I have the pleasure of visiting our great nation’s capital today: Ottawa. A quick two hour blast down the 417, Ottawa is the complete opposite of what you would normally expect a capital city to be. It’s far from being the largest city in Canada, thus goes against my childhood theory that to be the capital city you had to be the biggest and the best. I’m not knocking Ottawa as a city, in fact I really enjoy visiting, but it is true that it is quite possibly the farthest thing from a sprawling metropolis as you can get. An it is this very fact that is a major part of its charm.
As you can plainly see from the look on my face and the delightful scenery behind me, I did not get to enjoy any of Ottawa’s charms today. From the moment I got back from Ottawa airport with my colleague Paul, we were sequestered in a conference room hidden from the light of day by virtue of it being situated in the middle of the building. What is it with meeting rooms that have no access to natural light? Is it that the higher ups don’t want us distracted by, dare I say it, the view of a tree blowing in the wind or perhaps a squirrel nibbling on a nut? Nah, it’s not that. The reason is actually a good one: they place everyone’s regular desks by the windows as it has been proven that access to daylight stimulates productivity. It’s a shame, therefore, that the meeting room, which is used to gather groups of people for high productivity discussions, is usually placed in the darkest part of the building, the centre, because there is no other place available.
I’m here until Thursday, but I don’t think that my prospects are going to get much brighter. Back to back meetings will almost guarantee that I will be as pale as a sheet when I get back from lack of sun. I shall probably have a malnourished look about me from drinking far too much coffee and consuming too many Tim Hortons breakfast sandwiches. I’ll need one hell of a hardcore interval training session when I get back to feel normal again.
I tried doing Face Time with the family this evening from the hotel. I was on the iPhone and they were back in Montreal on the laptop. Things got off to a terrific start. I had managed to connect to the free wifi provided by the hotel and soon I was staring at the smiling faces of Marie, Em and Ollie. Only problem was I couldn’t hear a word they were saying. Their lips were moving and they seemed happy to see me. So why weren’t they telling me how awesome this Face Time thing was? Before I had a chance to figure it out the picture froze and the call dropped. “Wha’ happen’d?” I said to myself. Needless to say we switched to that ancient technology, the cell phone, to complete our conversation. Until tomorrow when I try again.