Phew I finally reached Pierre SD around midnight. I also had the honor of stopping by the rising star of SD 'Watertown'. I had no time to rehearse the demo so I quickly went to bed. And if it was not enough, I was told that only if I had replied to an email, I would have had my tickets and not suffer through the ordeal. I was just left wondering only if someone knew that a hotel reservation in Pierre without an airline reservation does not get you too far. Yes only if I had checked in a day earlier, yes only if I had done my own reservations and yes only if I had planned not to go to SD all of this will not have happened!!!
Anyway, the demo morning came in quite early and I managed my way to the demo hall. I was not only low on energy but anxious and nervous. Dr VG and AG had worked through the previous evening to address last minute kinks in the demo. At the same time the demo team had been bit by the flu bug with JG totally looking done and couple of other team followed soon. Anyway, the demo on Day 1 went fine and we planned to go out for bite before we went back to the hotel to get some rest. As is the case most time with CNSI contingent in these endeavors we had our first reportable encounter. One brave soul on our team forgot that there is a swimming pool at the hotel and decided to swim across the Missouri river. And yes he managed to battle the undercurrents and stay alive and show up on the dinner table. In order to celebrate his survival he drank a liquid cocaine shot (details of this cannot be published on the blog). To conclude day 1 I will have to share that that the whole town was dead by 8:00 since couple of the team members were roaming on SD streets trying to figure out a dinner place at 8:30 PM and the only thing that was open was a 'Blind Casino'.
The second day demo started with Allan waking up to high fever and wisely deciding to take a couple of hour’s additional rest before his presentation in the afternoon. The second day demos also went well and we were wrapping our session with Q&A with the state team. The fact that our team was very honest, forthcoming and open to the state with the questions was a pleasant and a big positive of the demo. Though few one liners like ‘I stood up Maine’, ‘in the past you must have been running a dating service’ stood out. But the real fun was in store for us in the evening. We had our entire team on the streets which had a big title board ‘The Cow Town’. Yes we were definitely new meat on the streets. As we made our way to a drinks place, we were stared at by everyone. It appeared that everyone at the bar knew everyone and finding this new bunch of people was definitely strange for them. After having some drinks we went to the Italian restaurant for food where JG ordered a white wine which was red in color. Are white wines not supposed to be white JG!!! Well you don’t question the sales man. After a lovely dinner we moved over to yet another bar (YAB) where quickly one of our team members became the talk of the entire woman crowd in the bar. They were all for him or as it is said they were all over him. We then moved over to YAB which had a dance floor and there as usual I was chanting ‘Punjabi’ in a town which had experienced their first brown skin 48 hours ago. But not for this dance floor we would not have discovered the hidden talents of our former deputy chief architect, ex-implementation manager. The person definitely made it a point to be on the dance floor trying to swing his way with every girl on the floor. It did not matter whether the girl had a man with him; our friend was swinging his way. Before I close this blog entry, I just got an update that I missed the highlight of the nite at the bar. State of SD runs a public shuttle service to drop all the drunk people from the bars to their houses. The service runs after midnight till three in the morning. But the highlight was that our ex marine colleague acted as a Good Samaritan when he helped broke up a cat fight. Two girls went at each other locks and barrel before our friend tried to intervene. Blood flowed, bones cracked all for our deputy chief architect ....PM. Anyway, it was three eventful days and hopefully we are given the opportunity by the state to not only act as a good Samaritan but also as a good IT partner.