When asked to write ‘A day in the life of a monster’ my immediate thought was, ‘which day do I pick’? I’m pretty certain there is no such thing as a typical day for most people and absolutely certain that the word typical doesn’t exist here at Purple Monster.
So, here is ‘A Day in the Life’ that I picked from earlier this week. It’s certainly not typical and it’s not exceptional but it will just give an insight into what goes on when we’re designing, planning and delivering events.
0645 – Woke up at home. Now that sounds strange I know, but when you are bombing around all over the place and designing and running lots of events for different clients then it’s not always your own bed that you wake up in.
In the next few months we are running big events in 4 different countries, as well as doing the day to day running of the business, which foolishly is still 180 miles from my house.
0745 – try unsuccessfully to persuade my dog to come in from the garden.
0805 – dog comes in, in her own good time.
0830 – catch the train to London and deal with the emails en route that have come in overnight from the US, where we are about to run an event next week.
One of the really lovely things about this job is the variety and diversity of people that we get to work with. That meeting will contain people from North America, Canada and Central and South America.
I’m off this morning to design an interactive exercise for a particular session at a workshop in 3 weeks. There we’ll be working with people from Asia, Europe, America again and many other nations. Meeting and sharing thoughts with people from all over the world is such a privilege.
1030 – meet up with Alan who has come in from his home. Grab a quick pre-meeting coffee and ask the barista if the almond milk is sweetened. I wouldn’t normally drink almond milk but I’m trying to be a bit healthier this year and have cut out sugar for a bit.
They assure me there is no added sugar in the almond milk. They lied. There is. Re-order a black coffee and enviously watch Alan finish his breakfast pastry.
1100 – The session that we are here to design today is with Alan and two of our clients. One can only join a bit later so we decide to get cracking and see how far we can get before she is able to join.
After a couple of productive hours filled with laughter, conspiratorial whispering and some pretty agile pacing around the small meeting room to get our creative juices flowing we arrive at the bones of the exercise that we want to create.
1300 – break for a spot of lunch and to see what the sweetened milk situation is like in this cafeteria. It’s not great so I opt for a diet coke to go alongside my chicken, olives and humous. Apparently I’m getting healthier but i’d prefer a hot cross bun any day!
1330 – Our second colleague re-joins us and we collectively run the idea past her. Thankfully she loves it and not surprisingly has some great builds that will make it even more fun and relevant.
1400 – the third of our clients joins us for a check in of logistics and a detailed run through of the workshop that we are about to run in 3 weeks.
There’s a lot to think about and thankfully there is someone with us who knows their way around an excel tracker and we all finish the meeting knowing that we’re in good shape for the workshop and we’re all clear on the actions that we’ve all got to get after in the next week or so.
1500 – We now have to decide where to do the next meeting. It’s a video call on Teams to the US and requires us to have an internet connection. This is common.
So many times we have had to do calls in the car park of motorway service stations (not always successful) and less often tried to join calls on trains (that never works) but this time our friends here can find us a room and they graciously allow us to use it to call our other client who has now woken up in the US and is keen to catch up.
1600 – the call is done. We are slightly surprised to learn that because of the leader’s commitments we are now having to change the order of the meeting around. Just be aware of this if you’re planning a conference you may very well want to have the agenda nailed with 2 weeks to go. But things change and you have to be adaptable.
Our history as actors and improvisers does thankfully allow us to not be too troubled by the idea of switching the gala night around with the BBQ evening. Mind you, we don’t have to call the hotel and deal with all the logistical implications. Thank you, Greg, for dealing with that so artfully and without fuss. Impressive.
1700 – arrive across town and ready to board the train together this time back up to Leamington. We have an interview for a new role tomorrow and we both need to be there.
A bit of commuter style working writing up notes from today and then switching off for an hour and listening to a podcast or two just to recharge the batteries. Its about cricket. What better way to recharge the batteries.
1830 – Arrive in Leamington and pop into the office just to drop off some things before I head my way to the Airbnb that I’ve booked for tonight. After spending many years staying in hotels, this new trend for staying in someone’s home is really nice.
Almost all the places that I have stayed are lovely and tonight I’m greeted by an old friend. Mabel, the Great Dane is there when I reach my digs and I get ready to listen to my football team lose again before waking up to a busy and fun filled day tomorrow at Monster towers. I’ll just have a cup of tea before I hit the hay. I wonder if they’ve got almond milk?