May 1, 2008
Live from MMS 2008 – Vegas!
This week I’ve been at my first Microsoft conference in a while – Microsoft Management Summit in sunny Las Vegas. The last one was way back in the spring of ’06, which seems like forever ago.
So, this is my first official “Megan” conference badge.
At work, everyone (or virtually everyone) “Knows”. Coming to a five thousand person conference – not so much. While I’ve been here, I’ve done customer and partner meetings, both formal and informal, and also talked to a lot of other ‘softies who I’ve never met before. In addition, I’ve run into a lot of ‘softies who I haven’t seen in quite some time.
Fundamentally, what the customers and partners care about when they are talking to me is that I have a clue about what I’m talking about. I’ve not gotten any crappy looks, comments, or sideways glances (as far I as I can tell).
One thing that I did notice, handshaking is totally different. I’ve got reasonably big, but long and thin hands. “Before” when I’d shake hands with people, I’d get the full on, thumb/thumb handshake. Now, when I shake hands w/men, they tend to grab fingers only – not the full-on palm handshake that I’ve been used to.
There is still oddity when I see people who I know, but haven’t seen in a while. I ran into one guy who I’ve worked with a ton in the past, and he was here with his wife. I said hi to him, and he started talking and he said to me: “Wow Megan, you are looking great!”. I could see his wife give him a super shitty look when he said that! I’m sure he’ll explain later, and get the “Ooooohhhhh, now I understand!”. It was a funny moment.
Others are more circumspect: “I’ve heard there’s been a lot going on with you!”
To all of my friends and co-workers who I haven’t seen in a while – I’m certainly “Out”, and I don’t get bummed out or uncomfortable when people learn about my story. So, if you are afraid that if you say something obvious like “How’s your transition been?” – it’s ok!
On to a more pressing topic – what to eat in Vegas! I have a new favorite steak place in Vegas – “Cut”. It is in the new Venetian Palazzo wing, and it’s a Wolfgang Puck restaurant. I know… these are not great at times – good, not great. This is actually great. Try it. Its new. The service is fantastic, the sommelier is super, and the general manager was super fun to talk to (Marino Monferrato). If you go there, tell ‘em Megan sent you!
(Our previous fave place for steak here – Craft Steak was VERY disappointing when Anh and I were here about a month ago… I may give them another shot, but not soon.)
I also tried David Burke with a couple of other folks. The drinks were great, I had a fantastic halibut t-bone, which was light and memorable. BUT – we had a spicy lobster appetizer that came out undercooked (way undercooked). They handled it well, gave us a salad as a replacement (comped), but still – yuk – undercooked lobster. Not cool. Not sure I’ll go back there anytime soon.
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon is still my absolute fave on the strip. Go. Go again. I sent somebody there this trip and they described it as “The Best Meal of My Life”. Go. Go More.
Anyway…. Just another show, and I can restart my badge collection!