When you’re a freelance developer like myself and not on a salary, you gain a different perspective on career-enhancing expenses like ReMix07 Boston. On my drive back to Vermont I thought about what I spent out of pocket for the two days of ReMix and it was a lot.
Let’s start with not having worked for the two days of ReMix. For simplicity sake, let’s use a figure of $1000 for the billable work not performed for those two days. Because I used a coupon from Chris and Bob’s recent MSDN Roadshow in Burlington I didn’t have to pay the $299 ReMix registration fee (thanks, guys!), but there was still the reaming from the Hyatt to endure. $209 a night was their special reduced rate. On top of that was the daily $26 room tax per day and (get this) $33 a day for self parking. Can you spell s-c-a-m? With $60 room charges for the lounge which I was happy to pay (they had Harp on tap and it was the last two games of the Cleveland-New York series), my total Hyatt out-of-pocket bill was $606.84 for two days. The monthly mortgage payment on my first house was less than that! And despite the [erroneous] instructions I received from the attractive gal behind the ReMix registration desk on reducing my parking fee from $33 to $21 per day, that had no affect on overnight guests who were jerked for the full $33 dollar a day fee. Hyatt, to their credit, did take off the $19.95 I charged on Sunday for two days of Internet Access after learning on Monday that ReMix registrants received access for free. But at $209 a night (I know, a special reduced rate), does the Hyatt need to nickel-and-dime another $9.95 a day for Internet Access from their guests? (Dear Mr. Hyatt, you got $606.84 from me but you didn’t gain any customer loyalty whatsoever, so enjoy the $600 bucks.)
Add to that gas, the 8 hours travel time, plus a couple of vitamin waters, a Big Mac, a large Newman’s Ice Coffee with cream and sugar, a half-dozen donuts, and we’re talking over $1700 dollars of my own money to attend ReMix07. I’m not bragging and I’m not complaining. Hell, it’s just money, but I thought it was interesting.