Lenovo Olympic War Room

This is where I spend a good portion of every day here in Beijing. A board room two floors below the lobby of the Beijing Grand Hyatt next to our VIP guest hospitality center. This is the central nervous system for tickets, transportation to and from the Olympic venues, planning, fire fighting, special requests and your’s truly, Lenovo’s Olympic Blogger-in-Chief.

I don’t do much except clean the empties off the desk so we don’t spill coffee on the spreadsheets and flow charts.

From left to right is Mike Cunningham, he’s our Mister Wolf (Pulp Fiction reference) who can make anything happen. Melissa Herb is the quarterback, she works as a liason with all the different Lenovo leaders and makes sure it all goes according to plan.  Julie Gifford is in charge of transportation logistics. She has a walkie talkie in one ear and a cell phone in the other. She makes air traffic control look easy. Jenni Morgan seems to do everything — juggling more balls and details than can be imagined. And finally, Tom Grimes is the man on the scene at the Olympic Hospitality Center. This crew sometimes operates on three hours of sleep per day, never knows what the weather is like outside unless someone tells them, and yet is the source of the funniest repartee I’ve seen since the newsroom of PC Week in the early 80s.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Next door is a huge room with about 40 people in it. Stacks of t-shirts, Olympic pins, IT dudes, junk food, weird hotel food, big signs so guests won’t get lost, drivers, printers, tired people, happy people ….

My complaint is the TV in the war room does not get NBC (NBC is camped at the St. Regis so there is NBC there of course) and so we watch China television which only shows Chinese athletes winning Chinese medals and then every so often does 30 minutes of economic news which is usually scenes of farms, dams, livestock, wind farms, coal fired electical generation plants, and every now and then a Lenovo ad.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

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