Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Seeking feedback/advice on non-poker issue

I am very interested in anyone’s feedback on something that came up yesterday at work. I came to this company a year ago doing a job that I wasn’t that interested in, but with hopes to move into a more relationship/client service role after the first year. I recently got a new boss and I have discussed this with him. I am currently managing the business analysis for our online reporting product, but it is internally focused as far as interaction goes. The product team is closer to the customers and the business areas.

My boss got an email from his counterpart in product about a trip to Europe. The trip is a relationship building/requirements trip through a few of our overseas offices. Mostly to introduce the product we work on and meet some our future, internal clients. They will be using our product to deliver reporting to their clients.

My boss can’t go and he wants me to go. He said as long as it fit into my personal life, he thought it would be a good idea for me to go. It turns out that it is next week. Therein lies the rub. My 9 year old son has a play next week. It is one of those, once a year shows for the whole grade. He had tried out for a solo singing part and got it. Just last week my wife talked to the teacher and he said that my son had a great voice and he had the part before he even tried out. My son is very excited about the show.

So, what would you do? I have already made my decision but wanted other’s thoughts.

UPDATE: So after talking to my wife, I was feeling even more guilty. She understood how big of a trip it was for me, but also knew how my son would take the news. He is a sensitive kid. With that said, I am there for most everything for all my kids.

I felt like I had to make the trip work. Like most said, I thought it would help me in my career and more importantly, was an opportunity that, if passed up, may not come around to me again. I also have never been overseas in my life and was looking forward to the opportunity, albeit a quick one, on the company dime.

On the way home from baseball practice I told my son that I had to go and there was a 95% chance that I would miss his show. I still needed to work out certain details that would have allowed me to possible get him just in time if I skipped the last city and left a little early from the middle city. He was disappointed but seemed ok about it. He was bummed but thought it was kinda cool I was going across the world and would be bringing back foreign objects of desire.

Also, my wife called the teacher and found that on Tuesday afternoon they were having a dress rehearsal that he said I could come to if I wanted. Even though my first meeting was on Wednesday, I wasn't sure what time, so that was a possibility.

The bottom line is my meeting in Luxembourg isn't until 2pm on Wednesday. I will fly out of Boston at 6:45pm and arrive at 10:30am in Lux, in time for the meeting. That will allow me to go to the private viewing rehearsal and still get my flight. I am then going to Munich on Wednesday evening and have a meeting on Thursday. I am staying in Munich again on Thursday and flying home midday on Friday.

All in all, a perfect deal for me. I do have to fly the red-eye, but well worth it. I am also getting the extra night out in Munich on the back end of the trip, which is a nice bonus.

My wife will tape the show and, as Trip, suggested, we have already scheduled the screening for next weekend.

Thanks for all your opinions and comments. I appreciate it.


At 8:40 AM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

That is a sucky decision to have to make, Chris. I mean, if you think this is a key trip for your career, I guess I think there will be other plays but depending on how key this trip is, a similar opportunity may not pop up again.

Is there no chance of you just going to Europe for a few days and coming home before (or not leaving until after) your son's play?

At 9:14 AM, Blogger mookie99 said...

I think since your boss said "as long as it fits into your personal life" I would stay to watch my son's play. It doesn't sound like a make or break trip in regards to your job security, and you never know when your son will have this opportunity again. It's times like these that you and he will always remember, and I would think he would love to look out into the audience and see you there.

At 10:05 AM, Blogger jjok said...

".......as long as it fit into my personal life, he thought it would be a good idea for me to go......."

You've got outs.

If you don't think it will jeopardize your employment or advancement opportunities, then go watch your son be a star.....

At 11:11 AM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Ya that one does suck. I would probably go. If it seems like a big opportunity you will not get again.. make sure the wife brings the camcorder, and so something really, really, nice with the kid when you get back.

On the other hand maybe you should figure out if traveling and being customer facing is something you really want to do..

At 11:13 AM, Blogger TripJax said...

If it is a good chance for your career, and could be a great trip for you, go on the trip and have wifey record the play.

Could be cool to get a copy of the play, fire it up on the vcr/dvd and watch it with your son with popcorn and soda like it is a movie. That's just the cheezy dad in me.

First, however, I would talk to wifey and son and ask what they think...

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Jimmy said...

Rough situation. If the trip will make a difference in your career, I would have to go with that. Your wife can record it and you'll be able to watch it later. I would definetely say clear it with the wife first. If she has huge issues with you going, then I would have to rethink it and take your outs. If she is cool, I would take the trip. Good luck with your decision.

At 1:08 PM, Blogger Poker4peace said...

Your boss may be bluffing a little with the "as long as it fits into your personal life" comment... I would probably go too. There will be other plays to go but you may never have this paid travel opportunity again. When my baby girl was still a baby girl I was gone a lot and missed some school functions but I was there for many also.

Either way, you have good implied odds. ))

At 2:05 PM, Blogger Klopzi said...

If you're truly interested in advancing your career, you go. If you turn down the offer this time, your boss will find it far to easy to pass off future opportunities on other people.

However, if you think that this and future opportunities will only serve to dampen your family with little in the way of increased salary or benefits, then I'd skip the trip.

It's a hard choice - work vs. family. Happens all the time and there's nothing you can do about it.

Here's hoping you and your wife have made the right choice.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger CarmenSinCity said...

I would go on the trip. But then again, I don't have any kids because I'm too selfish and self-centered to focus on anyone besides myself. So, I'm trying to think back to when I was a kid and I think I was perfectly fine if just one parent came to my cheerleading events or gymnastics meets - as long as someone showed up for me!

At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Kid has as good a voice as the teacher says then I'm sure there will be many more opps for you to see him live.

I would go on the trip.

At 3:21 PM, Blogger drewspop said...

Wow, thanks for all the response everyone. I appreciate it. I am going to update the post with my decision, which turned out to be a pretty easy one.

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Jules said...

Chris, it's amazing that you found a way to build a compromise on this one! You'll be tired for the first meeting, but try and sleep on the plane. Get a GOOD travel pillow, a window seat, eye shades and ear plugs and you should nap like a baby.

At 5:16 PM, Blogger iamhoff said...

Chris, you come off as a good parent. Hell, you pimp your son in your blog and as your poker name! I think you made the right decision. If drewsmum and drewsself would have had major issues, then you might have been outkicked (or is it kicked out? It's a jopke!). Enjoy the private rehersal, enjoy the exclusive screening of the video, and have a damn-tastic good time in Europe. Make the trip worthwhile, both for self and career. Good luck and definitely do what Jules said.

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Klopzi said...

Good stuff! So it all worked out - very nice!


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