The Big Easy - January
Coach Siena and Alan Edgewater are each smoking a cigar at the Port of New Orleans. A riverboat floats by in the distance. “I’m going to head over to the French Quarter,” says the Coach “You are welcome to join me if you want... Probably not that busy mid afternoon but I still want to check it out. This is my first trip to New Orleans.”
No thanks Coach, I have to do a phone interview with a local radio station Jan hooked me up with. And after that, I’m going to head back to the room and look over my slides for tomorrow. Remember this is going to be a smaller crowd than you saw in Orlando. It will be a classroom style seating. Insurance sales, HVAC folks, teachers, nurses, cats and dogs. Be real. I think you will connect with this group.”
“I’ll tell you what. I’m glad you convinced me to come on down to the Big Easy. The Marriott has sure been taking care of me since I checked in. Ya know, since I won all that money I just have to get out of town more. Everyone wants a piece of me. I got friends I never knew I had coming out of the woodwork. I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I’m blessed, I really am.” He looks at the end of his cigar and rolls it a bit between his thumb, index and middle fingers.
The room is already set. Alan was able to supervise because nothing was scheduled in that room after yesterday. He is hoping this group dynamic will generate a good vibe. His publisher was much more active in filling the room at Orlando. They saw it as a reasonable way to generate book sales, but here in New Orleans, less than a year later, it’s all on Abbeshire and Bluestone as directed by the Failure Coach himself. He’s confident that his lottery winning featured side-show will deliver. Since he cashed his winning check in a lump sum he never misses an opportunity to show the world his unique ability to use poor judgment. Nevertheless he has a heart of gold, thinks Alan. He is a real every man. I’ll tell you what - the folks at this here Marriott have sure taken care of me. Duh. We are guaranteeing 150 rooms and will drop fifty large on this place at least. I hope coach Siena can stay out of trouble between now and showtime. Maybe I should have stayed with him as he wanders the French Quarter. I hope he stays out of the casino. What-ever!
“I’ll tell you what. New Orleans is a friendly kind of place. Everywhere I goes… Can you pour me one of them Hurricane drinks. I’m a tourist to be certain, but I can see why people like to come here. You got history, charm and people are just to dag gum friendly.” The coach has an audience with the bartender and a handful of patrons (probably regulars) in a tavern he found just off of Bourbon Street.
Meanwhile Alan is kicking back in his Junior Suite. The TV is on ESPN but the sound is turned down and he is checking e-mails, Twitter and his website blogs to see if any new comments have appeared. He told Coach Siena he was going to look over his slides but approach-avoidance cognitive dissonance sets in and he figures he will be able to pick up where he left off in Orlando.
“Knock Knock” Alan hears a couple of gentle raps but isn’t aware someone is at his door.
“Who is it?”
“Housekeeping. Housekeeping. Housekeeping”
He opens the door to Daniel Bluestone in the hallway laughing at his little joke.
“Wow. I didn’t expect to see you here?”
“Yeah, well I am and you are gonna pay my travel and hotel and then some when you see what I’ve got for you. Don’t worry I flew Southwest and I got your special group room rate. Here’s the deal. I got the national sales manager from Sazerac distribution to come to your seminar and he’s anxious to meet you because he’s got a sales meeting coming up and he thinks you might be just the jump start/kick in the ass his group needs. Have you heard of these guys? Sazerac is a brand of rye whiskey owned by the Sazerac Company and produced by the Buffalo Trace Distillery. It’s a cool brand and this national sales guy called me because he dug the video of your Orlando keynote I posted. You know that edited piece with selects from the convention center… ”
“Outstanding! Any chance we can sample the product? We already have the room set with four cash bars.”