Europe 2014 (Part 1 of 6)

The company I work for (Seapine Software) has offices in the United Kingdom and in Germany.   I’ve traveled over there about a half dozen times in the past for IT and Office related things.  Most trips are pretty brutal.  In fact my first 3 trips, I spent more times on planes than I did in any country.

Flying over for basically a day’s worth of work, by the time you factor in 12 hours of flight time (between connecting flights and lay overs) and the time shift (losing a half a day on the way over).  Flying in on a Wednesday and back on a Saturday nets you more time in the air than in the country.   It kind of puts a damper on the “Oooh you get to go to (insert European country here).  It wasn’t all that.

In 2010 we (a colleague and I) visited both the UK and German offices.   The goal on that trip was to upgrade some routing equipment in the UK and physically move the German office from the Munich airport into what is now our current office.   So it was a much longer trip.  Approximately 8 days.

We were able to get our work done in the UK and in an effort to keep the flights cheaper stayed over a weekend.  That gave us two days to kick around Great Britain.  After moving the German office and getting the IT infrastructure set up, we again had about a day and a half to kick around.

We did whirl-wind tours in both places.   Driving about 1000 miles in both countries in less than 48 hours rushing around to ‘see’ things.    But we still had fun.

Fast forward to 2014.   We need to visit these offices more.  They are smaller sales offices and the guys over there don’t always feel like they are part of the bigger Seapine Culture.   It pays to visit them and help them feel loved.

At the beginning of the year we sent some router hardware over there, but not the type of gear that anyone there in the office could install.   We also needed to deploy some other newer gear that we provide them from the states.

Due to changing personnel and other economic conditions we didn’t get the opportunity to actually visit and install said hardware until now (August).

That’s what the catalyst for this trip.   My wife always wanted to tag along, but the previous trips just weren’t conducive.   Like I said, very little time to actually get there, and do much outside of working.   But this time we planned it to tack on a couple extra days in each country.  Claudine is pretty self sufficient so she could run around and see things on her own while I worked in each office.    The next few blog posts will be a retrospective of that trip.    Things we saw, things we’d do again, and things we’d pass on.