Category Archives: worky work work

Happy Thoughts

Well, that last post was cheerful, no?  I’m just a giant fricken ray of sunshine over here, folks.  I’ve been trying to look on the bright side of this whole “losing my position” thing, and have come up with a (very) few positives.

1.  I don’t have to keep buying chargers for my various electronic devices every time I leave one at home.  (This is an actual problem, people!  I traveled with 2 phones, iPod, laptop, camera, other LARGER camera, and thanks to SantaParents, a GPS.  I own 4 iPod chargers and SEVEN chargers for 2 phones!) (You may wonder why the HELL I need so many electronics.  It’s a sickness, and I blame my father.)

2.  I’ll get to sleep in my very own bed every night!  Or the couch!  Or have a slumber party on the kitchen table!  The possibilities are endless!

3.   Um…

4.  I have to give back my corporate phone (lowly assistant managers don’t get PHONES, are you nuts?)  So I am relying again on my personal phone, which was due for an upgrade, and what better way to celebrate losing a job (but retaining employment) then to spend some money on an iPhone!

Yup.  That’s how I roll.  Got told on Friday my position was being axed, accepted crumby assistant manager job w/ same company on Saturday, bought an iPhone on Sunday.  This was my last week in my current position and so, iPhone in hand, I went off on my penultimate trip (I’m off to South Dakota tomorrow for one more store visit.)

That’s a shot of not only my dashboard, but the exit sign to Grove, where my family always went for summer vacation.  I’ve driven past it countless times since I began traveling for my company, and never had the time to go back.  Sigh.   This is also the photo I sent my mom, with the subject line “one hand and no brains on the wheel”.  She was less than pleased.

This is also the stretch of highway near the asylum, so the highway is lined with signs that say “do not pick up hitch hikers, as they may be escaped inmates.”  Way to take a picture of an EXIT sign, and not a cool
WATCH OUT FOR THE DAMN CRAZIES sign, self!

Ok, now that WEE little white sign over the side view mirror is a 2007! Quality!  Award!  Winning! Rest stop! sign.  You might be impressed, until you notice that every single rest stop on I-44 has one.  Look, Missouri, if everyone is special, then NO ONE is.  (Oh, yes, I’ve driven the entire length of 44 with a friend, and not only is every rest stop special, but there are more adult bookstores than I’ve ever seen in my LIFE.)  (Of course, the adult bookstore billboards are comingled with the fundamentalist Christian billboards.  I think good ol’ Missouri is a bit…confused.)

Awww…this is the liquor store that Rosie and I would drive up to when we were working together earlier this year.  Sadly, the county we were opening the store in was a <gasp> DRY county, so we had to hightail it across state lines to get the booze.  Which we may or may not have left in a friends’ freezer to “chill” for way too long, resulting in a high-velocity assualt on a bag of frozen peas by a ballistic wine cork.

. . .

I’m really going to miss that job, and all the iPhones in the world can’t really make up for it.  Sigh.

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Filed under my life let me show you it, one two many lots, worky work work

Crap

Really?  Really?

Fuck.  I’m pissed.  Bloody hell damn ass pissed.  I just found out today that my position was eliminated at work.  They still want me to stay on, so I guess I can’t complain, but the position offered me?  NOT what I want to be doing.  Not at all.

Bitter, party of one…right over here.

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Snow

Holy moly!  It’s a little dirty around here…hold on…

<phoof, phoof>

Ok, that’s better. Sorry if I phoofed dust in your eyes.  CLEARLY, someone has been letting the ol’ website languish away in some dreary corner of the Internet.  Ahem…don’t look over here, although I did actually predict something like this happening, back in this post.  It’s entirely possible that I have devolved into the aforementioned homicidal googly-eyed maniac, although it’s not due to the stress of moving so much as the stress of NOT BEING HOME EVER EVER EVER OMG.

My eyes are starting to twitch as we speak.

But!  I’m home now, until all the way far away Tuesday!  Hooray!  This time, it was the getting home that was a real pain in the old keister.  For starters, I was a bit wardrobe challenged yesterday.  Let’s pretend that I own a fabulous red trench coat, mmkay?  Well, I have to start thinking a bit more about what I wear WITH the red trench coat.  And what I haul around while wearing the red trench coat.  Otherwise you end up with me yesterday…green casual slacks (from Old Navy, and they rock!)  bright BLUE carry-on wheely bag (so’s I can tell which one is mine, natch) and the happy bright red trench coat and matching red leather gloves.  I looked like a box of crayons.

Of course, when the plane landed at DIA yesterday, I could have cared less what color my coat and gloves were, because it was SNOWING.  And I was on a turbo prop that you exit via a staircase.  Into the SNOW.  So that was fun.  My seatmate and I took one look at the blowing snow outside the window, and flatly refused to get out of our seats until we saw our gate-checked wheely bags unloaded onto the cart.  (Oh yes, my travel life is so glamorous that 9 times out of 10, I’m on a plane that is too small to hold wheely bags in the overhead compartments, so they take them planeside, heave ’em under  into the cargo bay and return them as you deplane.)  Bag firmly in hand, I gingerly minced across the icy tarmac, because I was wearing (of course) snakeskin ballet flats.  In my defense, the weather didn’t call for snow when I left Denver, and my other choices of footwear were equally bad, as they both involved high heels.  So, mincemincemince across the ice, into the terminal, on the train, up the stairs, out the door to the parking garage.  Not that I park in the parking garage, because it’s to damn expensive ($18 a day?  Are you KIDDING me?) but so I could walk through the parking garage to the outlying lots, where I had cleverly parked close enough to walk, so I didn’t have to wait for the shuttle.  Of course, I totally would have taken the shuttle NOW, but I failed to remember where I was parked, so I wouldn’t have been able to tell the driver which row and section.  I’m sure that a feeble wave and declaration of “somewhere over there-ish…I think” would have just enraged the other passengers, as we weaved around searching for my car.

So, I hoofed it.  And it was bloody cold.  I spent most of this time on the phone with my mom because

a) I like to call my parents when I come home from trips to let them know I’m not dead

b) I wanted someone on the line with me that could call 911 if I gave in to exhaustion and collapsed into a snow bank.  At least she could tell them I was in the east parking lot, somewhere over there-ish.

Off I trudged, dodging snow plows all the way, looking for my damn car.  It took a while to find, because clever me did a pull-through, and although I remembered pulling into a spot on the north side of the row, I was actually on the south (duh.) There were small drifts all around my car, which a normal person wouldn’t have noticed, but a person wearing ballet flats?  Oh, that shit got noticed.  Stomp stomp stomp to the back of the car, up with the hatch, in with the bag, over to the driver’s side.  Of course, this entire time my conversation with my mom went something like:

“fuck bloody fuck fuck my feet are bloody freezing this f-in sucks ARRRRGGH!  My shoe just fell off!  Really? Really? FUCK!”

(fortunately, my mom is a-ok with the cussing.)

I get into the car, wipe my poor feet off with some random article of clothing left in the front seat, and start the damn thing so I can let it run and heat up while I get out and scrape the windows (I tried to just use the wipers, but they got stuck after moving 3 inches.  Stupid snow.  Stupid ice.)  Or, at least that was the plan, because the alternator?  She is dying in the poor car, and I had to keep revving the engine to keep it from giving up entirely.  So I ended up opening the door and standing with one foot in a drift, the other in the car firmly on the accelerator.  This meant I was working a one-handed scraping operation, but I persevered until I got the wipers unstuck, at which point they went FOOMP, and dumped an entire boatload of snow down my cleavage.  (Red trench coat?  I hate you and your stupid neckline!)  I lost it at that point, got back in the car, turned it to defrost, cranked the vents up to 11, and waited until shit started to melt.  I then spent twice my normal commute home stuck in traffic, because OMG!  Snow!  In Denver!  Clearly, the end of the world is imminent!

Lord love a duck, this traveling all the damn time has got to slow down after Christmas, or I may well go completely batshit crazy.  Hopefully I’ll keep you updated.  But till then?

I’m off to Fargo next week.

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I Have To Confess

Seriously, but this damn town cracks me up.  I’m sitting here in the bar of my hotel, and I can count no fewer than 15 cowboy hats.  Now, I’m from Colorado, and I know from cowboy hats, but generally one doesn’t see this kind of concentration anywhere outside of a country/western bar.

And FYI, there are only about 25 people in the whole bar.  I feel so remarkably out of place, and I have to hit the bathroom, and mother of god!  I just wish I could catch the waitresses’ eye so I could get my goddam tab, but that might be problematic, seeing as I sat here for 40 minutes before she even came over and asked if I needed anything.  Apparently, she confused me with “another girl that was sitting at that exact table on a laptop!  I totally thought you were her!  I’m so sorry, this first drink is on me…”

(Ok, that part was awesome, I’m not gonna lie.)

UPDATE:  Apparently the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is having its annual conference in this hotel.  Hence the proliferation of hats and plaid shirts.  Man, does my company know how to pick its hotels!  This is one big partay…

UPDATE THE SECOND:  A woman just meandered over and asked if I minded that she steal one chair from my table.  She then asked if I was studying.  I was somewhat dumbstruck, and could only anwser with a apologetic (and completely fib-tastic) yes, since I’m not sure what else one would call the daily perusal of my Google feeds.  I don’t think blog reading ranks very high on the list of daily activities of ANY of the attendees of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

UPDATE THE THIRD:  I think I may EXPLODE.  Did I mention that this hotel has a 5 story water feature in the lobby/atrium?  The sound of the water is driving right through my skull.  And my bladder, for that matter.  (Oh!  A rhyme!  This post is clearly going to need its own catagory that implies alcohol is involved…)

And, a very small man with a very large cowboy hat just wandered over and tried to make small talk with me.  Which I responded to with a head toss and hearty laugh, because, hey!  I can fake laugh with the best of them…

Check, please!

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Still Wide Eyed

 

I can pretty much guarantee that I walked around like a lunatic today.  I must have had a bowl of stupid for breakfast, because every new challenge was met with a wide-eyed stare and a profound sense of “wha?”

Since part of my job involves supervising and participating in new store setup for my particular employer, it’s generally my job to be part of the solution, not so much the problem.  However, today I discovered something that I did two weeks ago caused some other shit to happen, and the end results were some things got done broke, and it’s pretty much my fault.  Nothing too extreme, but the sad part is when I first discovered the problem, I didn’t even recognize it as my doing.  I was full of righteous anger and, being none to shy about it, was venting my frustration by keeping up a steady stream of profanity.

It’s true, you know, you can construct a sentence using only the words “the” and “fuck”.

And I did.  At great length.  I even called Rosie, since she was one of the only people that had ever dealt with this particular object, and would be able to commiserate.  Sadly, she shot me down by pointing out that

A) she had warned me this might happen, and

b) it was really my fault for not paying attention last time, so

c) buck up, Buttercup, because you’ll have to take this square on the chin.

Fine.  You know, the damage is nowhere NEAR as bad I thought it was… this is totally fixable!

Of course, not an hour after my blowup and subsequent phone call (or two, or three, all to Rosie) I managed to screw up AGAIN.  This time, making a mistake that Rosie and I had done the first time around, earlier this year.  In fact, we had made such a big deal about how dumb we were, and what a stupid mistake, that we had even turned the whole thing into a decent anecdote, which I was regaling my helper with AS I WAS MAKING THE SAME MISTAKE.  Let’s just say it’s like I was building a house, and forgot to put in doorways.  (yes, that obvious of a mistake.)  Assume, for the sake of my story, that I realized my mistake only after the house was almost complete, and had to spend quite a bit of time trying to put the damn doors in the house.  Now, say I decided to build ANOTHER house, and while telling everyone the story of the doors, and how stupid, no one forgets the DOORS…I forget.  To put in.  The.  DOORS.

(Pause while everyone re-reads that paragraph to arrive at the point that I’M STUPID.)

This, of course, necessitated another call to Rosie, who declined to answer her phone at this point.  (Pshaw.  Like she was actually trying to work, or something.)  I left an intelligible message that sounded something like:

<beep>

MOTHERFUCKWHYCANTICOUNTTOFUCKINGTWELVEMOTHERFUCKER

<click>

And the day went downhill from there, prompting me to anwser every quesiton put to me with a wide eyed stare and an awkward “HAHAHA I’LL ANWSER YOUR QUESTION BUT I’M STUPID SO DON’T BLAME ME WHEN THE STORE FAILS AND YOU ALL GET FIRED AND HAVE TO LIVE IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER.”

Tomorrow I’m going to say “no thanks” to a shot of stupid in my coffee.

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A Completely Warranted Freakout

I feel compelled to admit that I’ve been a bit spoiled growing up.  I’ve spent my life in Colorado, living right next to the mountains AND close enough to the city to get myself in trouble on more than one occasion.  (Most notable being the “sock in the night” incident…but that will have to wait for a later date.)  What really skeeves people off when I tell them that I live in Colorado is when I admit that I have only skied a handful of times in my life, hardly ever hike, bike or do anything outdoorsy on a regular basis.

The notable exception that comes to mind is the few camping trips we’ve taken with our friends over the years.  For instance, the first year involved a hike up the unofficially named Mt. Disappointment, a thunderstorm and a trip into the town of Ward, which is straight out of your choice of horror movie.  Take one twisty, winding mountain road down into a valley, throw in mist, rain and no cell phone service, and shake.  Garnish with a handful of dilapidated houses, one broken pay phone and a run down general store (now with less stuff!)  and you’ve got a bad slasher flick just WAITING to happen!

Honestly, when the proprietor of the store answered a timid request with a menacing “we ain’t GOT no working phones ‘round here, ya’ll had better just get outta town…”  we knew we were but one bloody scene from total carnage.  Fortunately, since not a one of us had the urge to ill-advisedly take a shower in a stranger’s house OR head up the nearest available staircase in search of  mysterious noises, we escaped, found the friends we were trying to meet up with, and spend an enjoyable weekend roasting Slim Jims over the fire.

Well, clearly we were roasting Slim Jims…this particular time was right after the beer-chugging portion of the Woodlympics, and just prior to the “speed whittling” event.

. . .

Note to anyone reading this…don’t ever ever ever ever ever attempt “speed whittling”.  It’s just going to end badly.  Trust me on this one.

. . .

Anyway, see?  (If you’d forgotten, and not that I blame you… the original POINT of this post was why I’m spoiled.)  Living in Colorado, even if you don’t take advantage of nature on a daily basis, is pretty nice.  300+ days of sunlight on average, little humidity, warm days, cool nights, and the occasional snowstorm in the winter, which in the city, melts within a day or two.

Having said all that, what I’m driving at is that I don’t have a lot of experience with the stranger aspects of nature as it relates to places outside of Colorado.  I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been caught in torrential downpours, and till this spring had not had the pleasure of the all day monsoon rain that I experienced while in Arkansas for work.   My colleague, however, lives in Missouri, and had been sending me daily updates on whether or not she could drive home or if the flood waters had crossed the highway.   Having had plenty of experience with that sort of “Come to Noah, Pass the Ark Please” sog-fest,  she felt it only fair that I be the one to drive and learn how to deal with a deluge.   The only thing I brought to the table as a rainy day wet road driver was the quaint family game of “Kill the Villagers” that my mom and I invented.

Now, you’ve got to use your imagination for this one…picture all the puddles in the road as enormous lakes surrounded by communities of primitive beings, eking out a precarious existence in their small huts.  If it helps your conscience, you can imagine they’re all cannibals.  You’ll want to keep that in mind, because the next step is to floor it in your vehicle and drive straight through the middle of the puddle creating an enormous tidal wave that will totally wipe out any cannibalistic villagers.  This is only effective if you do this while screaming “KILL THE VILLAGERS!!” at the top of your lungs.   This works slightly better in Colorado than Arkansas, the difference being the puddles back home can’t actually stop your car’s forward momentum, due to them being only about 3 inches deep and not actual LAKES, with flotsam and jetsam and wildlife and all.

Anyways, the rain kept falling all that day and into the night; we didn’t even leave work till about 9 pm and it was still chucking it down.  The quickest way back to the hotel was a gentle winding road through a soon-to-be subdivision, which we usually took at about 60 mph.  Having conceded about 15 mph to the rain, we were swerving wildly, hunting villagers and careening through the night.  There was only one other car on the road, coming up in the left lane behind us as we crested a hill and saw one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen (at least in Arkansas, and that’s saying a LOT.)  There was a DUCK, swimming down the middle of our lane.  Oh yes, it had rained so much that the local wildlife had taken to the streets.  So, with no chance to swerve out of our lane, (high curb to the right, car to the left) and no time to brake, we had no choice but to scream bloody murder and drive straight OVER the duck, which was, as you can imagine, fairly put out about the whole thing.  Now, before you call the ASPCA all up on me, I didn’t HIT the duck, I straddled it with the tires of the rental car, and it came out just fine on the other end.

We, however, took to calling the rental car Duck Dodgers.

. . .

I returned to Arkansas a month after the duck incident, and spent the evening with a few friends in their backyard.  Their back patio is composed of pebbles, and I was happily digging through the rocks, enjoying the feel of the cool stones on my bare feet while drinking wine and listening to the conversation.    It was late in the evening, about 10:30 pm, and we were just sitting around, shooting the breeze.  As I kicked through the pebbles, I felt something on my foot, and reached down to flick it off.  Except…it was a SLUG.  A big old squishy slug, crawling up my own personal foot.

I lost it completely.  I commenced yelling, which started a chain reaction of screams from my friends, and ended with all the dogs in the neighborhood barking their fool heads off.

Self:  “AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!”

JW:  “AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!”

Self:  chucks slug across lawn while simultaneously leaping on top of chair

JW: falls out of chair entirely

Self:  “AAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!”

Rosie: “AAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!”

RW:  “What the hell?  Why are you all screaming?”

Self:   “Slimy!  Foot!  Slimy onna foot!  SLUG!!!”

Neighborhood dogs:  “BARKBARKBARKBARKBARK”

RW:  “really?  A slug?  Overreacting much?  We get those all the TIME around here.”

Self:  attempts to gnaw foot off at the ankle

Neighborhood dogs:  “BARKBARKBARKBARKBARK”

It took a good fifteen minutes for all the damn dogs to shut up, and after their initial reactions, even JW and Rosie didn’t feel sorry for me.  But, come on!  A slug?  I’ve never even SEEN a slug in Colorado.  Maybe I am spoiled, but I sure am grateful.  There’s really only one thing to say:

Hooray, Colorado!*

*(with all apologies to folks that may live in Arkansas, or the surrounding areas.  I actually think that part of the country is beautiful, gorgeous and green, but damn!  Slugs?  No thanks.)

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I Can Haz Hole In Foot?

I really need to start packing for my work trips earlier than, say, the morning I leave.  This whole thing wouldn’t have happened if I had been on the ball, or so I tell myself.  Now, that is…

My flights almost always leave at 10 am, and while I have been sprinting-through-the-airport-puke-on-my-shoes late more than once, I have been getting better.  The earlier I set my alarm, the more time I have to check a few e-mails, pack and dress before it’s time to head for the airport.
Unless, as happened last week, my flight is scheduled to leave at NINE.  (You may take it as read that I realized this only AFTER waking up, meandering downstairs, and casually looking over my itenerary while perusing e-mail.)

I sprinted back up the stairs at nine hundred miles an hour, and began to frantically pack, scuttling back and forth from the closet, dodging dogs, and trying not to wake up BD, who was peacefully snoozing in bed.  The whole time my brain was running a dialogue something like this:

Black clothing!  Yes! Into the suitcase!  Wait, we hate that shirt!  Back to the closet…yes!  This black shirt is much better!  Ooh, a WHITE shirt!  Yes!  Confuse everyone…pack a color besides black!  Quick, back to the suit–OH SHIT!!

At this point, I stopped and lifted my right foot up.  And there, lodged in to the ball of my foot at a jaunty angle, was a drill bit.

A. DRILL. BIT.  (1/8″, if you’re wondering.)
There I was, not even dressed, clutching a shirt in one hand and a bloody be-drill-bitted foot in the other.  I was amazed!  The damn thing went in at an angle; there was about an INCH of drill bit in my foot. (You may wonder HOW a drill bit came to be on our bedroom floor, and the sad answer is that I’m LAZY.  I brought it home weeks ago from one of my stores and it just ended up in a pile with all the other crap that comes out of my pockets at the end of the day.  In my rush to get packed, I had bumped into the speaker that had all the pocket detritus on top, and the drill bit, being of the cylindrical persuasion, just rolled right off and onto the carpeting.)

Anyway, I stared at the drill bit for a second before I registered what happened.
It didn’t really begin to hurt until after I pulled it out, and that’s when I started whimpering, which woke up BD and sent him screaming down the hallway for towels and band-aids.  He refused to let me stick my entire foot into the automatic ice maker in the freezer, even though I begged.  He insisted we clean it up (which involved such stunts as hobble-to-the-sink and try-not-to-puke-and-faint-while-your-husband-scrubs-the-wound-and-dumps-half-a-bottle-of-peroxide-on-top) then I bandaged it, and limped out the door 20 minutes later, made my flight just fine, and spent the next few days trying to explain to everyone that yes, I’m an idiot and no, I don’t need a wheelchair.

One week later, and almost better, I headed to the high school to help out with the guard for the first time since last season.

If you’re wondering?  One week later and almost better does NOT mean a person can spend a few hours prancing around the football field, choreographing flag work and dance phrases.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be over here with my foot in the freezer.

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