April 17, 2005

Ford Motor Company

IBM sent me to Ford Motor Company for all of last week to help close a business deal. I didn't want to fly over to Dearborn, MI for a week, but the deal is pretty important. Especially given the sharp plunge IBM stock took over recent earnings reports. Most of my time there was spent working on-site to resolve issues and address Ford's solution requirements. But I did get a few hours to do my own thing.

I arrived in Dearborn, MI at 3am Monday morning. My flight was delayed in Phoenix because the airplane wasn't taking on water like it was supposed to. The town of Dearborn is a Ford-town. It's relatively rural except for the money that Ford has poured into the economy. There are a number of expensive hotels and restaurants that no doubt survive off business travel. Other than that, Dearborn seems like your typical small town. I'll go through the food situation all at once, since spending money on food was about all I did outside of working in the Ford building.

Lunches I ate at the Ford Credit building cafeteria. It's a pretty decent cafeteria, but the salad bar is expensive. You could get a good two-item meal for around $4, but if you wanted fruit, salad, or vegetables it was $6 a pound. So eating right meant I had to spend quite a bit on lunch.

My Sunday night dinner was at the Phoenix airport. On Monday I went to Red Robin with Bill Leonard. Bill works in IBM Global Services and was in the TotalStorage Productivity Center class I was part of a couple of weeks ago. They have really good burgers at Red Robin.

Tuesday we went to Kiernan's Steak House. It is a really nice bar & grill restaurant, but also pretty expensive. Frank Chodacki was also there on Tuesday. He works Level 3 support for TPC for Data and also knows Microsoft Active Directory. Frank told us his stories about destroying hardware, both personally and professionally as an employee of Trellisoft before it was purchased by IBM.

Wednesday Bill and I went to Benihana. I don't think Benihana is such a great Japanese restaurant anymore, although their commercials are entertaining. I only saw maybe one Japanese person in the restaurant, and she was the waitress. The chefs were not Japanese. The prices were expensive for what you got, compared to regular Japanese restaurants, and not of the highest quality. I tried to order something at the sushi bar by talking to the chef, but turns out you actually have to fill out an order sheet.

Thursday I wanted to get some time to look around and buy last-minute souvenirs so I didn't go with the rest of the gang to dinner. Instead I ended up buying some food from a local organic grocery store. Wasn't super-cheap since I was buying all prepared food, and it was something of a gourmet store. But the food was very good.

Besides eating, I did stop at a couple of shops to buy souvenirs, but nothing Dearborn-specific. So not really anything to mention about that. I left Friday afternoon and ate my last business-trip dinner at the Phoenix airport again.

Unfortunately, there were mechanical problems with the airplane in Phoenix again, and our flight ended up getting cancelled because it took so long to fix that we could no longer land at San Jose International Airport before it closed at midnight. So I had to wait in a long line to get a hotel voucher and get booked on a Saturday morning flight at 10am. I stayed at a pretty nice place called Prime Hotels & Suites. Only got six hours of sleep though before I had to wake up to get to my flight. I did eat breakfast at their buffet in the morning. Finally I got back home at noon on Saturday.

Anyway, the people in Dearborn, MI were really nice and I enjoyed meeting them, but I really didn't much enjoy the trip as a whole. A lot of time spent working at Ford, and then in my hotel room to write things up for IBM. Work, eat, and sleep was about all I could do, and I wasn't getting enough sleep either. I just made up for a lot of lost sleep last night. I also don't think I'm ever going to fly through Phoenix again.

Posted by josuah at April 17, 2005 5:45 PM UTC+00:00

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Author Profile Pagehey dude says at April 18, 2005 4:19 PM

So, sounds like an interesting trip. I always enjoy taking trips to visit customers, especially all expenses are paid for me by the companies. Anyway, did your team give Ford a good impression?

Author Profile PageJosuah says at April 19, 2005 2:37 AM

Yes, I think Ford has a good opinion of IBM.

Post a comment

July 2013
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31