Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Whit and I got the biggest kick out of how Darci kept shooshing Isaac as she was watching her video. The part we didn't get captured on video was her batting Isaac away with her hand. It was really cute!


So the scammer wrote me back and told me how offended he was that I was calling him a scammer. That he has a family and a wife and that this is legit, and he's worked for the bank for 10 years! As if any of this was supposed to change my mind! I let him know that I had checked him out online and the bank that he said he's from is linked with scams from Nigeria and that if he's offended that I think he's running a scam, that he should take it up with Yahoo as well because they apparently think so as well! Of course, now he's been mute! :-)

Distant Relatives

So I keep getting these e-mails from random e-mail addresses where they tell me that I have a distant relative that died in some kind of fatal accident. Usually plane crash, car wreck, diving accident, etc. Then they proceed to tell me that I am the next of kin and that there is this large sum of money due to me. I never respond because if I actually knew of this family member it would mean something, but this latest one I just decided to respond because I was bored.

I told them that I found it odd that I have so many distant relatives that coincidentally keep dying in fatal accidents and they all want to leave me a bunch of money. Seeing that I didn't know who this person was, that they should take their scam to some other sucker who might actually believe it.

Funny part was is I actually got a response back. They tried to tell me that it was totally legit and that they've worked for this bank for 10 years and that there was 17.5 million dollars to disperse and they'd split it with me 50/50 for them putting it all together. That they'd need to come to the states to finish the paperwork and I would have to help see out the transaction. I was dying! I had totally seen this scam on Oprah AND Dr. Phil! So I wrote back and said I don't know how naive you think I am, but I watch Oprah and I know exactly what you're trying to do. Plus if I actually had a relative that wanted to leave me money I'd want a 100%! Why would I ever split it 50/50?

So anyway, like I said, I was bored but I had to laugh that they actually responded!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Since I've been home.......

So I've been home now for about four or five days and it's been sooooooo nice! You forget how nice it is to sleep in your own bed. Here are pictures from Luke's wedding and my birthday dinner out with Denise, Holly, and Ash and Biaggi's the other night.

Me and Jen.
Amy and I

Nichole and I

Jackie and Luke

Jacks, me and Jen

These two are so funny. I was trying to come up with a good pose. I failed miserably!

Luke and Leisa

Ash and Holly. This was the second picture because Holly always dips her chin on the first take!

D & I. This was the first of three. D always closes her eyes!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Finally Home!!!!!

So I left Springfield, MO yesterday at 6pm and got home after midnight last night. Long week, but I'm finally home through at least Monday. Woo hoo! I have like five days home in a row! I haven't done that for over two months now, so it will be a nice break!

Have to run a ton of errands since I haven't been home for over a week and a half. Need to go get the drivers license updated! :-) Don't want to be traveling with an expired one any longer!

I honestly don't quite know what to do with myself since I'm used to being with reps nonstop in a car. The catch up time will be nice!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Record!

So I realized yesterday that I made a new record for myself. I managed to be in four cities in one day! I started out in Cleveland, OH then flew into Detroit, MI to catch a connecting flight to Bloomington. When I got into Bloomington I hopped in a rental car and drove to St.Louis, MO because it was halfway to Springfield where I'm at for the next two days. I just realized as I'm typing this that not only was it four cities in one day but four states in one day! Gotta love life on the road! :-)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Note to Self

Never travel with an expired license!!!! I don't know if you can see on my license, but it expired on my birthday, the 7th. I've been traveling since my birthday and didn't even think about it until I arrived at the airport today. Apparently an expired license makes them suspect you like they would a terrorist and you get padded down at every turn and a special selectee stamp on your ticket. Can't wait to fly home on Wednesday! :-)
So I arrived in Cleveland around 10:30pm Eastern time and the third shift shuttle driver for the hotel decided not to show, so I had to take a cab. The cab driver was mad that I was going such a short distance so he drove like a maniac the entire way to the hotel to the point I was hanging on for dear life around turns and didn't even bother to help me get my bags out of the car. You would think he'd just be happy for the business but apparently not. I've experienced the same rude behavior at O'hare when I park about two minutes from the airport. Apparently the $13 the cab driver made tonight in his less than 10 minutes of work was not satisfactory! :-)
I got my keys for the room and headed up to the 2nd floor. I drag my suitcase and laptop bad all the way to the end of the hall just to find out that neither one of my keys work. I come back downstairs to take the front desk guy away from his cartoons and web surfing to have him re-program my keys! Then I go to turn on the tv and the remote won't work, so I'm totally doing old school style having to change the channels at the tv and turn up and down the volume. I can tell already it's going to be a great travel week! :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My New Home!

So this is about my fourth week on the road and I am worn out!!! :-) I come home, take out old clothes, pack new clothes and I'm back out there again. Hopefully it will slow down just a little in about a week, but for now it's going to be nuts!

I had to laugh though tonight because I went to Maggianos to pick up carry out for dinner. I order Rigatoni D, garlic bread, and two bottles of water. So she hands me my food and I walk out thinking nothing of it.

I get back to the hotel and I have an ENTIRE loaf of bread and a side of marinara sauce large enough to feed a family! I thought how much did this lady think I was going to eat?!

Then I pull out my Rigatoni D and there is no fork or napkins. So I'm trying to figure out how to eat my pasta. My mom suggested using my hair pick(after washing it of course), but the idea of that seemed crazy so I ate with my fingers. For the napkins I went scrounging through the coffee maker stuff and found two packages that each had a napkin in them. I was very pleased with myself to have found that. So no worries I can eat with my fingers.

Now I get thirsty. Maggianos apparently thinks they need to be all fancy and gives me two fancy glass bottles of water. I should have told them that two bottles of Ice Mountain would have sufficed but maybe it's part of the experience which so far isn't that great seeing that I'm eating pasta with my fingers! :-)

So anyway, I grab the bottle and try to twist off the cap, however it's not a twist off cap! Now why would you have bottles of water for carry out that require a bottle opener to get into. I don't know about you, but what in the world in a hotel room can you use to open a bottle cap?! So I got creative and got out my eyebrow plucker. My eyebrow plucker is busted but I got my bottles of water open! :-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Green Bay

So for my birthday, Keith and I went to Green Bay for the Green Bay Packers vs Bears game. We had a great time! Lambeau Field is amazing at night and the fans are crazy! There is so much Nostalgia there that it was almost surreal just to be there and be around 70,000 crazed fans. The game was really exciting and unfortunately for Keith the Packers lost after starting the year with a 4-0 season, but we still had a good time.

We stopped and had lunch in Milwaukee on the way up and did a beer tasting. They were pretty much all nasty. I was trying to decide which one to try first.
We watched the Cubs lose and some dive bar in town but the pizza was good!

The famed Lambeau Field.

Our tailgating friends for the day.

We actually are there! It was an awesome evening! Very cool under the lights!

The Wisconsin marching band played throughout the game. They were really good.

Final score! :-(

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My First Regional Manager Week

So this was my first week doing actual regional manager stuff. I'm in St. Louis currently traveling with one of my reps. It was fun and terrifying all at the same time. These reps are now looking to me for answers and guidance and at times I feel like I'm ill equipped for the job.

Also, I still haven't gotten this job down yet. I started working on e-mail at 6am. Working on returning e-mails, expense reports, activity reports, etc. I worked on them all the way to St. Louis yesterday and all day while I was in the car driving from dealer to dealer. We finished around 6pm and recapped till about 7pm and then I headed to the airport. After being on the phone with one of my new reps for an hour, I spent the next five hours on the computer catching up on e-mails. I think I finally went to bed around 1am.

I have a bad feeling that I am not going to have a life for the next year! I'm glued to my blackberry because if I'm not I get too far behind! I NEED A VACATION! :-) JK

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

On the Road Again

So I'm getting a chuckle out of myself this morning because I'm surrounded by gadgets in my car this morning. I left for St. Louis this morning to travel with one of my reps and will be down here till Thursday.

I brought my laptop so I could obviously work while I'm on the road and then I have to have my air card so I can access the internet while I'm in the car. To be able to have power for my laptop in the car, I have to have an AC adapter. Then I have my cell phone/blackberry. I haven't quite figured it out yet because now my work e-mail comes to my blackberry and on my computer. Half the time I can't figure out where it goes so I'm checking it both places.

In addtion to all that stuff, I got an Ipod for my birthday from my parents so I brought that with me so I could program songs on it. Because I had too much music on my laptop bogging it down, I bought an external hard drive to transfer the music over to.

All this in the car with me! Ok, so it's not funny now that I type it out but I looked ridiculous yesterday driving down here with cords hanging all over me and gadgets setting all over my car! :-)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Little Will

Heidi and Jarod went out Saturday night and I got the pleasure of babysitting little Will. He is an absolute doll and I was VERY excited about getting to take care of him. He's so smiley and the best baby. He just cooed and smiled the whole night till he got really tired and snuggled up to Whitney and fell asleep. He did however manage to wake up right before mom and dad came back so I looked like the bad babysitter who kept their kid up past 10pm! :-)

Kirk's Birthday 9-29-07

So we threw my uncle Kirk a 50th birthday party. It was a surprise and he was definitely surprised! It went off without a hitch surprisingly enough. Crazy, especially after I was gone ALL week in Atlanta, g0t home Friday night at 6pmm and the party was Saturday at 1pm. Thankfully the whole family brought food and I had run errands before I left so I just had set up to do when I got home. My mom and I about had WWIII though when I got home because I got home and the house was not spotless like Kate said it would be. I find out that Whit was not going to be around at all the next day when I was expecting her help and my mom was calling once an hour on the hour to see what all I had gotten done when all I wanted to do was just sleep and veg for a little bit.

We had made a handicap parking spot on the drive. We got Kirk there by telling him he was goign out to lunch. His friend Paul told him he had to "pick up a book from a friend before lunch". Kirk thought that Paul's friend was handicapped! :-)

We met him at the car with a walker that he had to walk in the house. When he got inside all of his friends and the rest of the family was waiting for him. We got the biggest kick out of his response because he was totally surprised and didn't know what to say. In complete shock.

This was his old man outfit. A plaid button up shirt with a pocket protector, big ears, bifocal glasses, and a comb over wig!


Can I just say how much I love Bloomington airport! It's really a shame that I can't fly from there EVERYTIME I go out of town. Last Sunday I left for Atlanta. My flight left at 6pm and with a small airport, everyone knows you don't have to be there till about an hour ahead. I was talking to my mom before I left and she kept telling me I should get going. I'm like mom, it's only 20 minutes to the airport! I'll be fine! I had Kate working on a project for me that ended up being WAY more involved than I expected(more to come about this project in further paragraphs)! I grabbed what she had done and went out the door. I have to admit, I was a little nervous at how close I cut it. I got in the car and had like 5 miles till empty so I had to spend a few minutes to get some gas. My twenty minute drive to the airport consisted of lots of speeding and me thinking that I could break record times across town! I parked at 5:20pm(my flight leaving at 6pm keep in mind). I got all my bags and started dragging them very quickly towards the door! Then I saw the dreaded "shuttle" heading my way!

Now I love this about Bloomington airport! They have parking lot "shuttles" that come around to pick you up. Now it's a nice gesture and if I'd had more time, I would have loved to have given the girl something to seeing that driving around that 10x10 parking lot must get very boring, but by the time I loaded all my luggage into the minivan I could have been to the door. I tried not to make eye contact but she had already spotted me and headed down the row. I slowed down from my shin burning speed walk that I had going on to let her know that I was fine and appreciated the offer of the ride to the door, however I'd just walk it. I did give in one time to the shuttle bus and allowed them to drive me the whole 100 feet to the door. I had to laugh when he asked me what airline I was flying. Now if you know Bloomington airport, there's ONE door. I was taken a little off guard but politely said American. I then chuckled to myself and thought, now if I had said United wouldn't you have still dropped me off at the ONE door of the airport?! :-)

So anyway, I got to the counter and the guy at the counter quickly reminded me that I needed to hussle to the gate seeing that my plane was already on the ground. I figured I was safe since going through security and past the only other 9 gates only takes about 1 minute and a half but I obliged and apologized for pushing it so close. What was funny is when I got to the gate, and we were ready to board, the man that took my ticket was the same one that checked me in downstairs 10 minutes earlier. He was probably also the one that put my suitcase on the plane. At Bloomington, everyone wears a lot of hats! :-)

So I made it to Atlanta and made my way down to baggage claim. Atlanta airport has to be the most messed up airport I've ever been a part of. It's like one long hallway that never ends and you hop a tram to take you down to baggage claim or other terminals. Well the sign said baggage claim straight ahead and the tram said concourses A-E. Little did I know that baggage claim was considered a concourse. So I start walking thinking that baggage claim was past the trams. After the third tram and the signs pointing to baggage claim straight ahead I began to get suspicious. When I started the sign said 3000 ft/900 meters or something like that. I thought that seemed odd that they'd lay it out in feet how far to baggage claim, but kept walking. When it took about ten minutes from 3000ft to 2000 ft, I starting thinking something was wrong, but every tram I passed never said anything about baggage claim. It just kept saying baggage claim straight ahead. To make a long story short, if I had gotten on the tram and taken it all the way to the end of the "concourses" I would have been at baggage claim. Instead I walked the ENTIRE way which felt like miles especially when Atlanta airport decided to turn off their air conditioning and blast the humidity down the "hallway" to baggage claim. But on the bright side, after I made the 20+ minute walk down there my bags were already circling on the carousel! :-)

So back to this dreaded project! Well we had 13 new reps that started before Atlanta. From Wednesday through Friday, we were doing new rep training. I was in charge of teaching them about lender packets. In any given state we have anywhere from five lenders to 15 lenders. Each lender has their own sign up packet that can be as little as two pages and as many as 25. I decided I was going to make a binder for each new rep with a sign up packet for every lender that was in their state and make notes to show them tips they would need to know for that lender as well as highlight each place the dealer needed to sign. That way they woud have a guide when they went to sign a new dealer. Well I forgot how slow my computer printed so I walked out the door on Sunday with only two lenders worth of packages and had Kate working on more to send to me. All day Tuesday and Wednesday during our sessions, I was printing paperwork, filling in paperwork, highlighting paperwork and getting a hand cramp! Kate sent me another huge stack of packages on Tuesday and I made copies of packages at the conference facility we were at and still didn't have them complete until about 5 mintues before I presented on Wednesday afternoon at 3pm. When I got up to present, I found out that we had thirteen new states and actually 18 new reps. No one informed me that Florida and Missouri each had three reps. I was just given thirteen states represented. In addition to that I had made booklets for two states that weren't even there! Not sure how that happened! Anyway, the presentation itself was a huge success and everyone was appreciative for the binder with the sample packets, and my hand was thankful that it would not be writing for any length of time any time soon! :-)

The rest of the week went off without a hitch. We went to dinner Wednesday night at ate out on the patio. There was a guy singing live music and asked us for requests. When I asked if he'd do Alison Krause, he asked if I'd come sing with him. So surprisingly enough I got up there and sang with him! My co-workers were shocked and then made me sing two more. It was a ton of fun and the guy gave me his card and told me if I was ever in the area again to give him a call because he wanted me to sing with him again. He said usually when people sing with him, he cringes as soon as they open their mouth, so I'm assuming I did alright since I got offered a job if I'm back in town! :-) My co-workers threatened to post the video of it they took to U-tube so you may seen me on the web someday! :-)

Friday finally came and I was so glad to be heading home. It was a great week but a very long week with long days and little sleep. Atlanta airport was nuts to say the least and there was this nazi of a woman with airport personnel that was not wanting to let us into the food court area. Like the yellow belt strap looking fence she had created was going to do much to keep us out. She was insistent that we go around the corner which took you to the exact location but just made you walk 50 feet further. I talked reason with her that I was not trying to go through security but just wanting to eat some lunch. She finally let me through and then Susan who was right behind me made the mistake of saying I'm trying to get across the terminal rather than using my line of, I want to eat! She directs her around the corner. I looked at the woman now that I was safely on the other side of the seat belt fence and said what are you doing?! She's with me. Were just going to the food court. She threw her hands in the air and mumbled as she turned away and said something to the effect that she didn't know that and that my friend would meet me around the corner! Seriously, do we have to make everything so difficult these days? :-)

Being at the airport with people who never fly about drives me crazy, ESPECIALLY going through security. I have the whole process down to a science. While standing in line, I start taking off my belt and jacket before I even get there. Then in 30 seconds or less I have my laptop out in it's own bin(if you stack anything on top of it you get yelled at), shoes off in another bin, with my belt and jacket that I have stripped off while in line and anything else that could possibly set off the metal detector as I go through. Before security can ask me I let them know that my laptop is off, there are no liquids in my bag and hand them my boarding pass with my ID rightside up. Now that is the way you're supposed to go through security! You know you're doomed when you get stuck behind someone that is reading the signs or as the lady in front of me goes though with a necklace on that automatically sends off the metal detector. Rookie!! :-) Then she has to come back through, take off her jacket that she should have already had off and in a bin, take off the necklace and put the necklace inside her pocket of her jacket. You'd think that would be a simple task, but for some reason she did everything but that. I finally looked at the woman on the other side of the metal detector mouthing can I go ahead and go through. Her apathetic blank stare was apparently a no and I stood there another two minutes in my bare feet on the airport floor while the woman was told over and over "no don't put your boarding pass in your pocket, keet it out" "just put your necklace in your jacket pocket"!

Once I had gotten re-dressed, I headed down to the gate. I had a book that I was trying to finish so I picked out a spot in front of the window and tried to make some progress with my book(yes, I know. Two books in three weeks. I'm not sure what's wrong with me!) As I saw the little girl in lying down in front of the window, I thought to myself this could be a bad spot to sit because she will probably be loud and make it hard for me to concentrate, but she was laying down and seemed pretty docile. Yeah, that lasted a whole 30 seconds. She was intrigued by the planes outside and thought that if she talked, I mean yelled into the corner of the window and the wall that they would be able to hear her. Her grandma who she was traveling with was trying to keep her quiet but she was the most defiant little girl I've seen in a while and kept talking back to her grandmother. She had a little pink leash in her hand and at one point I about got hit when she decided to start whipping it around the room trying to hit the window in front of her. Then she decided she wanted to start talking to me. First rule of travel, don't make eye contact with ANYONE, especially on a plane, otherwise you're doomed the rest of the trip possibly listening or talking to someone the whole trip. Well this tactics apparently doesn't work on children. She sits down right beside me and wants to know if I'm going to Bloomington. I thought, oh great, there goes my reading time! Thankfully she quickly got distracted by a little boy that walked up and she was off chatting with him about how he should come play in her playroom sometime because it was really cool! I was relieved but I don't think the little boy's mother was! :-)

The rest of my trip was pretty mild. I did however get really tired while reading so I decided to sleep a little bit. I apparently had bit down on my tongue the whole time I was sleeping because I woke up with my teeth hurting and about ten minutes worth of a numb tongue. I must have been clamping down pretty hard! I'm just glad I woke up when I did! I might have had a shorter tongue by the time we got to Bloomington! :-)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Chris Kaufman's Wedding 9-15-07

So yesterday I went to a wedding with my friend Jon. All of our friends are bound determined that we should be together but we've just never been that way together. He picked me up and I wore my black dress with my favorite red paton shoes and red purse. Ironically Jon wore a black suit with a red tie. If I had a corsage we would have looked like we were going to prom! :-)

The funny thing about Jon is doesn't care about fashion at all. So he picks me up and is talking about how his suit is really tight. Apparently the suit was from high school and he's 20-30 pounds heavier than he was when he was in high school. To get the pants to fit he had them really high on his waist which was then causing them to be a couple inches short at the bottom! :-)

This is Philip and Stephanie. He actually barely threw up a fight to take the picture! :)
To get this normal smile out of Jon was after one weird photo and a series of nervous laughter that apparently makes him make this face. I was proud of him that it was the most normal smile I've ever seen out of Jon! :-)

Nate and Ruthie. They have quickly become Jon and I's favorite Office fans. Were trying to figure out when to have our premiere party! Ruthie also pulls off a nose ring better than anyone I know! It looks so cute on her!

The boys always have to have at least one compromising pose. They enjoy taking photos sleeping together, showering together, spooning in a sleeping bag, etc. This was actually pretty tame besides the whole sitting on laps! :-)

Kory and Ella. They missed the wedding because her zipper broke on the way down and they had to go shopping to find her something new to wear! :-)

Ready to Pull My Hair Out!

So I haven't quite got down this whole new job thing yet. We haven't found someone to take over my current position so in the meantime I'm pulling double duty. Now I have reps that expect to hear back from me as well as dealers that don't understand my new position so I feel like I'm not doing either job well. I'm just hoping we can get these people hired VERY shortly. Once I have someone to take over my territory I think it will be much easier to do my current position but right now I'm just trying to find a rhythm on how to do both.

I spent from Sunday to Wednesday of this past week in Kansas City for regional manager training. I'm excited about the people we have on the team and how well the whole group got along together and meshed with ideas. It was probably one of the most productive meetings I've ever been a part of.

The days were just really long. I flew in Sunday afternoon and we started at 8am Monday morning. For some reason I picked up a book at the airport, and for those of you that know me well know I don't read. Well I got into this book and couldn't put it down, but since I never read, I'm a terribly slow reader. I ended up staying up till 3:30am in the morning to finish this book, to only be disappointed that it really wasn't that great of a book! :-) Now I'm exhausted because I got up at 6am to finish some work stuff and then get ready by 8am. Our meeting went till 6pm and I headed back to the room grabbed some room service and worked till 11pm. For three days straight I didn't see the outside. So needless to say I was glad to get back home on Wednesday night.

I got to Kansas City airport about an hour before my flight left. It's a small airport so it wasn't a big deal to show up that late. I have my manager drop me off at the United terminal because that's what I flew in on. I have a laptop bag that I'm wheeling around(that makes a huge screeching noise everytime you stop which draws a lot of unwanted attention to yourself), my wheeler dufflebag and my purse. So I manage to maneuver my bags inside and check in at the self check in for United. I swipe my credit card for it to tell me that I need to check in at the American gate. I was confused seeing that I had flown United out, but of course was too lazy to print off my itinerary so I had to take the screen's word for it that it was correct. I ask someone how to get to to the American gate and he promptly points me in the direction of a shuttle sign.

So I drag my bags to the red shuttle sign and stand underneath it. By this point, Susan(my old manager who now works for Finance Express with me as well) has called me and telling me all about her day. Shannon(who is currently our "travel agent") had booked Susan's flight to Dallas. She has her flying into Dallas/Fort Worth but her rental car is apparently across town at another Dallas airport! On the way back her itinerary doesn't tell her which airport she's flying out of, so she just makes a guess hoping it's the right one. So as I'm enjoying her travel story because that kind of stuff always happens to me, the red shuttle shows up. I start walking towards it and it just takes off. Now I've got my phone on my shoulder and I'm chasing after this bus with my laptop bag and dufflebag dragging behind me while I'm yelling in Susan's ear, "wait, wait"! She is like what is going on?! I finally gave up since there was no way I was going to catch that bus when he pulls over a couple hundred feet further. So now I'm jogging after the shuttle. Not sure why it took off without me or why I was flying home on American when I flew out on United, but I got checked in with plenty of time to make my flight.

After a long week I just wanted to get hom with no snafus. When I got to Chicago and boarded the plane, my laptop bag is too wide to put above the overhead bins and won't fit under the seat fully either, so I just put it between my feet. I've NEVER had any issues with this in the past, but this stewardess thought she was going to make a power play with me and insist that the bag go under the seat. I informed her that it didn't fit and she insulted my intelligence by trying to tell me that if I just pushed it a little harder it would go. After demonstrating for her that it indeed would not fit as she insisted it would, she gave up and told me that halfway was good enough, when a minute before we would not be able to fly the plane unless my bag was fully under the seat in front of me! She did however require me to put my purse in the overhead bin. I figured if she felt like she had done her job by making me put that up above, I wasn't going to push it for I was in no mood to argue with her by this point! :-)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Longest Day Ever!

So this was the first week of my new job, but the catch is I'm still doing my current job as well. Until we hire a rep for my territory I still have to service the dealers. My manager job requires me to be on the phone, at home in front of a computer and my rep position requires me to be on the road, so I was totally conflicted this week trying to figure out which to do first.

Yesterday I left the house around 7am, and had my first appointment in Dixon at 9am. From there I headed to Lombard, but had some time to kill so I had talked Kate through sending my expense report and some other tasks over the phone. After she had to send my expense report three times because she kept hitting send before I was done instructing her, I may think twice before I do that again! :-)

I stopped in Aurora at a gas station because I had less than 7 miles till empty and stopped at a Mobil, the first gas station off the exit. Now having been on the road as long as I have, I have learned that if you have to go to the bathroom, you ALWAYS go to a newer looking gas station and one that is larger so that you're guaranteed at least somewhat of a nicer restroom. No such luck on this exit! I walk in to the smell of urine and barely enough toliet paper to go around the roll once, but you do what you gotta do! :-)

I finished my appointment in Lombard feeling a little unprepared because I'm used to walking into used car dealerships. The guys are usually dressed in a wide array of different outfits. It's not uncommon to walk into smoking and someone wearing jean shorts and a cut off t-shirt. So when I go walking into a corporate building, I was re-thinking the fact that I had slapped my hair back into a pony tail that morning, no jewelry and barely feeling put together. I felt even more out of it when I was ushered in to a conference room of all things and met with three men wearing suits and ties. They proceeded to ask me all kinds of questions that I didn't know the answer to and when they asked for my business card, I was embarassed to hand them my old AFC card with my information crossed and hand written in since I had forgotten my new Finance Express business cards at home! Talk about feeling like an amateur! :-)

After Lombard, I headed into the city to pick up two precious documents from my dealer to finish a lender packet for a lender that he wants to start using ASAP. On the drive I do a phone interview for a guy in Indianapolis that's a good candidate for that market but I had to laugh at his typical salesperson attitude with continuing to remind me how great he was and how absolutely perfect he was for the job. I couldn't however fault him for his enthusiasm, but when he kept interrupting me before I was finished with a sentence was beginning to get on my nerves! :-)

When I pulled up to my dealer around 2:30pm, I found out from Finance Express that our system was down which now put me in a quandry because I would not be able to print off those two pieces of paper I needed for my lender packet, nor would I be able to do my training of my next dealer at 3:30pm if it was still down. So I left that dealership without even going in and headed to my training session. On the way there, I got an update on the system. Still down! I called the dealer. He's not even there! I leave a message! An hour later, he doesn't call back! I figure he must not care too much about his training session! I stop and wolf down some McDonalds because I was starving having not eaten all day and decided to call it a day.

On the way home amidst the many calls from dealers letting me know the system was down, I had to figure out a way to fax something to a dealer have him print it off and sign the correct pages without seeing to know exactly what he's supposed to sign and having no access to a laptop, fax machine or printer. Kate, my newly acquired personal assistant was not answering her phone because she had lost it in the couch cushions and had it on vibrate so she didn't see my 15 missed phone calls! So I went to plan B. Have the dealer log into my e-mail and print off the docs and walk him through it over the phone. Don't worry I already changed my password. So all this was done while sitting in stop and go traffic in Chicago around 4:30pm.

Called my dad, system still down at 5pm, but we should be back up anytime. I had a somewhat peaceful drive home, with just a few calls here and there, but couldn't wait to just go home and crash after my long 12 hour day. However I realized about halfway home that I had computer work to do once I got home still. By this time I'm just grouchy and every trucker that honks at me along the way makes me want to pull over and let them know how annoying that is especially when they want absolutely nothing or they are not trying to tell you something like you have a tail light out. They just want something to do on their long lonely drive! :-)

I made it home by 7:30pm and spent the next five hours on the computer. Needless to say I was glad to see the day end!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

New Job 9-1-07

So as of September 1st, I ended my employment with AFC and started working for my dad. I'm basically doing the same thing I was, just on his payroll now. What will be a little bit different is that I will be managing reps instead of dealers. I have taken the Midwest Regional Manager position. I will be responsible for Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri. It will require a lot more travel than what I've been doing because I will be gone overnight a lot more whereas currently I can be to and from the same day. I'm looking forward to the opportunity and scared to death all at the same time. Mainly because it's what I've always wanted to do and yet I'm nervous because now that what I want to do is here, how will I do at it?

So anyway, I am trying to finish up my rep position by hiring someone new for Illinois but in the meantime, I'm basically doing two jobs. Needless to say it's going to be busy for the next couple months until I fully get into my new position solely. So the only way you may hear from me is on my blog! :-)

Nashville 8-24 & 8-25

Two weekends ago we went to Nashville as an end of summer road trip. We had a great time seeing the city and our favorite past time, EATING!

This was at Pancake Pantry. The food was great and the line was out the door to get in.
Philip hates his picture taken and he ended up being the only boy on the trip. At one point he told Steph, I don't care how much designer jeans cost! :-)

This was our family/tourist picture at the Grand Ole Opry. I feel like I should have my hand on Mandy's shoulder were so posed! :-)

This was at The Hermitage. It was Andrew Jackson's homestead before and after his presidency.

I thought these were weird looking cows. They are apparently called Belted Galloways, or Oreos whatever you'd like to call them!

Mandy posing in front of the Hermitage.

Neely's barbecue. Voted #1 Barbecue place in Nashville and yet we were the only ones in the restaurant during the dinner rush! However the food was really good!

Our attempts at looking like an awkward first date photo!

The girls

Mandy and I leaving our mark on Neely's.

I have no idea what this face is!
A little better, but it still looks totally staged!

Neely's will remember us forever!

Mandy and I got red cowboy hats and boy did we cause a stir! EVERYONE(mainly guys) wanted to know where we got them, if they could wear them, if we got them at the same place the Irish people they just met had gotten theirs, and the lines go on and on! :-)

This was at Tootsie's. We went to hear a band play. You would have thought that in Nashville of all places we would have fit right in with the hats, but oddly enough we were some of the only ones actually wearing them! :-)

Omaha 8-18 & 8-19

I went to Omaha about two weeks ago to visit the Smiths. I babysat for them when I lived in California. They got transferred to Omaha with Greg's job so I haven't seen them for about two years. I started babysiting for the kids when they were 4, 6, and 8. Now they're almost 10, 12 and 14. It was great to be with them and they treated me to a wonderful relaxing weekend in Omaha.

Taylor & I
Lisa and Greg

Austin, Zachary, and Carter

Baby Calves 8-17-07

Keith has raised cows since he was in grade school and he has always told me about when they're first born that they are really tame for the first couple days and you can actually pet them and they will suck on your finger. So he took me out to the farm a couple weeks ago and I go to see 4 of his brother's baby calves. They were really cute, but what was cuter was his nephew Eli who thinks Keith is the greatest and just lights up around him. He toddled around with us and helped Keith feed the cows. It was really cute!

Here is Eli trying to climb through the fence to get to Keith.

He knows how to say cows and tractor and he equates both of those with Keith!

This one walked right up to Keith.

This is the calf that I actually got to pet. It didn't suck on my finger because it got scared when I got up to it, but I at least got to pet it!