Thursday, August 03, 2006

The A/C, it mocks me

I stayed at a Best Western in Covington, VA last night. It was decent enough. Yet I got barely a wink of sleep because of the bloody A/C. It did a fine job of keeping the room cool, but it was the loudest A/C unit I've ever heard! I had the fan on low, and turned the thermostat up so it would not click on as often. But there was no winning with this beast. Faced with the choice of either lying awake sweating, or lying awake not sweating, I'll take the latter! But that meant I got up at 5:30 having gotten more or less no shut-eye. Which is fine--anyone can hack that for a day. New moms do it every night for months.

What was so ironic was that at my training today, the A/C was down. Yes, imagine a dozen adults in a school computer lab, body heat adding to machine heat, with no circulation. The outside temp was around 85, with humidity around the same--and it was cooler outside than in. (Honestly, for a second, I considered if there was any way we could do the training outside. Ha!) I was sweating buckets, which is oh-so-professional. I began to wonder if the A/C gods were punishing me for cursing the hotel unit's volume.

The Garmin got me lost today. My destination was a school built in 2001, which is not all that recently. Both Google and the Garmin gave me the same directions, so I didn't question them. Somehow I ended up on a one-lane road that was basically a glorified driveway. A huge German shepherd and a little white puffball dog greeted me by running toward my car. I was only going 10 mph and I saw them from afar, so there wasn't a problem, but the way they approached me made me think that they wanted me to stop and pet them. I did not--I was too concerned about the fact that the Garmin led me astray, and I had an appointment to keep! Thank goodness someone answered when I called the district office (and luckily I had cell phone reception, although barely). The kind lady was able to give me directions...which were completely different from what I had. Go figure. I still made it with plenty of time to spare, because I tend to allow time for these kinds of incidents.

Driving up to Virginia, the Garmin had me go on all these two-lane small-town highways, and I just figured there was no better way to get to where I was going (Middle-of-Nowhere-ville). It was the scenic route, to be sure. I got to drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a short spell, and passed through some quaint towns. But I also lost satellite reception a couple of times on the windy mountain roads. So after my training I asked a couple of the guys if they had any suggestions, and they gave me a much more direct route. It turned out to take about the same amount of time, but there were basically only five highways to remember (64 to 220 to 58 to 86 to 40), as opposed to the dozen or so the Garmin had put me on. Bottom line with navigators: do not rely on them completely. But the same goes with Google maps. However, I would guess that they are much more accurate in the urban areas.

I haven't talked much about what's going on at my office these days. It's all quite thrilling. In addition to all my traveling and training and other assorted duties, I was tasked with screening, interviewing, and choosing two new employees. At first I was very flattered to be given this assignment, considering I've only been there five months myself. But then I realized that the job fell to me mainly because no one else wanted to do it. I thought it was fun to read everyone's resumes and interview them. We got over 60 inquiries, and I was surprised at how many people have no clue how to do a proper resume! When I was searching for a job, I figured everyone looked up the same online resume tip resources as I did. Apparently not! About half didn't bother with a cover letter either, which was immediately a big minus. I probably conducted a dozen phone interviews, and then called in half of those for in-person meetings. I was beginning to second-guess my ability to judge candidates when, after three consecutive interviews, I was unimpressed. But then the fourth was the jackpot! The second position was harder to fill, because skill-wise there were several candidates who fit the bill, but there was one whose personality stood out. I do hope both of them accept their offers.

Meanwhile, I will be starting a new schedule. Currently I work 8:30 am - 5:00 pm. In a few weeks I will switch to 6:00 am - 2:30 pm. You may think I'm bonkers, but I volunteered to do this. Yes, I will have to get up at an ungodly hour, but imagine being done by 2:30!! I worked a similar schedule several years ago, and found it to my liking. My boss foresees that on some days they'll need me to stay late for trainings, but he offered a bit of an incentive. Sweet.

What else has been percolating lately? Oh! Hopefully after this weekend I will have news to share regarding an upcoming trip (for pleasure, not business). If you know me, you know I l-o-v-e the planning stages almost as much as the traveling itself!

I will leave you with a couple photos taken during my drive yesterday. These are somewhere in Virginia, but could just as easily be North Carolina:

The Ivy Monsters


  1. Love those ivy monsters! Enjoy your new schedule--I'd love to be done by 2.30, too (though not sure I could start at 6!)

  2. You're having such an adventure, Melissa! I cracked up over the A/C story - especially when you thought it might be cooler outside.

    I remember getting so excited to see the Ivy when we drove through Georgia on the way to Florida after our 1 year in Ohio - which didn't seem to grow anything but corn. :)