A Day in the Life of the President

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  • February 25, 2011
  • Starr Million Baker

Well, close, but not exactly – this is a play-by-play of a day in the life of this President (of INK PR) and about 15 minutes in the life of THE President (of the United States). Still, it’s amazing how much the latter can impact the former (in the form of work, tension, excitement). For prosperity’s sake:

Wednesday, January 26, Broadwind Towers facility, Manitowoc, WI

6:00 a.m. I’m in Wisconsin. At the Manitowoc Best Western. And I’m getting up at the crack of dawn not because my babies have woken me, but because today is the day my client has the honor of hosting the President of the United States. And while that is an amazing thing in and of itself, there is also the SLIGHTEST chance that I might get a glimpse, a nod or a (gasp) handshake. So what’s a girl to do? Get up as early as possible of course to try out a new eyeshadow strategy, get dressed up more than I ever do at home (still, my mother is mortified I’m not wearing a dress), and check last minute email.

Manitowoc, WI, from the plane. We don't get snow like this where I'm from.

7:15 a.m. Must be downstairs to defrost the ice off the black Expedition (Kari and I traveled Secret Service style) in 15 minutes. I’m thinking pony tail is the only way to go…my mother sits on my shoulder and screams “No way Jose!” in my ear. Flat iron it is.

7:45 a.m. In the car, ready to go. Pleased with my ability to deal with 17 degree weather and remain on time. Where’s Kari? Oh that’s her, coming around the corner from the back of the building now. Apparently, she got stuck inside a maze of hallways and elevators and had to exit the service entrance (mind you, this is a three-story Best Western in Manitowoc, WI). [NOTE: I’ll be reminded later that I just sat there in the (running) car and watched her walk all the way across the parking lot. Apparently, I could have moved the car to pick her up – blame it on the day.]

8:00 a.m. Starbucks, sweet sweet Starbucks. Our black SUV is getting some looks – feels like the whole town is on edge. Light snow is coming down – pretty, but if we get stuck here tonight there will be hell to pay.

We traveled Secret Service style (special deal - same price as full-size).

8:15 a.m. Picking up printing at the local Office Depot. That was the SMOOTHEST print job I have ever been involved with. Again, the SUV at work for us or just a town with good customer service? You tell me.

8:30 a.m. It’s time – must get to the facility before “lock down.” Nervously walking on ice and snow – not my cup of tea, but I manage not to fall.

10:45 a.m. Can’t believe it’s already been two hours of running around, calling the media to get set up for post-visit, emailing, getting the press release finished, etc. You can feel the tension in the air and every minute it seems to get a little thicker.

11:15 a.m. Plans have changed, he’ll be here soon to beat weather headed to DC. It’s like there’s a buzz in the air. They want us to eat now (lunch was brought in), but who has the stomach for that? Media all lined up for later so we’re feeling good about our work, able to enjoy the moment. Picture time!

11:30 a.m. Pat down (again). Secret Service (men and 1 woman – I think she’s wearing the same “pant suit” as me ;-)) everywhere. I must say, I think NFL quarterbacks and Secret Service men have that symmetrical face thing in common.

Secret Service (yes, I took a picture) keeping the crowd in line.

12:00 p.m. This side or that side? We’re three deep behind Broadwind Towers employees (rightly so!), but Kari is scouting for a better position. We’re going to the other end, fingers crossed!

Prepping for POTUS.

12:10 p.m. POTUS IS IN THE BUILDING!!!

12:15 p.m. SO QUIET. Weird. He’s coming, he’s coming. Okay, now there is clapping and cheering. Guy in front of me hands me his phone to get a picture of him and the President. Unfortunately for him, when the President comes by I lose all ability to multi-task and can only reach out my hand. Lucky for me, a handshake and a smile! Crazy. Oh, here’s your phone – sorry! 😉

President Obama reaching for my hand (photo taken by woman behind me).

12:20 p.m. That was FAST. And weirdly emotional. I’m giddy and laughing over a handshake. Granted, it was a handshake with the leader of the free world, but still. And now it’s over and we’re headed to the phones to talk to the media – a few have arrived already.

3:00 p.m. Interviews done, execs feeling good, everyone is ready to put their feet up (an AMAZING amount of work was completed in just five days – including a brochure piece we wrote last night in 30 minutes, with design assist from the marketing director). We are OUTTA HERE! (Good thing since we have an all-day media training tomorrow – no rest for the weary. ;-))

GOODNIGHT WISCONSIN! You were lovely, hope to see you again soon. Oh and you Mr. President – would be happy to see you again soon as well.