Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Work stuff

First, a word on how my department works.

The sales managers (there are two of them) negotiate contracts for large numbers of bedrooms (anything from 16 to 300 per night) and function space. Once it is signed, the sales manager is out of the picture completely, it gets turned over to a conference services manager (there are three of us). The CSM then actually plans the meetings, arranges for the audio visual, suggests custom menus, matches wines perfectly, upsells to more expensive "insert anything here", deals with whatever emergency comes up, and sees the client through to the end. WE are the ones who get the letters that state, "I couldn't have done this without you!"

But for whatever reason, being a sales manager is considered a step up the ladder from CSM, which I have always thought ridiculous. We do two different things, there is no easy way to hold one up to the other and say one is more difficult. (Aside: cough cough, MY job is harder. Because after I plan all the big conventions? I also have my role as sales manager, negotiating contracts for the other bookings that are zero to 15 rooms per night. Plus, ya know, I need to know about wine and stuff.)

Regardless, our corporate sales manager has resigned. I am not considered a stupid person without potential at work. So this afternoon, my director came to me and said, "So....you thinking about applying for Angela's job? It's a step up and you'd be good..."

And I said, "WHEN will you people get it through your head that I don't want to be a sales manager??? This is the third time we've had this conversation over the years.I don't think it is a step up, I like what I do, I don't want to do that job unless you really feel it is in the hotel's best interest that I do."

"Gawd no, I'd freak if you left catering. But I'm obligated to ask."

Which means I am considered the strongest candidate, which IS super nice to know, but UGH, leave me alone, let me do what I love.

Wow, I totally sound like a spoiled prima donna, don't I? I guess there's no way I can explain how much I feel that my CHOSEN profession is sometimes viewed by others as something I "settled" for because I couldn't get the "good" job.

I HAVE THE GOOD JOB. So thanks for the compliment, but now leave me alone to do it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I heart my pedometer

This afternoon I received an email at work, officially informing everyone that we are participating in this month long walking fitness competition cool thing. The two organizations who spearheded this are giving out 20,000 free pedometers in different cities across Canada, how cool is that?

Anyway, I signed up and set my daily goal at 7,500 steps, which is either the "You're not quite a couch potato" category, or the "you're almost an in-shape person" category, I forget which. (Okay, the name of the category is more positive than that, but the lines? I read between them.)

I put in on at 2pm, and after work I went out for a 45 minute walk. (I totally cheated and didn't take my backpack.) Got back to the house and hello? 8829 steps.

Thinking I need to raise my daily goal a bit, but really, I had no idea how many steps I take in the run of a day, I have a desk job for heaven's sake.

I logged my steps after the walk and it turns out I have today's high score for the hotel! Of course, I am the only one who posted seeing how this only starts officially in three days...but let me have my moment!

Friday, September 25, 2009

This afternoon I was in the human resources director's office. He is a good friend, and he said, "Look what I've got!" A big box containing 200 pedometers.

Picking up a pedometer is one of the (many) things on my list of things to do before I leave for Spain, so I said, "Gimme."

"No no, you get it on Oct 1st."

"No really, Ron? GIMME. And what's Oct 1st?"

He gimme'd (like I say, good friend), and then explained the entire hotel will be doing this exercise challenge thing for the month of October: everyone will be given a pedometer, and everyone will log their steps.

"If I can email you, can I still participate when I'm in Spain?"

Of course.

"Then, dude? I totally WIN."

Yes of course you do, but maybe we don't need to tell everyone else that quite yet?


I dont walk very much in my normal work day, it's true. But I am walking home from work every day (7 kms) and once I hit Spain? Average of thirty km's a day. And I'm sure that equals a crazy amount of steps...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wait, that's not what I meant!

Another true story, from the soon to be released book (okay not really), "It Could Only Happen To Me."

This morning, in an unusual fit of Trying To Be A Grown Up, I called my credit card company.

Already I need to break in to my own story to say, really? How can calling a credit card company EVER end up well???

But I called them to let them know that, although I had received my letter with my super secret new PIN, I haven't received my new card. And, umm, seeing how my present card expires in nine days? Me wantee.

"Well, Ms. Floresta, our records show the new card was mailed, so if you haven't received it, then I am going to cancel it right now. We will issue you a new credit card number and you will have it within 10 business days."

I was impressed. Thank you, credit card company, for acting quickly and protecting me. Sure, the new card will arrive a few days after my current one expires, but after today I don't really have a need for the card for the next two weeks, so I'm good...

...Actually, WHAT? Did you just say you are cancelling my renewal card, or did you just cancel my credit card? The one that is in my wallet?

"Yes, I just cancelled your current credit card account, so the card you have is no longer valid. You should receive---"

Yes, but as soon as I get off the phone with you? I was going to book a flight! And a train ticket! In Europe! UN-CANCEL IT.

"I'm sorry Ms. Floresta, now that you have reported the problem, we can not re-activate the account, for your own safety."

Yes, but I don't have a problem NOW, I have a problem when it expires NINE DAYS FROM NOW. Put it back! Put it back!

"Blah blah blah-dy blah Ms. Floresta blah blah, no."

Ugh. Sooooo not cool.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another step

Yesterday, I loaded Son in to a rental car (Husbandly One needed our car, here at home) and drove three hours to the closest Mountain Equipment Co-op. You need to understand that, for those of use who have spent ANY time in the Canadian Rockies, MEC is like Mecca, we all worship at its' outdoor altar. My quest? A backpack to get me through three weeks in Spain.

Immediately upon entering, the lovely Martha became my guide. For over an hour, she showed me different backpacks, loaded them with 20 lbs of weight, and then adjusted different straps to ensure the best possible fit.

They all hurt. She gave me eight or nine options, and Every. Single. One. HURT. Omigod, they hurt soooo bad, I thought from my research on the Interwebs that the weight should fall on my hips (the way you would carry a baby on your hip) but they ALL seemed to be pushing on my lower back. But because they all did that to me, I thought I was the one with the unrealistic expectations, maybe I just needed to pick the one that hurt the LEAST and live to learn with the pain.

So I picked the backpack that hurt the least, and walked around the store for five minutes. And I realized that, not only could I not carry this all day? I couldn't carry it around the BLOCK. And omigod, the pain in my back, the pain, the PAIN.

Guys, I can never explain to you how I felt. I am such a failure that I can't even stand the pain of SHOPPING? I suck, I am a sham, I am such a low low low LOSER.

My StepDad then said, "Forget it, I'll take you to a different store." Which turned out to be this totally obscure indepentent store on a busy street, crammed in to this teeny tiny space. And I thought, "Yeah, NO."

My sales associate there, Dave, met me when I hit him with the following statement: " I have just spent the last hour in the most humiliating, dis-spiriting shopping experince of my life at MEC. I had a great person helping me, but apparently my body shape is not within their realm. PLEASE HELP ME."

(And, gentle reader, please note: am 5'3" and weigh 130 lbs. I am NORMAL.)

This angel direct from the Almighty asked my permission, and then put his hands in my shoulders. He asked permission again, and then put his hands on my hips. And without asking permission (ha ha) he then ran his hands from my hips to under my arms. "Yeah, I have the pack for you."

FIRST pack I tried on fit me like a glove. I was almost orgasmic over how good it felt, after my torture at MEC. I was literally giddy: "It fits! Weight is on my hips! I love it! Leave me and the bag alone together now..."

But Dave, my newly beloved Dave, was all, "Pshwaw, I know you're happy, but I need you to try a few other ones to make sure, for real."

And I was all, "I will make love to you here, now, for real. Pshwaw."

Long story short (and the whole story actually doesn't involve me bumping uglies with some 24 year old stranger) I bought a fantastic backpack. It's like it was custom built for me. And everytime I look at it? I want to cry, I love it so much.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm nuts, right?

Listen, I am NOT a Suzy Homemaker; I wish I were, I wish I gave a flying fig about dust or perfectly folded underwear or shining my kitchen sink. It's just not ever going to happen, no matter how much I truly admire people who live that way. But for me, in my own life? I have made my peace with a certain level of chaos. Meh.

Tonight I needed to trim a piece of raw pork. I had the cutting board on the counter, pretty much over the area where my utensil drawer is. I opened the drawer to get out a knife, and failed to close the drawer completely. Next thing you know, I cut a long slice of fat off the side of the meat...and it plopped directly in to my open utensil drawer.

Now, even I could see the piece of meat landed squarely on my forks; it didn't even touch the cutlery divider thing. I could have picked up the offensive meat, then washed all the forks, and moved on. But all I could think was, "AAAAAAAAARRRRGGGHHHH! Panic! Mayhem! Gross squishy flesh full of gross raw meat diseases!"

I literally took out every single thing in that drawer (including the cutlery tray itself and some fondue forks that were wedged UNDER the tray) and washed it all in hot soapy water.

Because really? Eww eww eww eww.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I actually applied for my passport; I hear that you need one to be admitted to Europe, who knew.

In my typical bald self, I called my three guarantors and said ( I could have asked, to be polite, but whatever) "You are my references, deal with it, and in case any one asks, don't forget my eyes are blue."

Last night, I asked Husbandly One if we could go to Halifax today, so that I could go to Mountain Equipment Co-op and get fitted for a back pack. His response? "Meh, maybe next weekend."


He does support me in this, by the way. He doesn't understand it, but he wants me to do whatever makes me happy; in that regard, he is the most fabulous husband a girl could ever ask for. I just wish he took me a little more seriously.

Maybe that's the problem, maybe he thinks that I will plan and plan for this, but that at the last minute I will say, "Wah, it'll be too hard so I'm not going. Instead I'll stay here and do the laundry and make your dinner. Wah!"

I am out of shape. I am ill equipped. I have no business embarking on this trip.

But I'll show him. More importantly, I'll show ME.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So this is my life

A random assortment of thoughts at 11:40 pm on a Wednesday night. (Go to bed already.)

1. I have the coolest kid ever. Ever. On our camping trip, he totally stole my book, read over my shoulder when I managed to pry it away from him, and I was forced to fashion a rustic hey-we're-out-in-the-woods-so-here's-part-of-a-paper-napkin BOOKMARK for him. The book in question? Bill Clinton's autobiography.

Where did this ridiculous little 13 year old freak come from? I have no idea. All I know is that I love him more than should be legal, and I love the fact that I never know what he will do next. MAN I love that kid.

2. Why is my dishwasher full again? There are three people living in this house, and we cook one meal per day. So how is it possible that I unloaded the machine of clean dishes yesterday, but had to run it (completely full, by the way) tonight after dinner? Well, I can save you all from trying to figure it out: it's because my 24 year old StepSon hoards dirty dishes in his room like he is afraid tomorrow will, in fact, be TEOTWAWKI, and so he better have a stash of dirty glasses hidden away, so that he can gnaw at their crusty goodness when there is nothing else to eat, EVER. And when he realizes that today is not the exact day we will be forced to comb the mountains, looking for stranded Chilean soccer players? Then he brings the dirty dishes up.

3. Apparently sarcasm is a bigger part of my psyche than I realized.

4. I received in the mail my official carnet to walk the Camino. Okay, so carnet is a French word for something I need in Spain (think abot that for a minute)...and I have no idea what the English word for it would be. I suppose it's a kind of pilgrim's passport; only pilgrims who are registered to walk the Camino are allowed to stay in the hostels along the way. Many sub-thoughts arose from its arrival here:

a) Why is it Wham green? Seriously, I have not seen this exact colour since 1985.
b) Is there a better friend anywhere than my beloved Kelz, who applied for this carnet on my behalf and is walking the Camino with me? The fact that she did this firmly solidifies her role in our friendship, which is the role of The Grown Up. Left to my own devices? I would never even be CONSIDERING this trip, let alone being organized about it enough to do jack squat before we get there.
c) Did I mention the carnet has my name and address in it, all clearly hand printed in calligraphy? Some lovely religious person took the time to write out all that info with a fountain pen. I could stare at it all day. I am at peace.

5. HOLY SHIT, I HAVE TO GO TO SPAIN IN SIX WEEKS???? No no, that can't be right. Surely I still have months and months to get in shape. And learn to speak Spanish. And, uh, buy a backback. And get a passport.

6. Hold me.