9:28 a.m. Okay.. let's see. I'll start with Boston. I had to go last week for training to become a Regional Supervisor. The meetings were predictably boring. I was drifting in and out of sleep and couldn't remain inconspicuous because...well...there are only four of us.
I jump and find myself sitting at a conference table. I look around. There are several sets of eyes on me. Fish, one of the other regionals, is smiling.
"Jet lag," I say, "Sorry about that."
The CEO of the company raises an eyebrow. "You live one time zone west of here."
"Yeah...ah...I'm sensitive that way. And I'm getting sick, I think." I fake sneeze. I hear giggling. Phew. "Can I...ah...have the text of this Power Point presentation emailed to me? Just for future reference..." I sit up and take a Diet Coke from the cooler in the middle of the table. Caffiene will get me through this trial.
The weather is crappy. A Noreaster has blown in and it's been cold and rainy since my plane landed this morning. What I wouldn't do for a cup of tea to warm me up right now. Instead, Fish notices me shivering and lets me use his jacket as a blanket.
Fish is a big, scary-looking Scottish guy with red hair, a beard, and lots of tattoos. He looks like a lumberjack. Or a Highlander. He just needs a kilt. Fish has got a great sense of humor and when we get together we frequently mock..well...everyone and everything. It's fun.
And then there's Dennis. I'm calling him Dennis because he looks EXACTLY like Dennis Miller. He even SOUNDS like him and has similar mannerisms. Bizzare.
Anyway, Dennis and Fish have been with this company for about 10 years a piece. They are not pleased with the new directive that Regional Supervisors will no longer work cases. After our meeting is over, the three of us ride back to the hotel together. Along the way, I am practically peeing myself listening to them tell me stories of how they fudged videos over the years before sending them into Corp.
"Once I was supposed to be in North Dakota but didn't quite get there," Fish says. "I took my mastershot and then I looked it over and I realized, 'Hey! There aren't palm trees in North Dakota!'"
Dennis laughs and adds, "Yeah. I once had to make it look like it was raining, so I turned on my windshield wipers and had two of my kids get up on top of my truck with spray bottles while I took video from inside." He gives a melancholy sigh and looks off in the distance. "I guess those days are over now. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to handle being around my wife and kids all day."
Ah, well. The winds of change blow no matter what we want.
(Thank you, that'll be $20 bucks. Now get off my mountain.)