before the birds wake up and the sun rises, I will be on my way to the airport to catch a flight for my annual work management meetings in Houston, TX. Anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes with me this month knows how much I’m dreading this trip…especially since dear Hurricane Patricia decided to become the largest storm ever recorded in the history of the planet and put Houston in its path. But I guess a boss ass bitch has gotta do what a boss ass bitch has gotta do.
Not to shit on Houston (or Texas in general, for that matter) but oh my God, what a hell hole. Anyone reading this that’s from Texas or has been to Texas, please don’t pull the guillotine rope on me just yet…my statement isn’t intended to offend anyone. My image of Texas my whole life prior to visiting has been a positive one; who wouldn’t love a state where everything is bigger?! You’ve got the hair, the BBQ, the Cowboys (NFL and real life) and that adorable little accent all rolled up into one big ass state in the good ol’ U.S. of A. Sounds like a party I’d wanna go to. Then I arrived for my very first work meeting in Houston and soon learned I was very wrong. Here’s what happened last time…
Having never traveled to Texas before, I was excited to learn our annual work meetings would be held in Houston, where our corporate headquarters are located. I thought awesome! A new state to visit where I’ve heard nothing but good things about! And omg that BBQ! I can’t wait! And neither could any of my fellow coworkers who would be attending. We all had high hopes for the Lone Star State.
Our flights were scheduled fairly early in the morning since our first meeting in Houston was at 3pm, and coming from California, we had to ensure our arrival times allotted for transport from the airport to the hotel, check in time and the necessary bathroom break. Sarah and I arrived at Long Beach Airport and took off around 6am. We landed an hour and a half later in Phoenix where we had to run over a half mile to our next gate to catch our connecting flight 30 minutes after our first flight landed. If you’ve never been to the Phoenix airport, don’t go. It’s a horribly designed place. Out of breath (and irritated by this time) we finally made it to our second flight and traveled the additional 2 1/2 hours to Houston. Since we had to wake up so early, we were under the impression we would have the chance to grab some breakfast or coffee at either airport or on either flight. Neither of those chances came around. By the time we landed in Houston, we were starved, exhausted, and pissy…I’m sure all of our coworkers were excited to see us walk up at baggage claim. Get us to the damn hotel already, I’m hangry! I joke not, we waited over an hour for someone from transportation to meet us in baggage claim. It was about an hours drive to the hotel in Sugar Land, TX from the airport. Again, no snacks. By the time we arrived at the hotel and got checked in, it was after 3pm. We hadn’t eaten since the night beforehand. I’m so hungry I’m going to murder the next person I see and gnaw their arm off… The company personnel registering us at the hotel handed us a $20 gift card and said “here you go, we don’t have any food for you yet, so here’s some money to buy a meal.” We asked where we could go to purchase something, since obviously we aren’t familiar with the area and don’t have a car; we were only told “oh, I don’t know for sure, but I’ll bet you can find something around here not too far.” I literally might murder someone. God help you all.
Sarah and I managed to find a Jimmy Johns sandwich shop about 4 blocks from the hotel. The rest of the afternoon was filled with meetings until dinner time rolled around. They provide the meals at all of the meetings and it’s usually great food, so we were all excited to cram our faces full at dinner and end the night on a high note. When we were released from our meetings and sent to dinner, we were completely shocked. All that awaited us in the dining rooms were nuked enchiladas, canned rice, a weird tasting tortilla soup, and some refried beans with watered down, spiceless salsa. What the fuck is this?! Don’t they know what salsa tastes like?…this must be Tex-Mex. We are from California, they really should know better! Not having the courage or capacity to stomach any of our meals, we left the dining room disappointed and rightfully angry. Sarah and I headed back up to our room and all of our friends headed up to theirs.
As Sarah and I sat in our room complaining about the total bullshit we were just subjected to, I finally thought you know what?! Fuck this, I’m a fat kid and I will not stand to be starved on a work trip! I called a nearby Dominos, ordered 3 large pizzas for delivery to the hotel front desk, and sent out Facebook messages to every one of my coworkers I liked saying: PIZZA IN KAT AND SARAHS ROOM IN 30 MINUTES, BE THERE! Sure enough, they showed.
The following morning, we made sure to wake up extra early so we could stuff our faces on some awesome breakfast and kill the hunger pains in our stomachs. When we arrived downstairs to the dining room, we were greeted by an array of juices, coffee, and microwaved breakfast tacos. Microwaved breakfast tacos?!?! What the…where’s the eggs?! Bacon? Waffles? Anything?… We circled the room twice assuming there’d been some massive mistake. The only mistake made was our assumption there would be a decent breakfast waiting for us in the morning. With no other option than to kill ourselves, we found a hotel cafe open and serving a breakfast buffet for $22/person. We cringed at the price tag and agreed it was well worth it. Come time for the meetings, we had to have been the only chicks in the room not dying of malnutrition.
To cut the story down some, the remainder of the trip didn’t change. Some people in other groups even passed out on the first day as they weren’t transported directly to the hotel; instead, they were sent on a 2 hour tour of our corporate hub. Not eating for that length of time would make anyone pass out, so they couldn’t be blamed for the dramatic reaction. In addition to the major food issue, the pillows were hard as rocks and the size of boulders, the meeting rooms were as cold as a morgue, and if you’re gonna offer dessert, please don’t make it bread pudding. Really? Okay, cmon…really?! We couldn’t wait to get the hell out of Houston and never look back.
The minute we all arrived back home and to our perspective stores, we called and emailed the regional managers explaining our complete dismay at the failed coordination of this work trip. We insisted something be done or we’d refuse to attend again. We were told that many people had complained of the same issues. At least we knew it wasn’t a hallucination, it actually was that bad. I truly hope some changes have been made to ensure we don’t have such an awful trip this time around.
Wish me luck on this trip to Houston! I’m hoping that the food doesn’t suck, the transportation is swift, the pillows are soft, and my opinion of the Lone Star state becomes one of redemption and not of disdain. Bring it on, Houston.
Check in on my social media through Friday to follow me on my journey to Texas and find out how things are going.