Friday, January 29, 2010

I want to hear your stories!!

Send me your crazy work stories!! I will post the "winner" in a few weeks. Send them to: ...I look forward to reading them!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hot Water

A while back, our hot water heater died. We'd had it for about 9 years, so it seemed well within reason to get a new one. My husband is very handy, and asked if I minded if he tried to replace it himself. I, being chronically cheap, of course said yes. Worst case scenario we had to call someone if it didn't work, so it seemed like a great idea.

He somehow did replace it himself (wrestling it up and down the steps alone). Everything seemed great. Except. Except for every few days the pilot light went out. We could not explain this and it seemed to have no rhyme or reason. He kept relighting it, and we figured maybe it was just something that would mysteriously "fix itself".

I often get up very early and drive for 3 or 4 hours to get to my destination. One day I had to get up at 4:30 in order to be in the mountains by 9:00. Now, I am not a morning person. The shower is pivotal to feeling human when I do have to get up at this time.

So, I roll out of bed, turn on the shower, and of course, no hot water. I get my poor husband out of bed, but even once he relights the pilot light, there is no way it will heat up in time.

I really don't know what to do. I am not awake, and somehow have to get ready without the shower. I know what you are thinking, just take a cold shower. I agree this sounds good in theory. Reality, no way. I attempted it, it just wasn't possible.

Now, to add to the problem, I have weird hair. Really, I do. It is thin and fine in a way that doesn't seem possible in humans. It defies science by being both oily and frizzy at the same time. Without a shower and a mix of expensive products, I look like kramer from seinfeld. It's basically the consistency and texture of chicken feathers.

In my limited time to get ready, I decided to straighten it with a flat iron. It seemed like the only option. It was pitiful. Not only did I look weird, but I kind of smelled like burnt hair, b.o. (I put a layer of new deodorant on top of smelling weird from going to the gym the night before), and then I topped it all with too many spritzes of perfume. It was a mess.

However, you can't call in "smell bad" and "look weird". So I went. It was really awful. Of course I made it worse by telling every customer I met with that day the whole story (I am a chronic over-sharer).

My husband did a little research and found a pivotal piece of the hot water had been left off. He fixed it, the whole thing was cheaper than hiring someone, but I paid a price.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tic Tac Toe

When traveling, missing meals is usually not a problem for me. In fact, I probably eat three times more than normal. It's common knowledge that calories consumed in a car or hotel do not count, much like when you spend money in an airport. Anyway, for those days when I am so swamped on the road and do not get an opportunity to swing through a fast food window, I usually keep a protein bar, some almonds, nabs, some type of snack in my purse or car.

One very hot day in Charleston caught me completely off guard. I like to book my days fully when I'm on the road. I want to see every possible client, because I do not want to go back anytime soon. Most of my co-workers know this about me and when we work together it's often very busy. This particular day was extremely busy, with multiple appointments, criss-crossing charleston and mount pleasant many times. It was also hot in a way that only south carolina can be.

We found ourselves crossing the cooper river bridge for about the 3rd time, parched and starving. We had no time to eat lunch or even consider stopping anywhere to pick something up. I was without my typical snacks, and my co-worker started scrounging through his car for any type of food.

We dined that day on some old Tic Tac mints he found in the floorboard (they had melted and turned into like one big glob of tic tacs which we split in half) and some hot bottled water his kids had left in the car. I'm pretty sure they had opened and drank out of them too, but we drank it all the same. It was hot and disgusting, but at least wet, we reasoned.

The grand finale of the day was careening in to the cobblestone streets of downtown Charleston for our very last appointment (which we were late for), only to get behind a person on a motorized wheel chair/hooveround type of device. In the street! It was almost unbelievable, of course they were going extremely slow. All we could do was laugh at the end to a ridiculous day.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Blood Sweat & Tears

I believe in life it is important to be prepared. I have often been called "mcgiver" by my co-workers, due to the variety of things I pull out of my purse and have ready & available.

This came in very handy one day in Charleston. My co-worker and I had brought in one of our upper managers to help close a deal. While walking into the building, some how he managed to severely cut his hand (on the glass door, we later figured out). He concealed it by jamming it into his pocket while the customer ushered us to the conference room. We all started setting up, and heard him say, "um...guys".

I look up to see his hand covered in blood! More importantly, blood was dripping all over his gorgeous armani suit. I went to work. In a matter of seconds I produced kleenex to wrap his hand in to absorb the blood, antiseptic wipe to clean it with, bandaids, and a "Tide To Go" stick for the suit.

He was very impressed, and I will say it is a strange mental image I will always have of blowing on the hand of one of the hire up's in our company. This occured after I had applied the antiseptic wipe which, I could only take his squeal to mean, burned a lot, thus the blowing.

We got it all cleaned up before the customers came back, although the Tide To Go was no match for whatever expensive fabric that suit was made of. We did close the deal, which was great. Sometimes, you have to shed a little blood.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A little dip will do ya'

When people travel for their jobs, or for any reason really, sleep deficits and the need to stay awake will inevitably occur. Most travelers use caffeine, or abuse it in my case. Sometimes, extreme measures are necessary. Fortunately I have not turned to illegal drugs, but I am ashamed to admit that I have used a pretty disgusting legal one.

Years ago, I was talking with one of my friends who also travels for his job. We were comparing stories and both of us had endured particularly grueling road trips that week (hours on the road, etc). We talked about Starbucks and the joys of coffee in general. Then he shared a tip that had never occurred to me.

"Well", he said, "if you are really looking to stay awake and coffee is not doing it for you, then just get some skoal".

I told him how disgusting that was, how I would never do "dip" or any form of chewing tobacco.

The very next week, I found myself almost falling asleep behind the wheel. I had already consumed copious amounts of caffeine, blared the air conditioner and radio, nothing was working. At the end of my rope, I pulled in to the parking lot of a service station. I went in and like a total hypocrite purchased the skoal. I asked the man behind the counter how exactly you "pack" it, and he was more than happy to oblige.

A few minutes and flick of the wrist later, I found myself in a parking lot, doing skoal. To make myself feel better, I will point out that I did not actually pack it in my mouth, only rubbed a tiny amount on my gums. Now, I know, it doesn't really make it any better. I guess that early in the morning, my logic was that if I did not have to use a "spit cup" or bottle of some sort, that made it okay.

It did indeed wake me up. Once I reached my destination, I threw it quickly in my glove box, and as usual when traveling, my day actually "started". The blur of getting there slid off of me like shrugging off a jacket.

A week later I opened my glove box. It was shocking to see the container sitting there. For a moment, I had no idea what it was. But there it was. Evidence. I quickly threw it away before my husband discovered it. He has enough evidence that I am truly a redneck, I couldn't fuel the flames.

I was also deeply embarrassed that I had done this, and without much thought at all. Good reminder of what happens when you put yourself in bad situations.

Thankfully, I have never turned to it again and DO NOT recommend it for anything. Ever.