Just before the weekend, we learned that some kind of steel rail was in the floor of the building where we need to install a system for our customer. Some customers have systems placed in an older building and that can lead to interesting surprises during engineering. Well, this building was like no other.

When I came back on Wednesday, I was fully unaware of the discussion that had taken place the days before. The rail in the floor needed to be measured. 3D scanning was not used in these days. So with our trusted measuring tape, pen and paper, we needed to measure where the rail was located in the building. They asked me to go the customer and do the measurements together with a colleague. With in mind that I needed to go Paris the same day, I drove back home, packed my bag and drove back to Vanderlande. I booked a hotel for the night and left for Paris in the afternoon.

We arrived late in Paris due to some rush hours traffic (those are always fun) and we arrived in a hotel in the industrial area of Paris. Yeah, no romance to be found here. When arrived in the hotel we needed something to eat. We had no opportunity yet to get some food and we were able to order something from the restaurant of the hotel. The restaurant of the hotel and the lobby were in the same area. The receptionist was also our waiter. That already made it a bit interesting. When we had our food, a big bus stopped in front of the hotel. The whole bus was emptied and everyone squeezed themselves in the small lobby of the hotel, where we were also still eating. I’ve never had a dinner where so many people passed so close to our table and took a good look at our food to find out what we were eating. It felt a little bit uncomfortable. The people were directed pretty quickly, which was good and the lobby was empty in no time.

When we finished our food, we decided to grab a beer at the deck outside. It was high summer, so the weather was nice. When we finished our first beer, we decided to grab one more beer before go to bed. But what happened? Beer was sold out… It was the first time and to be honest also the last time in my life that beer was sold out in a hotel. So we decided to call it the day and go to bed earlier than anticipated. What else can you do on an industrial area?

This was also the time when Facebook was still being used to tell everyone what you’re up to. So I posted on Facebook: “In the morning I had no clue that I was going to Paris and now I’m here!” That was probably one of the post that almost everyone got excited for.

The weekend when I saw my friends, they all asked: “And how was the Eiffel tower?” To their surprise, I needed to tell them that I haven’t seen the Eiffel tower. It was a business trip, the only thing that I have seen was just some old grey industrial buildings in an industrial area. Paris itself, I had not seen. It is not always possible to see the nice things when traveling for work.

Of course measuring at our customer in the building went really well, although I can remember that the AC was not invented in that building. It was hot in the building, so we were sweating a lot. But after all it was worth it. We had the measurements we needed and a trip to never forget.

The picture shows one of my very professional pictures taken, which we could use to mark our notes. As you can see, even then we were already working on sustainability! Using the same paper for multiple notes! In the back – at the red painting floor – a steel rail was in the floor where we were not able to install the supports for our system. And we found a complete water drainage cover in the building!

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