Travel And Onsite Work

Hands-on, Travel, Onsite Time

It appears the Events Wrangler responsibilities at Automattic will be very hands-on and involve a significant amount of travel to manage onsite logistics during events, as well as the pre-work before and follow-up details after the event.

The travel, both US and global, and onsite work before, during and after events are job aspects I eagerly look forward to! Those activities will be an excellent fit with my current life situation and will just be one more pleasant part of having a remote job at Automattic.

Love Road Trips, New Faces, New Places

Road Trips — For me, being on the road is an adventure, not a chore. Some members of road tripmy family consider an hour trip in the car a long time and feel that being away from home for more than one night is not an experience they enjoy all that much.

I love road trips and have made many cross-country journeys by car, bus, train and plane for personal and business reasons. Those trips are enjoyable for me, so I look forward to them. Getting in the car at 6 AM and driving 400 miles to visit my sister is a great way to spend the day. People who see me driving along probably wonder why I’m smiling as I roll down the highway….

new facesNew Faces — I’ve always considered meeting new people and building new relationships to be the top benefits of participating in tech events, especially participant-driven ones. By working onsite for events, I’ll get to meet lots of speakers, sponsors’ reps, and scads of participants. In addition to those new faces, I’ll also be able to personally meet all the vendors for the event, including people from the venue, the food suppliers, equipment providers, and all the other people you don’t usually notice at an event unless something goes wrong. Meeting and working in-person with the entire spectrum of people who are required to pull off a great event will allow me to learn from them, extend my personal and business network across the country and around the world, and make each event better than the one before it.

New Places — I want the Events Wrangler job because I thoroughly enjoy organizing and running tech events. It’s fun to bring together like-minded people who will have a heck of a good time at the event. Being able to travel was not my primary motive for applying for the job of Events Wrangler. But having the opportunity to go and explore new places is for me an unquestionably enjoyable facet of the job.

I’ve been in quite a few of the 50 states of the USA, but there are some I have yet to set foot in. And I’ll enjoy revisiting the ones I’ve already had a peek at. My international travels have been limited, with most of my time outside the USA borders being spent in Canada. Québec and British Columbia in particular have been the scene of memorable personal and work visits. The only other global travel I’ve done was a couple weeks in Argentina (in and around Buenos Aires) and a week in Italy (mostly in Pescara). Events wrangling in various parts of the world will be an adventure and a half! The people I met and worked with in Canada, Argentina and Italy were fantastic hosts, warmly welcoming, and fun to get to know. I hope to enjoy more of the same wherever I go.

new places

Because I don’t currently have a full time job, I’m hoping Automattic will offer me the option to do work onsite before, during or after an event for my Events Wrangler contract trial period! Travel is not a problem for me, and that would give Automattic and my fellow workers a realistic look at how I do in real world situations. (hmmm…I think I’ll hop on Google and see when and where upcoming Automattic events are being scheduled… 🙂 )

Good Fit For My Situation

For some people, being on the road and doing lots of onsite work for events is less than ideal. They may be recently married, have young children, have frequent community obligations, play on a lot of sports team, or have a variety of other issues that make the travel out of town somewhat or very problematic. Or they might just be the type of person who prefers to stay at home and be in familiar surroundings and situations.

The above travel limitations don’t apply to my current situation, as shown by the following points:

  • My wife has a full time job that more than keeps her busy. She’s a social worker who works for the Salvation Army and also does volunteer social work after her paid job is over for the day. She’s a homebody who very much enjoys sleeping in her own bed and her own house, rather than a hotel or a friend’s house.
  • We have a son and daughter who both live in Wisconsin. If my wife did need help with something while I was gone, they’re in the vicinity.
  • Our kids are out of college, but we don’t have grandkids, so there aren’t parental or grandparental duties for which I frequently need to be in my hometown.
  • We have no pets, no time-consuming maintenance of a multi-acre lawn or garden, and no community obligations that require me to stay in town most of the time.

When you add up everything I said above, it equals a happy, tired, contented Events Wrangler and a bunch of satisfied and smiling event participants, sponsors, speakers, vendors and fellow workers.

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll take a look at some of the onsite work with which I hope to be involved in the not-too-distant future.