About a week and a half ago, our winner of the "Dinner with the Scripting Guys" cashed in his meal ticket and flew out to Redmond to claim his big prize.
Dick Salmon of Philadelphia didn't know what he was getting himself into! Those Scripting Guys are quite the characters, and from what I understand, the day was a huge success. Turns out the Scripting Guys clean up well and are more than a little entertaining. The group hung out at Microsoft for awhile, answered some of Dick's technical questions and then went over to Seattle to the Experience Music Project Museum and later to dinner at Sky City in Seattle's Space Needle. From the number of molten chocolate cakes that appeared on the Sky City receipt, I'm guessing the group enjoyed itself. (I mean, how can you go wrong with a half-dozen chocolate cakes?)
Left to Right: Peter Constanti, Jean Ross, Dick Salmon, Greg Stemp, Dean Tsaltas
As the resident "prize guru," for TechNet webcasts, I have put together dozens over promotions for various webcast series, but none as unique and, frankly, complicated as flying someone to Seattle and arranging for their well-being and entertainment in a city strange to them. There were many details to figure out, schedules to coordinate and reservations to be made. When I went to pick up Dick for his day with the Scripting Guys, I felt a little relief that all this work was finally coming to fruition. Little did I know I would almost bring the wrong guy back to meet the Scripting Guys.
When I arrived at the hotel, I saw a gentleman sitting on the couch in the lobby like he was waiting for someone. Figuring this must be my winner, I asked the man, "Are you Dick by any chance?" He said yes and off we went.
We had a little banter about his flight and the Seattle weather – nothing unusual on the way to the car. Then, went I was about to pull out of the parking slot, my new guest asked "What was your name again?" I found this odd since I had been in so much communication with the prize winner, Dick. I told him and he replied, "Did you ask me if my name was Dave?"
Turns out Dave was here to shop for real estate and pieced together the confusion because my car only holds two people and he'd never been real estate shopping in a convertible. He figured realtors need more sensible transportation. I hope Dave finally found his realtor. Thank goodness he spoke up and I did connect with the real winner, Dick. Just goes to show you all the planning in the world doesn't make up for one tiny misunderstanding!
Congrats again to Dick Salmon. Who knows what crazy contest we'll think up next, but I have learned my lesson and will definitely speak more clearly when picking up any prize winners in person.