Hello, my name is Kim and I am an idiot. Here is my story:
Several weeks ago, my boss asked me to schedule a meeting with some vendors coming in from New York. The vendor and I emailed back and forth regarding dates and times, and finally settled on 10:30am today. I sent the meeting invitatation to them via Outlook, scheduled a conference room, and thought that was that.
Today, around 10:45am, I realized we hadn't heard from them. As I have been out of the office the last couple of weeks, with that trial thing, I asked my boss if the meeting had been cancelled while I was out. She said no, not that she knew.
Being the initiative-taking kinda girl I am, I looked at Lambert's flight schedules from New York - hmmm, all planes from New York arrived on time. I wonder what could be keeping them?
And then I realized - Oh, holy crap...time zone change. I bet you $20 they show up at 11:30.
Apparently, Outlook isn't smart enough to realize that if I, in the Central Time Zone, send a 10:30 meeting request to someone in the Eastern time zone, I mean 10:30 and not 11:30. Conversely, perhaps I am not smart enough to remember that Outlook is stupid and I should tell people Central Time.
To add to the confusion, our department was leaving the office at 11:30 for a belated birthday lunch for me. So, when our vendors showed up, we invited them along.
~~~~~~Scooby Doo Flashback Time~~~~~~
Earlier in the day, I was asked where I wanted to eat for my birthday. There are two malls both within 10 minutes from my office, both of which have fantastic restaurants and both of which I have been to for other office lunches in the last few months. I said "Hanley's" (at West County Mall across the street) but was picturing Cardwell's (at Plaza Frontenac 10 minutes away).
Brain = fail.
~~~~Back to Present Time~~~~
My boss drove separately, as she had to leave by 12:30 for a previously-scheduled meeting. Other members of the team drove themselves, so I (feeling responsible for the time zone mixup) offered to drive our vendors to lunch. They would soon discover that this was doing them no favors.
I headed to West County Mall, across the street from my office. As I pulled into the parking lot, I thought I was in the wrong place (but not really because that's where they keep Hanley's, but no one else could see I was thinking Cardwell's in my head) and said "oh, I am so sorry, I went to the wrong place." So, we loop around the parking lot, hit the highway and head down to Plaza Frontenac and Cardwell's (which I was picturing as Hanley's.)
Are you with me?
So, as we merge onto Highway 40, we get caught in a funeral procession, and have to pull over.
While we're waiting, the vendors (who were lovely women from New York), and I discuss malls and shoes and the fact that we have to walk through Neiman Marcus to get to the restaurant. Hooray, shopping!
We arrive at Plaza Frontenac, park right by Neiman's front door, and walk through all the fantastic shiny purses and shoes. Pretty!!
As we arrive at the restaurant, I look at the name and think "Oh, shit."
I mentally smack myself for my stupidity. I turn to the ladies (who are most patient and kind) and say, "I am so sorry, we were in the right place before, I had the restaurants confused."
We pile back in the car and head back to West County. I call my boss, tell her we're on our way, and hit the road.
I apologized to the vendors, again. One of the ladies had never been to St. Louis, so I felt a little better knowing I had shown her two great places to shop. As their flight doesn't leave until 7pm, they are excited about going back to Plaza Frontenac. At least something good came of this field trip.
We get to Hanley's, and are greeted by the rest of my department, who have now passed out from hunger because they had to wait 45 minutes for me to show up, with the vendors. My boss has 20 minutes to do this meeting. Good thing she's a pro.
We go around the table, introducing ourselves, and when it gets to me, I say "and thank you so much for attending my my belated birthday lunch which is now probably going to be known as my farewell lunch." Everyone laughed, probably at me.
The vendors gave their presentation, my boss left on time, and I managed to get the vendors back to the office without incident - in fact, we arrived before the rest of the department did. How's that for irony?
So, what have we learned today?
First, make sure you clarify your meeting time when dealing with various time zones, and next time order in the lunch.