Tuesday, August 28

Ten on Tuesday

This is my first Ten on Tuesday and we're supposed to list ten things we like about our job. Since I’ve been retired 3 years, a job out side the home doesn't exist.

In order for me to play the “Ten on Tuesday” what I am going to do is list 5 things I like with my stay at home job and 5 things I liked about my real job. I hope you will enjoy!!

The Stay At Home Job

1) I don’t have a specific time to begin my work so I usually don’t get until 8 or 9 a.m., but I’m seldom awake before noon.

2) I’m able to do my job in my pj’s if I like. And trust me, in the winter there have been days where I stayed in my pj’s all day.

3) I am able to put off my to do list until next week without anyone breathing down my neck or sending me nasty emails. Oh, look, that one has been on my book since January….Take down the tree. Oh well, I’ll just say I’m early this year!

4) I am able to let my creative juices flow through my blogging. It’s not easy coming up with something clever and interesting for you to read.

5) I’m able to take any day off and travel, shop, do lunch or just curl up with a good book.

My Former Real Job

6) The people was one of the most pleasurable aspects of my job. I was so lucky to be able to work with health care providers and administrator in every county of my state, our medical schools, federal employees, and my counter part in all 50 states. Through all these contacts, many became friends whom I still stay in contact with today.

7) I worked for the State Government which had great benefits. I saved enough sick leave that my health insurance is paid until I reach eligibility for Medicare.

8) Being a State Employee we had between 12-14 paid holidays each year. That is really a lot of days that does not go against your vacation days.

9) My workplace was close to home so I could be at work within the half-hour. Many times I would go home for lunch. Yes, go ahead and do the math, I had very generous lunch periods.

10) And last but not least, I was able to travel both in-state and out of state a lot. My out of state trips took me to Boston, New Orleans, Tucson, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Diego which was one of my favorite cities, Kansas City, to name a few. But some of my most memorable trips were in-state. Below is an example of one of those trips, that I call The Trip From Hell.

It was the fall of 1983 and I was the newbie to the Division where I worked. The annual conference was approaching and I was thrilled I had been invited to go. Colleagues were making plans on who would ride together. That year the conference was being held at the Snowshoe Resort that is located high in the mountains of Pocahontas County, West Virginia and about a 4 1/2 hour drive from Charleston where we lived and worked. Since Jill and I immediately hit it off when we met, we planned to travel together. We couldn’t remember exactly how Cynthia, another colleague of ours, ended up riding with us. Please let me clarify how we pronounced Cynthia’s name Cin the aaaaaaa. Jill and I were 2 free spirits (and still are) in our mid 30’s and Cynthia who was chronologically in her mid 30’s, behaved and dressed much older. Her wardrobe shouted 60ish and I don’t mean the 1960’s. Good grief, I’m almost 60 and I would never be caught dead today in the shoes she wore. Did I forget to mention that she was the wife of a minister and very prim and proper. My brother was a minister and his wife, my sister-in-law never and I do mean never dressed or acted like Cynthia. Since this was a road trip Jill and I were dressed in jeans and a sweater while Cin the aaaaaa was wearing a navy blue A-line dress and pumps with those rounded toes with wide heel shoes. (Granny shoes)

Getting on with my story. Jill decided she would drive. She had a 1974 bright yellow VW which didn’t have any air or heat. That was ok because when we left town the temperatures were in the mid 70’s. The beginning hours of the trip were perfect. We had stimulating conversation and solved all the world problems and those of our office. Half way to our destination it began to rain. Wouldn’t you know the windshield wipers wouldn’t work? We stopped at a rural garage for assistance. The mechanic wasn’t able to repair the wipers because he didn’t have the right parts for a 1974 VW. You have to realize that this was in the most rural part of our mountainous state……2 lane roads and scattered pockets of population. We were lucky to even find a garage.

We all climbed back into the “bug” and continued on our way. Someone suggested we stop and get some of the stuff you spray on your windshield so the rain would just slide off. I believe it’s called Rainex. It was several miles before we came across a store. We thought we would pick up a few supplies we may need at the resort…cokes, wine…etc. When we got out of the car Jill yelled, “Where’s my purse”? OMG!!!! She left it at the garage many miles back. We went ahead and bought the miracle windshield Rainex, cokes and wine and headed back to the garage. By this time the temperatures were dropping and the rain was changing to a mixture of rain and snow. When we reached the garage we learned the mechanic had put her purse away in a safe place. Halleluiah….everything was there. The mechanic warned us he had recently heard there was a blizzard approaching and a driving warning had been issued.

Again we climbed back into the car and continued our trip. The sleet had turned to heavy snow and our miracle Rainex was no longer working. Since we didn’t have any heat to help melt the snow on the windshield, or any windshield wipers I asked Jill if she had a snow scraper. Thankfully she had one with a long handle.

We rolled down the windows and Jill, while driving would reach out and scrap the snow from the windshield, give me the scraper and I would scrape from my side. We also had to wipe the condensation from the inside of the windshield with napkins that happened to be in the car. The snow continued to fall at a rapid rate, it was getting dark, the roads were covered and we were traveling at a snails pace. Besides, we were freezing our butts off. Cynthia was sitting in the back seat, or should I say leaning forward between us, praying, crying, giving directions, yelling, “We are going to die, oh, slow down, watch what you’re doing, your sliding, watch out, we’re going to go over the hill, we’re going to die, ”. All Jill and I could do was to smoke more cigarettes, curse and tell Cynthia is shut up.

Since we were high in the mountains, there was no place to stop. Even if we had cell phones, which none of us owned at this time, we would not have been able to get a signal in the mountains. We had no other choice but to creep along hoping we would be able to cross the mountains to safety. Fortunately there wasn’t much traffic on the roads at this time. All normal people were in their warm dry homes.

At last we made it to the bottom of a mountain and could see lights ahead. A diner!!!! We stopped and they we getting ready to close because of the weather. We pleaded with them to let us use their phone in order to call for help. They allowed us to wait in the diner until help arrive.

We were able to get through to the lodge where a message was given that we were stranded at the diner. Help did arrive over an hour later. When we finally reached Snowshoe’s office at the bottom of the mountain we were told the road was closed up to the lodge for all private vehicles. There was a total white-out with about a foot of snow by now. The resort was going to take us up the mountain in the resort’s panel van. We transferred our luggage to the van and shared the trip with the band that was going to be performing later that night. Try to picture Cin the aaaaa climbing into the back of this van with her dress and heels.

The snow continued all three days we were there. With blizzard conditions we were unable to go outside. The only thing I can remember about the conference was the dance that evening. A 50’s theme which I wore a poodle skirt I had borrowed for the occasion. The day we left the sun was out, the air was crisp, the roads were cleared and the scenery was magnificent.

Our drive home was uneventful, but Jill and I laughed so hard reliving every moment of this crazy trip. Oh, Cynthia found another way home! What a surprise!! It was 24 years ago and we still wonder if Cynthia remembers the Trip From Hell!!

Aren’t memories wonderful!!!!

Here's a picture of Jill, another one of our friends, (not Cynthia) and yours truely. This was taken in San Franciso at the Fishermans Wharf sometime in the 1990's. Weren't we something!


Agapetospaidiske said...

Oooh, I wish I could go to work in my pjs. :-}
Thanks for dropping by my blog. :-}
PS: I only like fining people when they aren't there, its very sad when they discover how large their fine is, and its no fun if they are there when we charge them. :-}

Patois said...

The list is great. I threaten to go to work in my pajamas as a caution to the kids to behave.

Starchy said...

Oh no, I forgot about all the holidays! They rock, too! Great 10!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Mary said...

Wonderful story!

Jill said...

It looks like your friend in the middle is suffering from exploding hair!!!!!! The other two are quite lovely!!!