Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Calamity Jane

First of all, let me apologize to my faithful readers (all 4 of you). I know that I have been very behind on my goal of weekly blogging. My gypsy travels have kept me very busy of late, and I will try to get back on track for the rest of the year.

Now, let me entertain you with yet another tale of physical woe, which seem to be the most popular. This event happened earlier this summer, after one of my vacations, while I was not yet "back in the saddle", as they say. It was the Monday after being out an entire week and I was asked to do an "emergency" presentation for a potential client. Thankfully I've been doing this long enough to be able to pretty much get through most things with very little prep, so off I went.

After getting up early and driving 2 hours, I arrived and met my co-workers a little early. We met in the parking deck, as we often do, like people engaging in sketchy behavior. My co-worker, knowing that I had been out, had graciously done some of the prep work and prepared "literature" for the attendees, or propaganda as we call it.

We went over the presentation, points we wanted to make etc, and headed to the elevator. Carrying his huge stack of pointy folders with said propaganda, my co-worker and I entered the elevator. I asked a question, he swung around to answer, and I took a pointy folder right in the eye. It hurt. It hurt a lot. It ripped my contact (thank goodness I was wearing them or I might have sustained a serious injury) and lead to literal weeping of the eye. It was unstoppable. Not only could I not see, but water was oozing from my face.

This is not really how you want to address about 20 potential customers. So I headed off to the ladies room, removed the torn contact, but could not stop the watering. I discreetly put several squares of toilet paper in my pocket, and pressed on.

We set up the room so that I was sitting with my "bad eye" not facing the crowd. I could not see out of my afflicted eye at all, and it continued to water. I tried to blot it casually, but I'm sure they thought I was crazy.

Once the presentation was done, I was faced with the dilemma of how to drive home with one eye. Our manager at the time, who showed up late, and quickly assessed the situation with a "are you serious right now?" widening of the eyes, offered up a solution. He also wore contacts and had an extra one, which I put in to the injured eye and while I'm sure we had different prescriptions, short of an eye patch and limited depth perception, it was the best option.

After listening to our explanation, dubiously I might add, he took one look at me and said, "Wow Calamity Jane, this is some sort of record, even for you".

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall into Fall

In my great state, a wide variety of people exist. An especially interesting subset of native North Carolinians are "mountain folk". Now, having just come back from a beautiful week in Asheville, the mountains have a lot going for them. This time of year, that part of the state is undeniably gorgeous. However, people who are born & raised in this area, are just a little different. Not bad different, just different.

Let me give you an example. I went to a client's office for a meeting. In the waiting room, they had an extremely elaborate fall "display", for lack of better terminology. Pumpkins, scare crows, leaves, etc, all piled up on a table, and artfully so. It was lovely, but I did think, "Wow, who has the time to put that together?". One year I gave out ritz crackers in a complete lack of preparation for Halloween.

Well, I was not the only one taking it all in. There was a group of 3 gentlemen (and I'm using that term loosely) also in the waiting room. This is a transcript (as best I can remember it) of their (NOT KIDDING) 10 minute conversation:

Mountain man #1: "That's purdy right there".
Mountain man #2: "It is, it sure does make me think of the seasons".
Mountain man #3: "That's nothin'. You need to come here at Christmas."
Mountain man #1: (eyes wide with astonishment) "Why, what happens at Christmas?"
Mountain man #3: "Well, they do a giant nutcracker display. They got all kinds of nutcrackers. Tiny ones, giant ones, ones as big as me & you".
Mountain man #2: "Do they light it up?"
Mountain man #3: "Of course they light it up, don't be a moron."

And so on. These 3 grown men had an elaborate conversation about seasonal decorating that I could not believe. The level of detail and genuine interest in this discussion was crazy. I almost laughed out loud.

I tell you this, I will look forward to seeing that life size nutcracker, lit up, come Christmas!