January 6, 2009

here and there

I am in St Louis, Missouri, writing you from yet another hotel room and right about now I’m ready to give up this job to be a library clerk or something.

No, not really, but after not being home for 3 weeks (working for 2, then a week for Christmas), being home for 5 days, then flying back out again, I am exhausted.  And I’ve not really had a moment alone, in my own home, for at least as long.  I am a grumpy girl when I need to be around people all the time, no matter who they may be and poor Boyfriend has been bearing the brunt of it. In any case, this gig feels particularly rough.  Not that I can complain, because I realize how very, very lucky The Boyfriend & I are.  Some people are fighting not to lose their homes and desperately unemployed, while he & I drop $500 on New Year’s Eve dinner.  (Well, he did.)  And at most, we cringe.

If anything, you could say my job is in demand because the application that I teach can save companies hundreds of thousands of dollars.  (There’s a court in Italy that actually uses it, Adobe Connect, Presenter, and Captivate – online meeting & eLearning development tools – to basically hold their criminal trials online, so that people don’t actually need to go to the physical courthouse.   They estimate it’s saving them about a million Euro per year.) Pay me a little, save a lot.

The downside is that I spend a lot of freakin’ time on the road.  And I fly to Detroit on the 21st for a few days.

I’m in St Louis until Friday and while I’d LOVE to go out and see some of the sights, I’m just too damned tired.

This morning, I turned on the television, as I was getting ready, to hear them talking about school closings and accidents due to icy roads.  I carefully made my way to the rental car (a freakin’ PT Cruiser, seriously) across a parking lot that I could have skated across.  Then I discovered there was no scraper in the car, so I had to sit there and use up my valuable Starbuck’s hunting time to let the car warm up enough to melt the ice off the windshield.

Some amusement this morning – this gig is for a very large, religious-based insurance company.  There are Jesus paintings everywhere.  I kid you not.  There are nativity scenes in the lobby.  There is framed scripture on the walls.  Around 10 am, an announcement came over the loudspeakers saying something holy holy and informing of which passages would be read and which hymns sung during the morning’s chapel service (in one of the 3 chapels in the building.)  I paused, because I misunderstood and thought they were going to start singing right there or at the very least, taking a moment of silence.  The woman in charge of this particular team asked if anyone wanted to go to chapel, but everyone opted to skip out.

Now, I’m not sure if all this religious hoo-ha was due to the location (St Louis) or if all the company’s offices share these qualities, but it was strange.  I prayed (ha!) that I wouldn’t go up in flames at some point.  And kept my sleeves down, lest they notice the ink and think me a heathen.

There’s a fitness center here but I forgot my sneakers and will people look at me strangely if I do the treadmill in snowboots?  I have my pilates ring and my resistance bands but I do not have a lot of discipline.  Nor energy.

Wah Wah Wah.

The only saving grace is that I have an aisle seat on the flight home.  If you ever have to sit next to me during a flight, and I’m not in the aisle seat, let me apologize in advance.  I have the world’s smallest, or just most over-active, bladder.  I once asked The Boyfriend how he’d feel about having to arrange our schedules around my having to pee and without hesitation, he responded, “We already do that.”

Touche.  I suppose we do.

I just ordered $30 in room service, $6 of which is delivery fee and I’ve not added tip yet and that makes me feel guilty.  Considering I’m technically allowed something like $70/day and I often only spend about $20/day, it’s ridiculous to feel guilty, but I do, especially when I consider I’ve $1100 in flight & hotel to charge back yet.  Isn’t that the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard?  I’m not one of those business travelers who knows how to take advantage of such things.  I should be eating, what… steak and lobster every night?  Or something?  But the one time I determined to go out for something nice, for dinner, I spent an hour sending disappointed texts to Boyfriend about the yucky shrimp (Atlantic Shrimp, apparently) and “are scallops ever supposed to be this gritty, ever?”  No, they aren’t.  So now I just stick to my Starbuck’s (when I can find one and thank god I can this trip), Panera, and the occasional piece of cheesecake.

Er… tonight I ordered a huge salad, cheesecake, and nachos.  Gross. But they were out of the soup I wanted and I picked the nachos under pressure.

I should probably stop writing and start doing pilates, at that.

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