Here's my trip summary - long . . .?
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|Thu, 07-24-2003 - 2:04pm|
I went to Charlotte, NC with two co-workers. We flew in Monday and landed around 3:30. By the time we got our rental car and made our way to our hotel it was around 5:00. I called my office to check in and my temp recommended a good seafood restaurant, LaVechia’s. It was about 3-4 block from our hotel so we walked. We had a really nice meal, great service. One of my co-workers is allergic to nuts and certain fruit and the chef made her a chocolate soufflé. We thought that was very sweet.
The concierge recommended an Irish pub/bar, Re-Ra’s (sp?). It was cute and pub-like but dead. We found out that Charlotte is a banking town and most people go home at night. There were only about 5 occupied tables in the pub and the streets were empty. We were the only ones walking at 9:00. It was weird. Mind you, two of us are from CT and the other lives/works in NYC so we’re all used to crowds of people. Let’s just say there isn’t much to do at night, especially for single people, or so we were told. One of the bartenders said this is not the best place for single people.
The next day we found our way to the office and met our contact. She is a lovely person. We had one morning session at 10:00 and another at 2:00. I went with two women from our travel agency/dept. and they explained the hows and whys of the travel industry.
Both sessions went well. They asked questions and we had answers. I met a few people I’ve spoken with on the phone for some time so it was nice to have faces to go with their names and voices. There was only one thing that bugged me. There have been rumors our office will relocate to Charlotte. It may or may not happen, we’ll just have to wait and see. Anyway, one of the assistants said, ‘I hear the building going up across from us is for your office . . .’ meaning we’ll be relocating there. I don’t remember what I said, something like, ‘Oh really? Well we’ll just have to wait and see.’ That hurt. It felt like she was stabbing me in the back and twisting it. Wouldn’t that upset you? If this does happen it won’t be for 1-2 years. The ground isn’t even broken yet and pouring a foundation is months away.
Their office building is brand new. The cubicles seemed rather cold. They are a blue and gray plastic sort of structure and they are low. All of the offices have glass walls so they too don’t have a lot of privacy but at least they can close their doors. It felt like Big Brother is watching. In our office in CT the cubicles have a nice cherry wood finish and they are high. You can’t see your neighbor and have some privacy. Not in Charlotte. Everyone can know your business. We are so spoiled in CT.
That night we went to Luchee’s (sp?), an Italian restaurant. It was also delicious. Both nights we had great meals. Again, there was not much happening. We ended up having a drink at the bar in our hotel, which is next to the convention center. There was a convention in town so the bar was happening but let’s just say the convention wasn��t our kind of crowd.
In between our meetings we went to lunch at an O’Charlies (sp?). I guess it’s a chain but we don’t have any around where we live so it was new to me. One thing I noticed – everything is very s p a c e d o u t. You have to understand, coming from CT and NY, everything here is crammed together. There is very little open space left in our area. The shopping center we ate lunch at was HUGE. There was a Lowe’s Hardware, a Wal-Mart, more stores we didn’t even see and 4 stand-alone restaurants. I can see that people must literally drive from the Lowe’s to the Wal-Mart and all the other stores. Is this how other areas are set-up? I’m not used to that. I’m used to a shopping center where I can run into the CVS, walk next door to the Staples, walk 10 feet further to the Bed, Bath and Beyond, walk 50 feet to the Coconut’s music store, then go downstairs to the Super Stop ‘n Shop for a few groceries, all without going back to my car.
Where our office in Charlotte is, it’s way out there. I wouldn’t say it’s the boonies but it’s not in a downtown area. They don’t have a cafeteria and they can’t really walk to a deli like our office here in CT. You really have to get in your car and drive to every place you need to go. Where I live now if my car died and I had to get groceries or do some banking I can walk to stores and such. It might be a mile but I can walk it. I don’t see people doing that in Charlotte. Since there is so much open land everything is really spaced apart.
Also, I noticed something (hope I don’t offend anyone), people are a little chubbier. I think it’s because of 1) the heat, 2) they drive their cars more than walk and 3) the food. I also think in my area we are more concerned with our appearance. Okay I’ll admit it, some of us are vain. There, I said it. It’s the NYC influence. People in Charlotte appear to not be as fashion minded too. One girl’s hairstyle was a throw-back to the 80’s.
I tried to go with an open mind, just in case we do relocate in the future. If this does happen I may not even be offered a position. If I do get an offer I’m not sure I could make the move. It is a BIG difference from CT. One thing I noticed – it was soooo hot! Another reason why driving is a big part of living there. My feet had swelled and I started to develop a little blister on a toe. That’s never happened before. Someone mentioned it’s probably because of the humidity. All three of us agreed, our shoes hurt us so we could only assume it was the humidity.
All in all it was a good trip. We made our flights just fine with no problems even though there were some bad storms in the area. It was good to get home and be back in the crammed northeast.