From the outset of this adventure, I had expected to have to keep my chin up. Quite how literally this would turn out, I had not forseen. For amongst the numerous attractions in the YouNoodle offices (including a piano, a large crash mat and a ping pong table) there sits none other than a chin up bar. Or is it a chin-up machine? I’m not sure. In fact, my unfamiliarity with all equipment chin-up-like was about to be underlined once and for all, as business development director Kirill (yet another super-smart Brit out on the West Coast) gestured towards the league table on the white board.
In a parallel universe, I was about to be asked to see how quickly I could cook an omelette. In another, I was putting on a crash helmet, ready to see if I could drive faster than Jools Holland round a racetrack. Meanwhile, back in San Francisco, I was rolling my sleeves up, and assuming the gym-like position. After a drink, I might add. For, sympathetic reader, this endeavour followed, rather than preceded the speednetworking of earlier. Crucially, it followed the celebratory bar visit. Which might well qualify this escapade (billed as a return to the office to ‘pick up my bags’), as entrapment.
By now, Make Your Mark’s Scott Cain will be itching to know whether my name slid above his on that fateful leader-board, beating his frankly impressive tally of nine. Well Scott, as if the thought of me sitting on a plane for the majority of three weeks was not enough to have you smiling into your cornflakes, here’s another bonus; Eight. But that was after a small tipple. And, more importantly, after a speednetwork which, as we all know, can be frankly exhausting. And I’m not bitter about it. Chin up, as they say.