Don’t Drive Angry – But Remember to Vote!!

Oh Yeah... Me Today!!!

So I have heard when you are angry that you are supposed to write the email, journal your thoughts, write a letter and THEN save to drafts folder, bury it in the deep dark corners of your private space, or hold onto it for a day.  All of this to protect you from saying things that you will later regret.  Does this keep true for blogging?  Is it ill-advised to blog while angry?  I know its been stated many times Friends don’t let friends Drive Angry, but I am unsure if this is actually a THING or just some funny one liner that my friends threw together late one night when we were movie quoting.  And some how some way the phrase Don’t Drive Angry was born. 

So what is one to do when confronted with those forms of things you simply cannot control?  Those things that fly in your face and kind of wave in sarcastic joy with that mocking voice of you can’t stop me sort of way.  I know life is uncontrollable and I have suffered some serious consequences for trying to control it. 

I have bruises and welts like EVERYBODY else for trying to control an uncontrollable force.  Its kind of what I imagine bull riders must look like underneath all their rough and tumble gear.  Because they are holding on for dear life and that bull is whipping them here and there and everywhere.  Not to mention the guys that get knocked off, thrown to the ground and trampled on. 

Now I don’t feel trampled but I am sitting here thinking… WAIT A MINUTE… I thought we had tamed this bull, or at least I had gotten to know it enough to recognize its habits and tendencies.  I had found those areas of weakness and areas of strength and was prepared.  You know that whole preventative maintainance thingy?  If you can anticipate what is going to happen you can better protect yourself from the beating you are about to get. But I had just realized I had a blind spot.  And just like the movie title implies I didn’t see it coming. 

I guess there are parts of this that just go to my pride as well.  I spent a chunk of time (say 6 hours on one day with countless other 1 hour pieces here and there) figuring out my vacation days, where to stay with people I knew, holiday time, and flights to and from a friend’s wedding.  All scheduling out where to stay and how to do things so that I could have a little fun and enjoyment on my personal time.  Of course, I shouldn’t mention that this is also saying the company about $3000.00 but HEY that is not what is important.  I had spent all that time and I WAS proud of my success.  I had made my Frequent Flyer miles work FOR ME… I had paid $125 for an $800 ticket.  AWESOMENESS!!! I had coordinated visits with at least 5 friends along the sides of this work trip with little conflict in schedule and I was PROUD of my communication skills, patience, and flexibility. 

BUT NOW THINGS WERE SET… I even posted it on facebook as a sign of VICTORIOUS accomplishment.  Until today.  When one fateful phone call destroyed all pride in my fantastic maneuvering of flight, funds, and friends.  One phone call from a specific power that be that all man tremble and all women weep when this one speak.  Only to inform me that my dates were changing at the end of my trip and I didn’t need to stay for the extra 2 days.  Normally, no big deal.  But as detailed above I had booked my flight to Alaska out of the Sacramento AREA… now I am supposed to be returning home to Northern Oregon 4 days before my flight.  Now that would just be silly…. So stay down there. 

But But BUT… Did I not mention I just coordinated a major impossible feat of details less than 2 work days ago?  Have you EVER tried to change a flight you have booked using frequent flyer miles?  Has anyone noticed that all the fine print says $150 change fee will apply (to each leg of the trip)?  So change flight = $300 or stay in hotel for those 4 nights $400.  How can being so organized, researched, focused, and detailed result in such a financial penalty.  I mean REALLY… I was TRYING to do this RIGHT? 

I am reminded once again how much of an illusion control is.  And how common courtesy, the care of others work and effort is no longer a commodity of value in the professional work environment.  *deep sigh* is my only reply.

The Amazing Christina – LA Edition

A group of circumstances completely fell into place last December that produced the need for me to go to Long Beach, California for some necessary on site training, which never happens.  The Regional Trainer for the LA area was out-of-town on a much-needed vacation and the Regional Sales Manager was having a meeting and practically demanding the presence of a trainer at this meeting.  As usual, I was all about the pick me Pick Me, PICK ME!!!

So with an amazing string of luck or blessing I was chosen. I do believe it had more to do with the price of my plane ticket instead of my stellar training skills.  It was a short trip pretty much 24 hr turn around.  The expected training time somewhere between 1-3 hours.  The Manager had provided a set of subjects that he wanted covered, but since most of these items had been trained already, I had to assume they didn’t want a formal training session of the basics.  The subjects I know very well and can even anticipate some of the questions and challenges they may have. 

What I didn’t anticipate was how much I would absolutely LOVE the experience.  It was a nervous wreck at first because I didn’t have a formal Powerpoint presentation and I didn’t know any of the people I was coming to train.  It was typical travel: arrive in the morning, rental car, and I arrive in the conference room and just sit and wait.  Enough time to sit and wait and let my nerves get to me. 

Once I got started with the basics, it lasted about 15 minutes.  The plan, the training, the intended topics, yes at 15 minutes into the presentation, I was smack dab into the middle of crossfire style questions on EVERYTHING.  From processes, to programs, to procedures, and internal branch communications.  It was an amazing rush and of all the questions that were tossed at me or near me for the next 3 hours, I only had 4 take away questions (things I couldn’t answer).  Mostly because I needed to do some testing and followup. 

In a room full of 15 men all master outside sales people with more focus on sales than on training, but there were questions and scenarios flying all afternoon.  I was the center of the room and the center of information all at the same time.  I felt like saying, Queen of the LAB in classic Bones style.  The manager thanked me and we discussed other options for training and situations.  The pricing team thanked me and I was able to connect with a group of people throughout the former corporate office of this acquired company. 

I was AWESOME and valuable and useful and the perfect trainer.  And I love the feeling of a new place, new car, new hotel, and new people.  Some how I had forgotten what it was like to travel and love what I do, even when there is a portion of not knowing EXACTLY what I will be doing.