Tom Tauke, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs, Policy and Communications for Verizon, came to speak at TWC early on Wednesday morning. The bonus and incentive for some to go was a catered breakfast by Au Bon Pain (too sweet and heavy for my taste but it was nice). He brought up a lot of useful information about his time in the Iowa Legislature and discussed his experience in Congress and how its changed. One of the topics I found very helpful in my understanding of the present atmosphere in Congress was his opinion on what it would take for each side to come together to make decisions as one body. He said that only a crisis would force a very divided, polarized Congress to come to a solid and collective consensus about how to overcome the crisis and make plans to prevent any further crisis. The national debt of our country is suspected to be the next crisis that Congress cannot avoid therefore will eventually force them to put away their pride and differences of opinions to get the job done.
He also tried to incorporate his role with Verizon and the importance of communications. I thought it was particularly interesting that he brought up the necessity for laws that address privacy and implementation of the Internet for its users and most importantly corporations like Verizon that struggle to abide to constitutional liberties and restrictions making it impossible to do business or protect its consumers from attack. Did you know our Internet systems (in America) get over 3 billion attacks every day??? Granted some are from China and outside sources but some are domestic attacks. These attacks could have the potential to effect our daily lives very dramatically if they are successful and shut down certain sources of energy (i.e. nuclear power plants), natural resources (i.e. water plants), and other necessary system used to function.
I wasn't expecting to receive much insight from this session but as it turns out Mr. Tauke inspired me to investigate Public Services. Mr. Tauke's presentation stuck with me throughout the entire day and was a topic of discussion in a meeting with Mike later that afternoon. It wasn't such a crazy day at work after all since my laptop's battery could be replaced in the store (the night before which was hell) I didn't need to worry about using my roommate's computer (going back to the apt to drop it off before I left for NYC). It worked out pretty well.
The best and most comical moment of the day was waiting in line to board the Megabus. I was behind a stream of Asians. Most of their bags were bigger than them! As some of you might have guessed the group of about twenty or so could not go on the buss with all that baggage. The amount of bags per person equated to one huge body bag, one mini body bag and some shopping bag(s). I felt a bit bad for them because they had to figure out how to take all their stuff on another bus. At the same time you know when you sign up that the policy says what you can and can't bring.
My first Megabus trip was great! It was a smooth 4 1/2 hrs exactly. I had a nice full Chop't salad I got from Union Station in D.C. and my foodie guilty pleasure wheat thins :) I slept most of the trip which was entirely necessary. When I arrived in the Big Apple my mom was there to greet me. Wonderful sleep-full night in our comfy queen sized bed...sweet dreams