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Posts Tagged ‘working’

Stolen Rental Cars and Naked Hotel Guests

August 24, 2010 2 comments

I am currently on business travel.  I got up at 4:00 am yesterday morning (don’t ask me how I feel about this) and was at my destination by 9:30 in the morning.  I travel approximately once per month to the same location.  My destination and itinerary have become familiar and I am typically on auto-pilot for the duration of the trip.  Herein lies the problem – as I was driving from the airport to the office, I was on auto-pilot and almost took the wrong freeway.  This reminded me of previous business trips mishaps that were more amusing than getting on the wrong freeway.  So here are three in order of mildly amusing to so funny that if you’re not laughing, there might be something wrong with you.

Mildly Amusing (though not at the time):

I did my 4:00 am wake up call and flew in, I worked all day in the office, correction, I worked until 9:30 pm in the office.  I then drove two blocks to my hotel, desperate to crash.  I gave my rental car to the valet.  I normally self-park, but was so tired, I decided not to bother.  I stumbled into the hotel blurry eyed and on fumes.  I went up to the front desk, threw my corporate card and elite card on the desk like I owned the place and hoped they could get me to my room before I slept in the lobby.  I didn’t notice at first that he was typing more than usual.  Finally, he said, “Mrs. Morgan, I am sorry, but are you sure you have a reservation?”  What?!  I physically shook my head hoping it would help me process his question.  It dawned on me that I was in town for a conference and had not made my own travel arrangements…  It turned out my hotel was 30 minutes away and it was now approaching 10:00 at night (remember, I got up at 4:00 am).  I now had to rescue my bags from the bellman, wait 15 minutes for the valet to bring my car back and head to the correct hotel.  I was tired and frustrated; so as a further poke from the universe, my GPS wasn’t working.  I got lost three times trying to find my hotel!  When I finally got into my room, sometime after 11:00, I turned on my computer to cancel my early morning call and my laptop died!

Fairly Amusing

Same trip as above (I should have stayed home!).  I checked out of the correct hotel to fly home.  I had asked the valet to have my car waiting because I was going to be cutting it close, having a morning meeting before I scurried to catch my flight home.  I ran out of my morning meeting, handed some money and my ticket to the valet, grabbed my keys and headed for the airport.  Halfway to the airport, I went to turn on the radio and thought, ‘hmm, that’s funny, I could have sworn the button was on the other side’.  I ignored the feeling for a few minutes, then on a hunch, I looked at the key chain, it said Avis, my rental company, so I kept driving.  It was still bugging me, so I grabbed the rental car agreement and flipped it over – “WHO THE HELL IS D. SMITH (name changed to protect the victim) and why do I have their tag?!!!”  I had taken the wrong rental car!  At this point, I am one mile from the airport.  If I turned around, I would certainly miss my flight.  For me that was not an option, because I wanted to get home to see my kids!  I called the hotel valet from the car and made them stay on the phone while I pulled into rental car return.  I did what I do best – I put on my biggest apologetic smile and started talking.  I explained that the valet gave me the wrong car and I was going to miss my flight and inquired if could just return the one I had.  I was in luck, because I had no personal belongs in my car and D. Smith had no belongings in the car I “stole”.  The hotel tracked him down, we made a deal and I flew home.  As a side note, I am sure you all assume it was the same car in the same color – uh, no.  Two different foreign four door cars, one was silver, the other champagne.  Oops, I now try get electric blue cars whenever possible!

The Winner

This was not my brilliance, but certainly wins.  A friend of mine was on a sales trip and had been at a big, wine-filled dinner with clients.  He stumbled into bed pie-eyed and bordering on incoherent.  In the middle of the night, nature called and he staggered out of bed, headed for the bathroom.  Still drunk, he walked through the door and then the door closed with a click.  He had gone out the door to his room!  And, he sleeps naked!  (His wife told me the story, I do not know the sleeping attire of my male friends).  He now has two problems – the urgent need to pee and he is locked out of his room in the middle of the night, naked!   Solution one: he pee’d in the drain of the ice machine.  As he is figuring out problem two, he hears the elevator door open and he throws his naked 6 foot tall, football player frame against the hallway wall in hopes of being missed…  He gets lucky and uses the house phone to call the front desk.   While waiting for security to come up, he finds an unlocked housekeeping closet and grabs a towel that is just enough to cover the ‘public display of indecency’ parts.  When the security guard comes up, he averts his eye, keeps the verbal exchange short and files workman’s comp the next day I am sure.

Whether your work brings in a paycheck or raises a family, we all have those times when auto-pilot (or too much wine) gets the best of us.  Remember that when someone steals your rental car or you see a naked guy in a hotel.

The hotel robe would have come in very handy...

Wine And I Are Breaking Up

August 23, 2010 12 comments

Dear Wine,

I have loved you since my 21st birthday when we met on a wine tasting trip.  We have had a great relationship, with the occasional quarrels.  During those rough patches you made me crazy, even sick to my stomach because your love was too strong, but I kept coming back.  We have had fun and made many wonderful memories.

But, my beloved, I have changed.  It’s not you, it’s me.  My tolerance for you has changed.  I used to be able to enjoy your whole bottle, without consequence.  But now, I sleep poorly after seeing you.  I find mornings difficult when I spend the evening, or even two glasses with you.   I am also no longer immune to the bad influences of your dangerous friends, like dessert, who you seem to bring along on our dates.   Based on the increasing frequency of regret the morning after we’re together, I must end the relationship.

But hey, we can still be friends.  We can see each other occasionally, even spend an evening together from time to time, like friends with benefits.  But our love affair is over.  I need to see others  that don’t leaving me feeling badly the next day.  I have been spending more time with a pirate, a captain by the name of Morgan and his friend, a sailor named Jerry.  They provide fun and relaxation, without the unpleasant quarrels and feelings of regret the next morning.

I do have some concerns about how limiting our relationship will affect our social circle.  My friends are used to us being a couple, they enjoy you’re company when they spend time with me, but they’ll have to adjust.  My husband is thrilled that I am putting boundaries on our relationship, because it allows him to spend more time (yet less money) with you.

Thank you for a fabulous love affair, I will always appreciate your complexity, variety and the joy you have brought me.  I will eagerly anticipate our occasional encounters and will know that I have benefitted from our relationship.

Fondly,

Paige

Instant Gratification

August 21, 2010 9 comments

I am not going to lie – I am a big fan of instant gratification.  Just call me Veruca in “Charlie in the Chocolate Factory” – I want it now!  One of my friends calls it the Sod-It Syndrome.  She can’t wait for grass to grow, she would rather have sod.  I could provide endless examples of my impatience and you know how I love a good list.  However, I will refrain this time… nah!

  • I sometimes inadvertently get drunk trying to reach the happy buzz place to quickly
  • I have turned myself orange more than once trying to achieve a dark spray on tan in 24 hours that usually takes a week
  • I invent scheduling conflicts to get my performance reviews back from my manager earlier.
  • I, like most Americans, have done my share of accumulating debt in college because I couldn’t wait for a time when I could afford shopping (or excessive drinking)
  • I researched the earliest pregnancy test because one extra day of waiting was too much for me

The irony is that it drives me nuts when my kids can’t be patient.  Seriously, good things are worth the wait little pumpkins!  (And do as mommy says, not as mommy does!)

So are you a seed or a sod person?

I Have Mold In My Shower and Other Confessions

August 17, 2010 19 comments

I like to quote the Wizard in the “The Wizard of Oz” when he says, “Don’t look behind the curtain”.  For me that means I usually appear to have it together, but it’s typically held together with scotch tape and dental floss. 

I was reminded of my wizard mantra yesterday when my friend and I agreed we were ‘going to pull it together’.  You know, the day where you vow to catch up on everything.  Why do we set such lofty goals?!  So I went for it.  I am 90% caught up on work, filled out my daughter’s preschool paperwork (that was due weeks ago), worked on a birthday present for a friend, blah, blah, blah. 

I am really proud of myself.  I started congratulating myself on being amazing until I looked behind my curtain

  • I picked up my house and cleaned my stove, but there is mold in the shower
  • I fed my kids dinner BEFORE soccer practice, but it was a microwave meal
  • I arranged to take a family with a new baby dinner tomorrow, but I went store-bought instead of homemade
  • I did the grocery shopping, by putting a fake meeting on my work calendar
  • I had to put my friend’s son’s first day of school in my calendar so I wouldn’t forget to ask how it went on the correct day
  • I took my FIRST shower for the “day” at 10:00 pm

I also have a few standing tricks I pull to appear more together than I am:

  • I use dry shampoo so I don’t have to wash and style my hair as often
  • I have big drawers behind cabinet doors where I store all the kids toys at night
  • I keep a stash of cards, presents and wrapping paper so I don’t show up without a gift (because I am not organized enough to mail birthday cards)
  • I have dimmer switches on my lights so you can’t see the dust if you come to my house for dinner

Now, I could easily say that I work smarter, not harder (with the exception of the mold in the shower) but the point is, we all do the best we can.  We can usually make things livable, but rarely perfect.  I did not write this list to put myself down, but rather to keep a firm grip on reality.  I can only do what I can do and it is what it is. (Yes, I am going for a cliché record).  If my shower was mold free (it will be Thursday) and the meals were homemade, I would be even more off-balance than I already am.

Therefore, I am celebrating the chaos behind the curtain!  Please join me in this celebration and share your tricks for keeping it together or giving the appearance that you have it together.

Don't Look Behind The Curtain

Sunday Blues

August 16, 2010 5 comments

A fabulous, fun-filled weekend is over and my family and I had to face reality today.  I knew the dreaded Monday was coming.  Mondays smack me in the face before they even start.  I call it the Sunday Blues. 

My Sunday Blues typically kick in about 5:00 pm every Sunday when I start worrying about what I need to do for work Monday morning and how busy the week is going to be.  Yesterday the Sunday Blues kicked in early – at 2:00.  Between my anniversary, my son’s first day of school and other fun stuff, I slacked a bit at work last week – okay, truthfully, I was the Ferris Bueller of the corporate world!  So today I am paying the piper, trying to do dammage control.  What did I blow off last week that I shouldn’t have?  Whose waiting on me for a response?  What important milestone did I not approve?  What executive update did I fail to provide?  I will be spending my morning catching up before it catches up to me. 

In addition,  my husband left for a business trip this morning, which means I will juggle getting the kids to school, working, homework, dinner, soccer practice, baths and back to school night by myself.  Once the week gets going, I do just fine, because I am too busy to worry about it.  But I can’t seem to avoid mourning the loss of our relaxed weekend time and dreading the stress of life as Sunday comes to a close. 

However, in the spirit of trying to stay balanced – I will look for the positives.  I will enjoy the 1:1 time with my kids.  I will run the house by my rules.  I will remind myself how independent and organized I can be.  I will take up the whole king bed when I sleep!  And then I will thank God when my husband comes home and rescues me from the brink of insanity!

I’d ask you to wish me luck, but there are single parents who deserve daily Hallmark cards.  I have friends whose spouses travel every week.  There are military families who juggle so much more.  This is not a pity party, this is recognition of the challenge at hand.  I am ultra competitive and will not let the Sunday Blues predict the outcome of this week! 

As I began writing this post, I was feeling mopey and scattered, now Eye of the Tiger (I am not even a huge Rocky fan) is playing in my head and I am ready to get through it!

If all else fails, Plan B involves a bottle of wine and a babysitter!

Sorry Work, It’s The First Day of School

August 11, 2010 2 comments

My son started first grade today.  My husband and I got early to prepare.  He made my son breakfast, packed his lunch and got him dressed.  I primped.  The first day of school is the one day a year I don’t roll up in my pajamas, work-out clothes or a combination thereof looking like a hot mess.  Why?  First day of school pictures silly!  Then years from now we can look back at the pictures and tell the tale that I was June Cleaver and Donna Reed all wrapped up in one.  The only difference, I also work full-time.

Speaking of work – fat chance of getting ANY productivity out of me today!  Yes, school started at 8:00, but I have a whole first day routine:  After we walked him in, found his seat, took more pictures and kissed up to the teacher, we then we did mommy (and daddy) mingling.  Then we came home and I pretended to be a stay at home mom for a few minutes – I emptied the dishwasher, picked up the house and started breakfast. (Not my normal morning routine.)  Then I checked the dismissal schedule – it’s different in first grade than it was in kindergarten.  Uh-oh – I have a meeting during pick-up time.  Well that meeting is CANCELLED. 

You might be asking yourself, seriously, why can’t you work until pick-up and then once you bring him home?  Hello… when I pick him up, I MUST take him out for frozen yogurt and hear about his day.  As to why I can’t work until then, I will be too busy thinking about how fast he’s growing up and wondering if he’s having a good day.  I will call my girlfriends and see how their mornings went and how they are feeling about another milestone.  Yes, I really can waste a whole day doing this!

So if anyone at work is looking for me – good luck!  My baby started 1st grade today and I am playing the role of June Cleaver!

I Miss My Best Friend

July 31, 2010 5 comments

I am a very lucky girl, I have a fantastic circle of friends.  Each of my friends are treasured for different reasons, but I have one best friend.  The person I tell everything to, without fear of judgement.  The one who knows all of my multiple personalities, who understands I am slightly off-balance (sometimes more). 

I miss my best friend.  I miss the long relaxed dinners, the impromptu cocktails, the inside jokes.  I miss the ability to completely focus on each other when we’re together.  That time is now filled with work and kids.  We’re trying to juggle being high performers (because anyone else collects pink slips) and the worlds best parents (because anyone else raises demons).  We try to do the best we can for everyone, everyday and the cost is our friendship.  There isn’t time for long relaxing dinners (unless you count chicken nuggets and Capri Sun over the noise of the kids).  Impromptu cocktails are doable, but kids have a very low appreciation for hangovers.  Inside jokes are replaced by kids humor because we don’t do anything not related to our kids.

What we do get is the bond of being parents, of understanding each others hopes and fears for our children.  Will our kids like Kindergarten, will they be good students, will they look both ways when we eventually let them cross the street by themselves – is 25 the right age? 😉 

We hope that our friendship will still be there when we come out of the other side of the parenting vacuum.  Will we have grown apart?  Will we still enjoy each others’ company?  We don’t know the answer but we talk about it, we squeeze in the rare time for just the two of us, we promise to keep an eye on our friendship.  We know other best friends who haven’t fared as well and we try to learn from them.

My best friend is my husband and we live in the same house.

I Will Not Shoot The Birds.. today

I have been quiet for a few days.  I had high hopes for this week after I cancelled my business trip.   I imagined a week where I got caught up on work, relaxed with my family, got re-acquainted with the gym and snuck in a cocktail with the girls.  Clearly part of the problem was my expectations!  I had put too much on my list for a week where the reality is I have performance reviews to write, a tough deal to try to close and normal life chaos.  Then I got a cold. 

I realize that a little cough is no big deal.  But have you ever noticed how when you feel crappy, your perspective on life can get crappy.  I think this is some sort of cold/flu because I have had a pounding headache and body aches too.  I feel like I went slam dancing all night, then did a sunrise bungee jump, then got hit by a truck!  Okay, maybe there’s no flu, maybe it’s because I have sat at my desk working long hours when I really just wanted to call in sick.  I thought about it; fantasized about taking a sick day, watching movies in bed, reading and sleeping.  Sounds like heaven right?  But life doesn’t stop for a cold.  The kids still tackle me like little linebackers, scream at the top of their lungs and want me to do normal mom stuff.  Work is even less understanding.  Don’t get me wrong, my boss would understand, but the to-do list would remain.

I was really driving the pity party bus this morning.  My son came in my office and asked me to play with him.  In a whining voice I hate to admit I possess, I said “Mommy is working, mommy HAS to work.”  My son replied with “that’s no fun”.  Thanks for the news flash!  I was spinning on the thoughts of ‘wouldn’t I love to enjoy the summer days with my kids, escape the stress of work, not sit at my desk until I feel like a stiff old lady’.  Of course!

Then I made a CHOICE to stop the pity party.  I found a 30 minute break in my conference call schedule, grabbed my shoes and went for a walk.  I cranked my i-pod and soaked up the sunshine.  I reminded myself how fortunate I am that I work from home, have healthy, wonderful children, a great husband and amazing friends.  I have a saying that I use when one of my friends is having a bad day: “The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, so I shot them” (Relax, it’s a metaphor, no need to call PETA).  Meaning, sometimes we just want to wallow in a bad day until we’re ready to be optimists again.  Well, the sun IS shining and the birds are safe for today!

This is a great reminder, that I can influence balance in my life, I can choose my perspective and how I react to the normal events in life.  I can let the birds live and enjoy their singing – it drowns out my cough!

Can I Shower with You?

July 23, 2010 2 comments

Sometimes the simplest things in life can cause the most chaos.  For me it was my morning shower.  Okay, I am lying, my mid-morning shower.  I had to squeeze in a quick rinse off between conference calls as usual.

Whoever did the plumbing on my house was abusing his vices, aka was on drugs!  The faucets in our showers our reversed (if it says hot, it’s cold).  Our master shower does not heat up unless you turn on the bathtub hot water first.  None of these problems are new, just something we have learned to live with, until my kids got involved…

The hot and cold labels on our bathtub faucet handles fall off, and I am constantly putting them back on.  – It’s on the honey-do (or should I say, honey-pay-someone-to-do list), but that’s a whole separate blog post.  apparently my kids think these faucet labels are fun toys…

At 9:50 this morning I go running into my bathroom to rinse off before my 10:00 conference call.  I turn on the hot water in the bathtub and wait for it to warm up – once it warms up, I can turn on the shower…  I wait and it’s still cold, I am watching the clock tick towards 10 and still nothing.  I finally think, which one is really the hot…  I have to call my husband and ask him which faucet is the hot (because of course he knows without the labels, and I never pay attention to these things).  He confirms that my little angels have switched the labels. 

It is now 9:55, I switch the labels, turn on the hot water in the bath, wait for it to warm up then wait for my shower to warm up.  I set yet another world record for showering and shaving and make my call by 10:02.   Females really need more time to get ready than this!

These are the little things that contribute to my chaos.  Thank God I work from home and don’t use video conferencing. I am may be mostly clean, but I look more like the plumber!

Categories: Balance, Life Tags: , , , ,

A Real Mom’s Schedule

I often make lists of the goals I want to accomplish for the day and set up a schedule to get everything on the list done.   I think that if I reach all my goals, I will get some time to relax and find balance… 

I then realize the absurdity of my goals and the fact that the list ensures NO balance!  What mother of two young children, working or not, is all caught up and has a moment to relax?!  We don’t catch up while are kids are still young, just the way we don’t sleep through the night!  So the goal is not checking everything off, but rather prioritizing the list.  In my true OCD fashion I have devised a plan to accomplish a few things, while maintaining balance.  This is my list (followed be a few revisions in italics) for tomorrow:

  • Rise at 6:30 am, eat a healthy breakfast, shower before the kids get up, check Facebook Wake up when the kids wake me up because I will stay up too late tonight working and catching up on Tivo
  • Snuggle with my kids until yoga Put the kids in my bed and let them watch a movie while I snuggle and try to sleep until 7:50 then park them in front of a movie so I can get in a half-ass shower where I sort-of shave my legs
  • Cancel my 8:00 am conference call so I can do the 8:00 yoga class at the gym  Who am I kidding, I have to be on that conference call! Plus, I can’t remember how to get to the gym…
  • Attend 8:00 am meeting Call in for meeting at 8:10 because I have to jump out of the shower with conditioner in my hair and shaving cream on my legs to break up the kids fight over what movie to watch, tracking soap and shaving cream through my bedroom and almost slipping on the bathroom tile
  • Get dressed and put on make-up during my 9:00 call  Start my 9:00 meeting in my bathrobe with wet hair, eat off my kids breakfast plates, with my work phone on mute.
  • Meetings from 8-5.  While on these conference calls, I will try to get work done, keep up on email, write thank you notes, fold laundry.  Get dressed and do my makeup.  Experience has taught me to mind the headset cord on my work phone when trying to put my shirt on!
  • 5:00 Throw my air-dried lion’s mane in a messy chic pony tail
  • 5:05 Help get the kids ready for dinner and leave for sushi with the girls at 5:15. Kiss my kids and husband and leave early so I can have a drink with my girlfriends before dinner
  • 8:00 Return home in time to kiss the kids goodnight and start working.
  • 8:30 Return from sushi after the kids are in bed so I can avoid the battle, will sit in my girlfriend’s car gossiping to kill time if necessary
  • Clean out my closet, finish my work from the day Realize I am tipsy, skip cleaning the closet and turn off my laptop to avoid saying anything inappropriate on work email

You may be asking yourself –  how this is balance? I may not get as much done with the revised schedule, but I’ll have more fun!

Suggestions to the schedule accepted! 😉