Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Training with Bugs and Drinking Cocktails with My Idol

Finally, today was a good day! – Almost. *sigh* No, really, it WAS a good day. My presentations went well (I had no internet access, so the whole FTP, cannot reset data – server isn’t cooperating with me issues went away), I didn’t forget anything, I made them laugh a bunch of times, I got them out of there by 3:30 – and they thanked me for a great training session that was valuable.

Besides the no internet thing (which really WAS a good thing, because no one could see the problems) – the only other BAD thing … was the room FULL OF DEAD BUGS AND LIVE SPIDERS.

Yes, yes. You read that right. So many dead bugs, that when I walked across the floor, I heard, “crunch, crunch, crunch”, as their little exoskeletons were smashed under my shoes. NO, I am NOT exaggerating. I tried to take a picture with my phone camera to PROVE how many there were – but the battery was almost dead and the picture quality isn’t good enough to pick them out on the floor.

Of course, since I was holding class in the HEAVY EQUIPMENT SHOP of the “Rural Economic Develop Center” of this small town … I shouldn’t have been too surprised that the tables and chairs and were covered cobwebs and I could see “baby spider balls” hanging from the cobwebs. Not to mention their fully-alive, NOT-DEAD, spider parents.

The lady responsible for the facility did tell me that I shouldn’t have “too many problems with live bugs” as the exterminator had just been there on Friday – an it looked like most of the bugs were now dead. However, the CLEANING LADY didn’t come until Wednesday evenings, so the place was just a “bit of a mess”. Also? She had to take her daughter to the orthodontist and run a few other errands, so she was just going to LOCK ME IN THE BUILDING until she returned, “For my safety”. But as my customers showed up, I should feel free to unlock the door and let them in. (Which is slightly hysterical once you realize I don’t know who most of these people are .. or I only see them once a year – or maybe every two years or so, because this isn’t my “normal” territory.)

Not one to be daunted by my circumstances, I looked around the room, located a broom and began to sweep up the bugs into piles, sweep down the spider webs from the chair legs and under the tables – and arrange the room in suitable classroom fashion. Feeling quite proud of myself, I then began to set up my computer and the projector. Only to find out that for some reason the projector didn’t feel like displaying the green color spectrum – and so every thing had this “violet” glow to it on the cement-block wall that was the projection screen. Still, the show must go on, right?

And so it did. As I stood there – in-front of these people – demonstrating the latest updates – and helping them to remember WHAT is was they did for a living … calmly stepping forward from time to time to SQUASH THE BIG BLACK BUG (as big as nickel) that was heading my way.

At lunch time, I figured out there was a broken (or maybe bent) wire in the AV cable between the projector and the laptop and that if I crimped in “just this way” and then placed a binder on top of it, and didn’t move my laptop for any reason, that the picture went from “violet” back to “full-range of color”, including white.

But the best part of the day was spending time with one of my customers who I have immediately placed on the “Idol” pedestal.

She is within 5 years of my age (younger) – and totally kicks ass! Currently she’s running the warehouse – because they had a problem with an employee embezzling money. But her typical job is running the farm. She spreads fertilizer, drives tractors, disks the land, runs the cotton picker, fixes module builders when they break (and knows how to weld!!), raises hogs and goats – and is an all around farmer. Not a farmer’s wife – but a farmer!

Also? She is totally gorgeous in a “I’m wearing cargo shorts, hiking boots, sleeveless denim work shirt, no makeup, split finger nails, but beautifully highlighted blond hair” kind of way.

We had lunch together – where we cussed like sailors, talked about the latest farming trends and technology and discussed “hired help today”.

After the seminar, she asked me what I was doing. When I replied that I was just driving to the next town about 40 miles away, she said, “Well, I have to run by the warehouse, and get something straightened out. Why don’t you give me a call when you’re done packing up, and you can come by?” I said sure, and assumed we were getting together at the office – so I could help her untangle some of the sabotaged records in the computer system.

BUT NO!! When I showed up at the warehouse she said, “Okay, so where do you want to go drinking? Here in town (population 3,000) – or out at the Marina?” To say I was stoked, would be an understatement. Deciding the marina would be better, she jumped into her work truck, I jumped into my 4X4 – and off we drove like crazy college girls at high rates of speed to the river.

Once we got there, we sat at the bar, had a few drinks, ate some wings, told jokes and stories – and pretty much had the best time ever.

That is why I love my job. Because although I put up with shit from time to time, and have to deal with stupid people and bosses (and dead bugs and spider webs), I get to spend time with people like this. People who make me feel alive – who laugh with me – and share my life and passions.

And it’s all good!

1 comment:

tp said...

Only in a Southern farming community can you have so much fun !!! Would love to have seen you tiptoeing around, killing bugs, and doing your speel !! Hee Hee