So my trip to the city of oranges was pretty much like the fruit – sweet, fresh, zingy and a little bitter.
Getting up at 4 in the morning and leaving with a single piece of luggage (which was not a diaper bag by the way) was a huge deal. I hadnt traveled without the baby yet so because of the separation anxiety, while it was liberating, it was also a very very unsettling though.
I reached the airport to meet a new set of colleagues for a business consulting assignment. Now, I know I’ve been raving about the whole work from home deal for a while now, but working out of home, especially when you are on a ‘business trip’ has its own charm.
First up it felt great to be part of a team again and not a lone wolf on a hunt.
Secondly, in my opinion, working offsite on projects suddenly elevates the importance and value of that work so much. It re-positions mundane tasks as ‘missions’ and regular discussions as ‘brainstorming break-out sessions’. But nomenclature aside, it’s a great way for teams to re-connect with each other and re-calibrate their thoughts on projects that are very close to their hearts.
Thirdly, nothing beats an all expense paid trip to a great location where all you’re expected to do is use your mind, and sometimes maybe the mini-fridge.
The objective of this trip was to understand consumer behaviour for a highly penetrated category and we met a few people who’re parked right the basement of the societal pyramid.
How was it? Like every other experience when haves meet have-nots and pretend to ‘get’ their life. Depressing, but full of real, unpainted perspective. Got some great insights for the project but better ones for life.
The first day ended with some phenomenal learnings on the work front and phenomenal stress on the personal side. First night I left the baby ever, remember? My husband was in-charge and totally holding the fort, but like all moms, its hard to imagine anyone else can do it better than you. Also, as every lactating mother would understand, it’s pretty hard to actually forget you have a baby when you’re leaking away like a faulty tap.
Finally after several phone calls with me micro-managing the husband on what to feed, what to sing, how to hold and how to comfort, he asked me (fairly firmly) to go sleep and let him manage the baby in peace. So I did. Took an oh-my-god so relaxing jacuzzi bath while at it.
The night went by smoothly for me and the baby. I slept through while he woke up once for about an hour in the morning. A separate post by hmy husband will follow soon where he does the tell all on “10 things you can do when your wife leaves you stranded with a baby for the night”.
By the time the second day ended, we had learned loads about the primal human needs of our core consumers, built a pathway for new business opportunities and bought several dozen oranges to carry home.
And for all my joy of being able to give this time to myself, I couldn’t wait to rush home and give the tightest hug in the world to my little bean and watch him smile at me.
Oh and it was so worth it!