Sunday, March 19, 2006
home again, gone again
After being on the road off and on for the better part of 7 weeks, a girl can start to get a little confused about where she is. And fatigue tends to set in can impair judgment and ability to reason out situations. Mostly I just forget where I am when I wake up in the middle of the night and have to remember I am in such-in-such hotel, in such-in-such town. It's starting to make me feel a bit crazy.

My week started off with a big ole meeting that my boss had tapped me to represent our company for when our largest client had called ourselves and the 2 other major vendors in our department/category. The big rollout with our company had been put on hold due to "issues" and we all had been called to the carpet to sort it out. I felt pretty damn good being asked to represent our company at this meeting as it is very early on in my career with them. It was a good meeting and my boss, who listened in via conference call, called me afterwards and told me I was "tha bomb". I tried to act humble but I admit, I was pleased with myself. ;-)

After that I headed up north to continue the rollout of my company's product up in the northern stores. Sudbury and North Bay, Ontario were my destinations. Before I continued to those towns, however, I spent a night over at grandma's (about 2 hours north of Toronto); it allowed to me to spend some quality time with her and gave me a fresh start to work from the next day, as it was only an hour's drive to my first store in North Bay.

That all seemed like a good idea until the storm rolled in. We got the snow, the wind, the thunder... the whole bit. And when I awoke the next morning the power was off in my grandma's home and clearly I wasn't going to be driving anywhere. I called my boss to let him know and decided to wait the storm out. By noon, however, I was getting anxious to get on with it and so I loaded up my car and headed out. Foolish idea number 1.

The driving was, not surprisingly, horrible. The wind blew my car back and forth on the highway and I had to grip my steering wheel like a monkey if I was going to keep the car in my own lane. After a tiring hour+ drive I arrived at my first store and proceeded to put in a little over 8 hours of work. By the time I left it was about 9:45pm and I settled into the hotel across the street. Once I settled into my room I decided to order myself a pizza and have it delivered to my room (foolish idea number 2). I was tired, my feet were aching and the weather was freezing. I just wanted to eat and sleep.

When my pizza arrived at my door I grabbed my wallet to pay the man only to find out... I didn't have enough cash. Not at all. I turned and asked if he took Visa, to which he said no. Puzzled I asked why not and he said that he didn't actually work for the pizza place, he's just a middle guy who delivers it (as he delivers for a lot of restaurants in the area). I called the pizza place to see if they could charge it to my card after the fact, but lucky me!, they were now closed (it was about 10:30pm).

I told the guy to come with me and we could see if there was a bank machine in the hotel lobby; no such luck. I asked the girl at the counter if she could add $20 to my hotel tab and give me cash back, to which she said no (despite my repeated pleas). I asked where the closest bank machine was and she told me at the donut shop down the street. Growling that my pizza was getting cold I ran back to my room to get my car keys and wallet. Back in the lobby I asked where exactly where this coffee shop was and she pointed in the direction. The pizza guy then offered to just drive me there and bring me back and I relented and agreed (foolish idea number 3?). As I got in his car I remarked to him that I was pretty sure my mother warned me against getting into cars with strangers and we both had a little laugh. 2 minutes later we were back at the hotel, he was paid and I was sitting down with cold pizza. Annoyingly it was among the worst pizza I've ever eaten. Lesson learned. Hey, at least I had an episode of Battlestar Galactica loaded up on my computer to watch.

The next day was another delightful drive in the snow and another store to set up. Things moved fairly smoothly (8 hours in store) and after 2 hours driving back to grandma's again I was warming up with a homemade meal. Gotta love grandma's cooking after 3 hours of snowy driving!

Eventually I made my way back home and discovered just how filthy my car was from all the snowstorm driving. You couldn't even tell my car is blue!! Go ahead, click the pic for a larger image.

This weekend was about catching up on paperwork and emails and catching up with friends. My friend who recently had her baby had the traditional Chinese celebration for a baby's 1 month birthday (though they waited a month longer). We had a HUGE Chinese meal complete with all kinds of foods I didn't know and many with their cooked heads still attached and on the platter (as can be seen by the chicken head). I loved it!!

It was an awesome meal and a wonderful celebration. What a great tradition, and I was honoured to be invited. And what a beautiful baby!!

As for me I am packing up yet again and leaving in a couple of hours. This time I'm heading east instead of north; Kingston and Brockville. I should be back Wednesday night. I'm taking my laptop in the event I can get online in my hotel. *fingers crossed*

Hope I didn't bore you too much! Things will be back to normal soon, I promise. Thanks for checking in!