I'm beat. I'm tired. I'm pooped. At least the riders at the Tour get a day to recover before the final assault on Paris.
The past few weeks have been exceptionally hectic and busy. We are preparing for our National Sales Meeting, which happens this week. Prior to this, and in preparation for it, we also wrapped up all of the items for the catalog- the sample bikes, the photos being taken of bikes and riders, spec and other information being checked for accuracy (a mistake or two is inevitable still) and writing all the copy for the catalog. There have been meetings, emails, phone calls and conversations all about getting to this week. It's a big deal for us, something we take very seriously, and is also my first one with the company. So throw in a little ignorance of what to expect with the desire to do well and you get some pretty good stresses.
The past couple nights and most of today, I have been working on the text for a Power Point presentation to accompany my presentation. I probably spent three hours last night staring at my notepad trying to get some bullet points mapped out. Then I spent most of the day at work concentrating on the same thing. Now tonight I have spent another three hours working on it, but I am now done with the first draft of the entire presentation. Next will be making my notes and checking critical points so that I cover all of the things that I need to. On top of that, I get to give the presentation twice for two groups of people. Don't get me wrong- I'm very excited about all of this, but it is still a challenge. I really want to be able to convey my passion for the brand and the bikes so that all who attend this meeting will be passionate about selling the bikes (and not think I'm a total dumbass as well).
The scarier thought is that after this meeting, we begin to really ramp up for the big shows that take place in September. July is almost over and August will vanish quickly. Between the shows in Milan, Italy and Freidrichshafen, Germany and then Las Vegas, Nevada, almost the entire month of September will be dedicated to trade shows and travel to and fro. Again, don't get me wrong- I love what I do and love working with and talking about bikes. But again, it does end up being rather stressful trying to coordinate so many details in such a small period of time.
All this whining sounds pretty bad. Actually, I have it pretty easy compared to others in the company. I have the smallest line in the Haro family of bikes/ brands. The other poor bastards have it much worse. The BMX guy has to deal with Freestyle, BMX racing, dirt jumping and kids bikes. The Del Sol cruiser guy has a line of something like 1000 bikes! Ok, gross exaggeration, but he does have a ton of bikes in the line (and they are really beautiful too). Then there is our QC Manager... this SOB gets to build, check, confirm, arrange, verify, deny, complain, cry, whimper, moan and overall "handle" all the bikes in all the lines. Poor sot, after this sales meeting is over, he probably gets shipped overseas to oversee production of some bikes as well. Not to name any names, but Wayne Doran is one of the unsung heroes of the company during this time of year. Thanks Wayne... I mean, Mr. Nameless Niceguy.
I appreciate all the great feedback to the Tour Reports. I've been getting lots of comments here and via email. Thanks for the support. I know the updates are far from "timely" some days, but the real duties of the job have to come first. Then there is the intermittnet internet service here at home... let's just say I am less than happy with a certain digital cable/ internet provider, who shall remain nameless (three letter name- first letter is C, last is X, middle letter looks like a zero...). Anyway, I appreciate all of the support. To answer one person's questions; no, I doubt OLN is going to ask me to provide color commentary with Bob Roll next year to replace Al Trautwig. But thanks for thinking of me.