I spent last week in Seattle for a training program that Avanade sends all new hires to called QuickStart. The week was a ton of fun! I met some really great people from all over the world, including the UK, Germany, Spain and Canada. Plus people from all over the US.
I flew in Sunday morning so that I'd have time to do some sightseeing. I wandered around and found some random cafe for lunch and had a falafel sandwich. Then I went on the Underground Tour. Seattle was built on a flood plain, so twice a day when the tide came in there were serious sewage issues (if you flushed while the tide was in, the toilets flushed up). They backfilled the entire area, making the old first stories of the building underground. What you see now as the first story is actually the original second story.
After that I wandered around Pike Place Market and took in the sights, including the Original Starbucks (the logo is a bit more revealing there). I bought some fresh fruit and watched the dudes throw fish around.
Class began on Monday. The focus of the training is on how to be a good consultant: meeting skills, questioning skills, assessing risk, stuff like that. That evening I had dinner at Marco's Supperclub and had an amazing tuna dish.
Tuesday after class we had a team building event at Blue Ribbon Cooking School. Beer and wine provided while you cook under the guidance of professional chefs. This was a great time! Afterwards a few of us went to a pool hall and kept the night going.
After class Wednesday, about a dozen of us went to the international district (the PC way of saying Chinatown) for dinner. Followed by bubble tea and a round of beers (African Amber) back at the Edgewater Hotel (where Avanade put us up for the week).
Thursday was our last day of class. Afterwards thirteen of us went out for sushi. Talk about a great mix of cultures! Japanese food and people from all over Europe and North America. Some beer, some sakegood times! Then we went to the Seattle Mariners baseball game. What's more American than baseball? Of the thirteen of us, only three were American. When the international folks started asking me about the rules (How many tries does he get? What are those lines for? So a foul ball is only a strike sometimes? Don't those people die from boredom standing there waiting for a ball to get hit?), I realized how convoluted baseball is. It's such a simple premise with a huge pile of rules.
After the game we went to a bar called Cowgirls Inc. You know the movie Coyote Ugly? It's like that. Bartenders dancing on the bar. Drinks and dancing made for a good time.
The week was great! I'm glad I got to know so many fun people, and I'm feeling inspired to be part of this organization.