Tuesday, October 29, 2013

That did NOT hit the spot

Hello again! Two blogs...two nights...what is this world coming to?! I don't have much to do aside from working and writing. One of these things I am extraordinarily passionate about and the other? We won't discuss that ;)

Tonight, I want to write about my dissatisfaction with room service. Woahhhh, wait a minute...that sounds utterly ridiculous so let me re-phrase. I am disappointed in myself for trusting what I was told regarding what I ordered. And this is where you need to trust your instincts.

I picked up the phone and called for room service and almost immediately I regretted the decision. As soon as I worked up the courage to hang up, as they can see who is calling, someone picked up. I ordered fish tacos with a side house salad, no dressing. Easy, right? Wrong. I asked if the tacos were on corn or flour tortillas and if the fish was battered or grilled. And was told that the fish was grilled with onions, cilantro (YUM) and sprouts and that the tortillas were corn. Yippee!!! I am on the phone with my boyfriend until I hear a knock at the door. I look through the peep hole on my tip toes and see that it is room service. I open the door, sign the receipt and take the food to my desk. I take the cover off of the plate and just stare at it. This is not what I ordered. First of all, the fish was fried and battered...yuck. Secondly, they were on flour tortillas and wait for it - it came with french fries! I mean, you would have thought I was speaking a different language when I ordered, or it was my inner 500lb fat kid ordering and I was unconscious when this all went down. She should have sent up the double chocolate lava layer cake with it. (I think I just gained 10lbs just thinking about it). Okay, I understand that I shouldn't be so angry, but $18.58 later and there isn't a thing on this plate that I can eat or want to eat, it is a complete waste because even if I had called back down to have it re-done, they would have still thrown this entire plate away. :( So I will eat a granola bar and drink some water and the yummy coffee that I got from Starbucks on my way back to the hotel. If it wasn't for taking the wrong turn this morning trying to find the office, I wouldn't have my yummy, warm coffee next to me. That did not hit the spot.

Keeping it short tonight, but wanted to share with you another adventure in this experience.


Love and Wellness to All

Patti xox

Monday, October 28, 2013

Getting "Comfortable"

Here I am again...sitting in another hotel room craving the familiar place called my home. I close my eyes and as I type, I inhale deeply and let the scent of past tense fill my nose and infiltrate my entire being. I can feel myself physically let down...

It's difficult going away for vacation - although vacations are typically relaxing, unless you are some kind of thrill seeking adventurous human and not really into the turquoise water and palm trees thing (HA! You're not fooling me); you aren't near your familiar surroundings, but the greatest thing about vacation? You get to go back home at the end of it and at least spend another year or two planning the next one. So what do you do if you're traveling for business and you won't return home long enough to go even go grocery shopping before turning around and getting back on a plane? You plan. A very intelligent woman reminded me that there is always a way to make sure you're making yourself a priority and taking it seriously, you're health and well being. (Thank you from the bottom of my heart). 

As mentioned in my previous blog, my company is going through what I would call a merger. That may be a 1990's term, but it's best described that way as it's not technically an acquisition since it was a different company that purchased us and the company's platform that we are integrating into, is considered our "sister" company. I will be traveling back and forth from Hartford to Baltimore for the next three months just about every week and staying through some of the Holidays. In order to make sure that I am serving myself the best way possible within the means that I am given, planning is essential. What do I mean, I am sure you are asking. I am talking about what I plan on eating and drinking and what I can to do make it possible for me to "sleep" while I am away. Being able to "let down" both physically and mentally when you are living out of a hotel room is SO essential and having the resources to do so will make it a little more possible. 

So before leaving for Baltimore this morning, I wrote out a plan for myself on Sunday afternoon when I got home from Nikkie's house. Here is the literal list I made:

  • Search for local grocery stores or stores that are familiar to me within a safe distance
  • Go to WF and pick up some non-perishables that you can eat as snacks and substitute as needed
  • Pack Teddy
  • Bring Past Tense (THANK YOU, SHERRY)!
  • Pack light this time, only what is needed
  • Pack only flats so you don't get the urge to wear heels and then regret it
  • Bring Zyflammend
There were a few more things on the list, but you can pretty much gauge what I am expressing here. Writing it down and having the information in front you helps to ensure that you're not forgetting anything. After I finished packing - and writing down what to pack truly helps, I sat down on my bed and typed in "Whole Foods near Linthicum, MD." And low and behold....there is one about 20 minutes away from my hotel!! A Trader Joe's that is even closer. It truly puts me at ease knowing that they aren't too far away. And as soon as I can work up the courage to travel the roads of MD alone, then I will go. The great thing about technology, there is a GPS on both of my phones, so it's really mustering up the confidence to go. Once I get sick of eating the granola bars and gluten free pre-packaged cereal, I will go :) And I will need to for the times when I am down here for the whole week. How can one eat out everyday, twice a day?! I just cannot trust the restaurants around me enough for that. 

As far as packing goes...I like to have options. I am such an indecisive dresser and need options. Options, options, options. But having options and making traveling less stressful truly do not go hand in hand. I learned this today. Unfortunately flying Southwest you aren't given the option - there is that word again - for seating. You are boarded by your class. I was fortunate enough to receive C-class. (that sentence is dripping with sarcasm). Which means that I was in the last boarding group. By the time it was my turn to board the plane, there wasn't any room for my carry-on. So they had to check it. Initially I was very unhappy about this because I don't bring a bag that I need to check, as I try to keep my travel as light as possible and not have to deal with picking up my baggage. So, I take my ticket that has my new baggage claim number on it and step into the plane....with LESS STRESS. Who knew? See for those who do not know, I am almost 5 feet, taking a carry on bag in addition to my stuffed-to-the-gills lap top bag makes it extremely difficult for someone of my height to comfortably stow my carry on in the overhead compartment without severely invading the personal bubble of the innocent bystander and almost rendering them unconscious when it slips from my hand. Oye! Not having that stress of finding a space for my bag to fit with the worry of pulling a rocky on another passenger and then finding a seat really lifted some unnecessary stress that I put on myself. 

I will plan meticulously for the next trip down here...possibly bringing a bag that is intended to be checked and making the effort to drive out to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's so I can nourish my body the way it needs. Right now I am going to take some Zyflammend, drink some water and snuggle in bed with Mr. Teddy. (he remains nameless, so I call him Teddy...it fits). 


Love and Wellness to All

Patti xox

Monday, October 21, 2013

Eleventh Hour...

...the phone rings... "FM, this is Patti." "Hey Patti, it's Karen. We need you to go to Baltimore soon." - That conversation (which was much longer than that, but I'll spare you the details), was Friday. It's the following Monday and here I am sitting in my hotel room in Linthicum, MD. My travel companion sitting on the bed with the cookie :) He can keep the 310 calorie cookie...

Talk about last minute travel - it doesn't give you much time to plan, what to pack, what to eat, where to go when I get there! It's a good thing I am secretly superwoman, otherwise I would feel completely defeated right about now. Multiple things couldn't have all happened at once to make me so thrilled to be away from home at this moment. For instance, the pharmacy not filling my prescription in time, so I am sitting in the chair in my hotel room with cramps so painful it makes it difficult to breathe - and did I mention I look wicked fat?! I am so bloated you would think I was pregnant. To those curious minds out there: NEGATIVE. Oh, also zero transportation unless I want to take a taxi, and I am all alone. Cool. I want coffee. Okay, okay...there are worse things in life to be upset about. I am happy that my company thinks highly enough of me to send me here. We were recently purchased by another company who's technology platform is much more simple than the one that we are currently using. (Boring, yes). So I am here to learn what they do, how they do it, why their process runs smoother and more efficient than the platform that we use. Go me.

My instructions were clear, take a taxi to the office and Mike will drive you to your hotel at the end of the day.  Awesome.  So the first thing I do when we land, aside from texting my twinnie, Pickle Juice; I call Mike. I've never met Mike, and I don't even know what he looks like. Looks aren't everything, but to me they can be extremely intimidating. I tell him I have landed and I will be on my way to the office shortly...change of plans. He offers to pick me up from the airport and then we can go to lunch to talk about what the next few days will be like and what is expected. No pressure there! I am standing on the sidewalk outside of the airport waiting for the grey 4-door sedan to pick me up. I am not sure what is worse, trusting your being in the backseat of a taxi cab or trusting your being with a man you've never met before. Trust me, the anticipation sucks either way. The Grey Lexus pulls up to where I am standing...two gentlemen are sitting in the front of the car. TWO? Who is this other guy?? The man in the passenger seat opens the door and introduces himself. And then Mike gets out of the drivers side and introduces himself to me. He knew what I looked like because he looked me up on Linkedin. Technology these days....it's a bit creepy to say the least. He takes my carry-on and places it in the trunk, glad I wasn't going in there, too. But unfortunately the thought crosses my mind. Who thinks like that!? I sit in the back seat and we are now lunch bound. Small talk ensues inside the car. He pulls into Chili's and the three of us head in for lunch. (P.S. Chili's is not very picky-eater friendly).  We talk business but all I can think about is how in the world did I get here?! On one hand I am feeling so incredibly insecure in so many ways, but on the other hand, these two men consider me to be the brains of my client and truly counting on me to bring new ideas to the table tomorrow on how to implement our current system to their system with such a demanding client. Ahhhhhhh. All I have are questions, not ideas. Mike drives me back to the hotel and leaves me with my mind writhing.

This business trip is so unlike the others I have been on, or so it seems to me. I just feel much more inadequate and inferior to the people around me. They are all older than me, and how am I coming here to teach them about what we do? How can they look at me and think I have enough experience to tell them what they need to know in order to make this implementation successful?? In their eyes, I am only 28. It's too much to think about. And it's making my cramps worse. hahaha! There isn't anything around me to help soothe my stressed and painful body.

I am sitting in front of the heater because I am so cold, and my nose, feet and hands are as cold as a reindeer's in the middle of winter in the north pole. My eye lids are so heavy but I know the sooner I go to bed, the sooner I have to get up and present the non-existent ideas in my head to my boss, my boss's boss, my boss's boss's boss - no exaggeration there, and the two men that picked me up from the airport this afternoon. No big deal.

Sweet dreams fellow bloggers and readers. Wish me luck! All of this happened so quickly...so last minute....so in the eleventh hour!


Health and Wellness to All

Patti xox