Monthly Archives: July 2008

WORK ESCAPADES

The funniest thing happened at work yesterday.  It still cracks me up.

It was around 3:30pm or so and I felt like having something with bubbles to drink.  I had already downed my usual 3 – 4 litres of water and wasn’t feeling like drinking more, so I scrounged around for some change in my wallet to get a can of Ginger Ale.

I walked into the lunchroom where the vending machines were and two ladies from the art department were sitting having their break.  I smiled and said “hi” to them as I always do because they do a lot of work for me.  They always giggle when they see me cause I’m usually cracking jokes when I come into the art department.  Anyways, I reach the vending machine and before I put the change in I notice that a pack of peanuts are just at the edge ready to drop but not quite so. 

I look over at the ladies and tell them about the peanuts.  One of them gets up and goes “ok, lets shake this machine to get it to drop”.  So, we push it back and forth trying to get these $1.00 peanuts to fall and two shakes later plop!   Then the women who was helping me points out that a chocolate bar is about to fall too from all our shaking.  So, three of us shake the vending machine and plop!  We all start to laugh and I’m trying to give them the chocolate and the peanuts but they won’t have it, so I only take the chocolate (which I gave to someone else) and we give the peanuts to another lady who’s in the lunchroom.

Finally, I get my Ginger Ale.  As I walk away I hear some change falling.  I figured it was someone else getting a snack or something.  I get back to my desk and five minutes later one of the women who was shaking the vending machine with me comes up to my desk and throws four quarters down.  I go “what’s this?” and she tells me that after I got my soda the vending machine spat out four quarters!  Can you believe that?  Not only did I shake two snacks out of that vending machine for free but I got my soda for free too!

Needless to say, we figured luck was on our side so we invested in a lottery ticket.  Too funny.  😀

TRAVEL BUDDY

I got an email this morning from my best guy friend.  We always have a great time together laughing and sharing our most funniest moments.  Its just a thing between us.  There have been moments where I couldn’t catch my breath cause I’m laughing so hard.

Anyways, we’ve been talking on and off for the past few months, since I came back from the Dominican, about traveling together.  He got inspired by my volunteering and has been thinking about doing the same thing since.  I decided awhile back to travel and volunteer for a year.  He wants to come with me and I’m a bit hesitant because a part of me wants to travel on my own.  I’m all about the freedom of traveling by yourself, it’s addictive.  And, yet, I know he wants to challenge himself because he’s never traveled with just a backpack.  And, he knows that is how I’m going to travel.  Just a backpack, my passport and some clean underwear.

The thought is intriguing to travel with him because he speaks three different languages, so that will be helpful, although since I don’t want to travel to Europe, it might not be so helpful.  I’m sure we’ll be fine traveling together, but, as I’ve said before, traveling with a total stranger (or at least someone who doesn’t know me so well) is probably better than traveling with someone who’s close to me.  And, I’ll probably have to change some of my itinerary which is fine.  We’ll see, we’re suppose to meet-up soon and talk about our plans for world domination..oops, I mean, world travel  😀 .

I’m usually the kind of person who just goes for it.  Just thinking about my year around the world is driving me nuts cause I want to do it now.  I’m trying to be practical because there’s much I need to do in order for me to get to where I want to be.  Why do I always feel like running away?  Ever feel that way?

KINDNESS AND HUMILITY

The group that I went to the Dominican with back in February decided to get together for a bbq the other night.  I had gone to the Dominican to volunteer.  It was an amazing experience and left me with a lot to think about.  Even though I’ve processed a lot since the trip, I believe there is still much lurking in my head that I’m not quite ready to think about, that’s how much of an impact it’s left in me.  So, about 8 of us got together for the bbq.

It was a great time, relaxing, fun, lots of good food.  I had not seen most of them since March, so it was nice to play catch-up.  Unfortunately, our leader, who has about 300 of my printed photos (yes, thats really how many I took!), was not there.  I would have liked to have caught-up with him and his wife and, ok, get my pictures back! 

At the end of the night, I was dragging my friend out the door, we had gone together, she’s the one who inspired me to go to the Dominican.  It was late, and I was getting bitten alive by the mosquitos.  My poor ankles still feel sore from the bites.  And, it’s still itchy!!  Anyways, as I was standing by the doorway, the husband of the couple who were hosting came over to me and leaned into me and said quietly “I’m so glad that you came, I wanted to apologize for my behaviour in the Dominican”.  Surprised, I wasn’t quite sure what he meant.

Apparently, he was quite ticked at me on my first morning when I took my first shower in the tree shower, which is another story.  When he took a shower after me, not knowing this, I had used up all the hot water (seriously, I took like a barely 5 minute shower).  That pissed him off – although he later learned our water tank was small.  He also knew that I didn’t do it on purpose but he still got mad.  Obviously, his behaviour towards me bothered him enough to say something to me.  And, I felt like a bit of an idiot for not realizing anything was amiss.

But, for him to come to me after more than 5 months and apologize for behaviour I didn’t even notice must have been difficult for him and to also admit knowing that I couldn’t have possibly done it on purpose but he still got mad at me must not have been easy.  It reinforces to me that its never too late to take responsbility for your actions.  I think it says a lot about his character and integrity.  I could learn a thing or two from this guy.  It’s good to be humble, hard, but good.

SHOPPING PAIN

I’m not a shopper and I get really cranky when I haven’t eaten. The two combined – not so good. I can handle not eating for about 6 – 7 hours between meals if I have to, but anything beyond that, cranky pants comes out.

So, the one night that I made my way to downtown Chicago, my co-worker begged to go shopping. She was on this mission to get to Guess and see downtown. I was hungry, but I agreed. We took the El train (my first time!) and my co-worker and I got into an argument when we got off the train. I was ticked by the fact that she was insinuating I had no idea where I was going (not that I even said I was an expert – but I walked pretty much all of downtown last time I was in Chicago and then some, so I was familiar more so than her since she’s never been to the city) because I was trying to get my bearings when we came out of the train station. Usually, I wouldn’t have been so testy, or cared, but my crankiness was starting to set in.

So, I got us to Guess and it went downhill from there. I had to shop for almost 2 hours with her – hungry. She is your typical girly shopper, takes her time, looks at stuff, puts it away, looks at it again, goes around, looks again, repeat cycle. It was driving me bonkers. I have the patience of a 2 year old when it comes to shopping, but I think given the fact that I was getting crankier, I wasn’t doing too bad. No one died.

I think what did me in was when she was trying to find a t-shirt for her boyfriend. It was just a damn t-shirt, but it took her forever to find. That’s not to say I wouldn’t put care in buying something for a boyfriend, but goodness, walking around in circles and several stores to find one t-shirt?

Finally, to my utter joy she purchased a shirt, and we were on our way to eat sushi. Just the thought that I was having food lifted my mood and my co-worker realized how inconsiderate she had been because all of a sudden she was super accommodating to me.

I was given a few suggestions on sushi places and I’m glad I had these suggestions because I ended up going to Oysy on Michigan (later on a sales guy was telling us Sushi Wabi was good too – damn, not enough time to try it all!). I got lost getting to Oysy – I thought it was on N. Michigan versus S. Michigan – and I almost killed the cab driver who insisted 888 S. Michigan didn’t exist, but we got there and the night ended up heavenly – awesome food and my crankiness faded once my stomach was full 😉 .


Yummy sushi!

TIRED….

I’m sitting in my hotel room, finally able to relax and take it easy.  I have never worked so hard, my body is aching everywhere.  It’s so nice to not have to be around any work people tonight.  I ordered myself room service so my belly is full and I’m now listening to my iPod while I’m typing away.

I’m plotting my way into the city – downtown Chicago.  My co-worker is desperate to get away from our other co-workers.  I’m with her on this one, I’ve just about had it with a few of them myself.  Work is work, I can handle the fact that from 9 – 5 I need to be around these people, but when I have to be around them beyond that, it gets pretty tough for me.  And, since this is a trade show, I know I have to spend around 12 hours of my day with them.  I can deal, but I definitely need my own time.

Tomorrow, Friday, I’m hoping to get into the city with my co-worker after the show closes.  We’re going to lie and say we’re meeting up with friends in the city that I know.  LOL….I’m so bad at lying, I’m not sure if I can pull it off, so, we’ll see.  I think I’ll have to get my co-worker to do all the lying.  We can’t say she has friends because her co-worker knows that she doesn’t know anyone here.   I’m not totally lying, I do know someone here, I know it doesn’t matter, but it just makes the honest girl in me feel better that I’m not completely lying. (look, Mom and Dad taught me to be honest!!)

Ahhhh…the complicated web we weave to get away from the people you work with.  The thing with business travel and in particular with my company is that they do a lot of things together – although it’s apparently better now.  I plan to break that mold.  I’m not big on socializing with the people I work with.  Normally, there is probably one person I’ll get to know well, someone I don’t work closely with (such as the girl who’s going into the city with me), the rest I put at arms length. 

Anyways, here’s to some fun times in Chicago.  😛

Damn…I’m tired.

ANOTHER TRIP

So, I’m off on my first business trip with the new company.  I’m looking forward to it – others aren’t as much.  It seems that the morale in our company isn’t that great.  And, that’s too bad because I’m trying to keep my nose out of the work politics.  I just nod and smile while my co-workers bitch and complain.

As per usual, I’m hating packing myself up again.  Shoes are going to be my downfall because I’m not sure which shoe will provide me with the comfort I need while I’m working on concrete for 8 – 10 hours a day.  So, I just went crazy and packed up a shitload of shoes.  I’m sure I’ll have it down to a science once I do a few more of these trips cause I know I’ll hate lugging around a lot of stuff.

I went out with my co-worker last night.  We went for sushi.  She had a bad day at the office and needed to talk.  She felt like either punching a few people or crying.  I told her to do neither and to just take a deep breath and let it go.  Then, we started envisioning all these nasty things we would do to the people at work we couldn’t stand – just to let off some steam by laughing at our ridiculous visions.  I could only name two people I didn’t like, but I don’t dislike them enough that it bothers me.  I can totally handle them, but high maintenance, snotty people always rub me the wrong way.

So, I felt bad for my co-worker.  I know she’s having a tough go of it because she’s never quite encountered what she’s experiencing right now.  And she’s not looking forward to our trip, she’s also going.  She doesn’t want to hang around with anyone, other than me and her immediate supervisors.  I totally understand that, because I know I’ll need a break from everyone.  But, for her, it’s mainly because she dislikes them so much she doesn’t want to spend any time with them. 

Work politics – it’s terrible if you allow it to suck you in.  😐

TDOT LOVE/HATE

I have a love/hate relationship with Toronto.  I left the tdot back in late 1996 only to return in 2003.  It was probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve made returning back to Toronto.  It was much easier to leave than to come back.  This is by no way an insult to Toronto, but leaving Toronto was made with the intention of not coming back, so deciding to come back was tough.

I love the buzz of Toronto, but its also what I hate about it.  Living 6 years in the west coast has made me appreciate the serenity of things and to take a moment to breath and live life.  Everything is at a much slower pace there and I learned to embrace it.

What else do I love about Toronto?  The beaches, St. Lawrence Market, Distillery District, Eaton Centre (it was my life back in the university days – oh the memories!), Harbourfront, Toronto Zoo, Art Gallery of Ontario, Centre Island, Old Chinatown (not as it is now, but back in the day).  The great restaurants and the different ethnicity’s represented here.

My hate for the city is what its become, too big for its britches.  And just the sheer craziness of the streets now.  I feel like it’s a task to do simple things like driving downtown.  Before I left Toronto it was never an issue, didn’t have to worry about traffic and now?  There is always traffic on the dvp.  How it’s changed.  And the climate, so much more pollution than before.  Personally, well, my life has completely changed since coming back.  I feel almost like an outsider, better now than when I first returned, but the feeling remains.

Anyways, I’m not really whining or griping about anything in particular, but I was just thinking about what the next few years will bring for me.  It reminds me that I have a lot of things to accomplish in order to reach a few goals I’ve set for myself.