“Sorry” I replied in a polite email. “Maybe next year, when budgets allow for this”. It was addressed to the organizer of TechEd US, which was to be in New Orleans this year. Man, I would have loved to be in new Orleans this year, but, I guess these guys only understand one language – and I won’t be their puppy any more.
You see, they wouldn’t pay for my business class flight to TechEd from Israel. Me– the great emperor of unit testing?! travelling coach for 12 hours? No thanks. I have better things to do!
And this is after last year, they only invited me to have one talk throughout the conference. one talk. After the year before I was on the top ten speakers list of that conference?!
They did give it a good try, though. They said they can pay up to 4,000$ per flight cost for me, and that they only found a flight at about 5460$. “Unacceptable” I told them when they asked if I would pay the difference. And that was that. Goodbye teched.
As I closed up gmail, wondering if I should have told them that I found a similar flight at 4,300$, and came back to the living room, I told my wife, all full of myself “I just canceled teched”.
“Oh good” she said. Not even looking at me as she tried to feed our one year old.
“did you tell them you need to cancel because you already have another flight that month and your wife won’t let you travel more than once a month anymore?”
“Yeah right” I said. Just what I need – for people to realize I’m totally whipped. I still need an ounce of dignity.
“I told those bastards that if they want me they have to make an effort. People like me don’t come cheap, you know?”
“You’re an idiot for not telling them the real reason.” She handed me the baby. “What if they found a flight that matches their budget? How would you have gotten away from that engagement?” . She put on “Lost” on the media center and sat next to me.
I did not reply.