KEEPING IT REAL by FRIZZY LIZZY
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I never had any children. It just never happened for me. I put that care and energy into my work instead of rearing children and most of the time it was worth it for me. I worked for some really nasty and difficult people and in some very demanding situations, but when there was fun to be had, I found it and had a great time.
Business travel is seldom fun unless you have been sent to visit a division vice-president in a city distant from yours and the airline sends your luggage elsewhere. That happened to me when I was sent from Washington, DC to visit our division in Omaha. I landed safely, but I found that my bags, which were properly tagged, went to Phoenix!
All of my “meet the division president” attire was in another city and the airline was apologetic. They gave me an allowance for $25 for emergency clothing. This was in 1984 and even back then, $25 did not buy much.
I met with the “the big man” and told him why I was not wearing a business outfit. He accepted my explanation and we went on about our business.
The fun part came on the trip home. The airline found my bags. They apologized once more, and the flight attendant asked me if I would like to fly in first class. I told her that my ticket was for coach class, but she assured me that the upgrade was free and a gesture of reconciliation for the loss of my things.
I moved up to first class and I had two seats all to myself. I'm sitting there like the Queen of Sheba and who do I see boarding? It was the division president, his finance manager, and his operations man. They looked at me in disbelief as I sat in first class and they walked to their seats in coach.
After we took off, I had a few cocktails and prepared myself for a supper of fillet mignon with asparagus and rice pilaf as they ate a sandwich back there in coach.
When we landed the finance guy looked for me and asked how I got into first class. I was feeling little pain and I told him not to worry, that it would not be on his variance report. He got a pissy look on his face and left.
I stayed at that job for two years or so. The rest of it was not much fun, but I did meet a fellow who liked how I did what I did. We both left that firm, me for a position with a government agency, and he for a company that was growing like an undisciplined wart.
Five years later he talked me into going to work with him. That was a fun job!
The contracts I managed called for me to go to Boston from Washington for periodic progress meetings with the client's staff.
My first trip to Boston was not remarkable. I flew there, rented a car, navigated the traffic, got lost looking for my hotel, and had supper delivered to my room by the hotel's room service.
The next time I was to fly there we had a snowstorm in the region and all flights from Washington were canceled. The fellow who had hired me told his secretary to get me a ticket on the train to Boston, Club Car service! I was quite happy to see that!
I walked to the subway and rode to the railroad station, got my ticket, and found a nice, comfy chair in the club car that was close to the bar. As soon as we left the station, I walked up to the bar and spoke with the nice, young man behind it. I gave him $50 and asked him to make sure that my glass was never empty as I sat in that chair and watched the snowy world go by.
Not only did he keep my glass full, he saw to it that I had snacks and sandwiches and kept me current as to where we were.
When we got to Boston I asked him for my tab. He said, “What tab?”
About a year later I was sent to Florida to visit a facility that my employer (the same employer that sent me to Boston) had acquired. I flew down there and rented a car at the airport, then I drove to my hotel and checked-in.
The next day I began a physical audit of what was present in their facility. Machinery, raw materials, work-in-process, finished work, consumable goods, you name it, I recorded it. That kept me busy for a full day and more.
A day later, the fellow who had hired me to work for him arrived. I met him at the airport and we went to that facility. Over lunch, he told me of a change in plans.
There was a sports car, a Porsche Carrera, that was to go back up to Washington. I offered to drive it back for him. He reached into his coat pocket and gave me an envelope. I looked inside and found a ticket for the Auto Train, the train that would carry both myself and the car from Sanford, Florida to Lorton, Virginia. The ticket gave me a roomette with my own bed and all food and drink included!
We parted ways that afternoon. He flew back to Washington and I drove the Porsche like a madwoman, to Sanford and the Auto Train.
After boarding the train and being shown which room was mine, I went to the club car and had a drink. While I was sitting there, watching the winter night descend upon the observable world, someone asked me if I would like to play poker. Immediately I joined with five of my fellow passengers in a small-stakes, enjoyable game. As we played we had some drinks and snacks and we shared the fellowship of those who live in the present because there is no other place to be.
An attendant announced that supper was to be served in the dining car. I was famished and needed no urging to leave the poker table!
Supper was broiled red snapper fillet with a nice sauce, rice, and mixed vegetables.
I noticed that there were plates available, more plates than there were passengers. I asked the server what they would do with them. She told me that they would be thrown out. Feeling guilty and liking the supper a lot, I ate two more plates before sitting down to some coffee and dessert.
The evening passed gently on the train; so gently that I don't recall going to my room, but I did. The porter turned my bed down for me and I fell asleep to the rocking motion of the sleeping car.
When I woke, I found a copy of that day's newspaper a coffee, and a bagel with cream cheese, all waiting on a tray at the door to my room.
I wish every day was as much fun as those trips were for me.
✿ ڰۣ❤In Loving Light from the Fairy Lady❤ڰۣ✿