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Thursday, December 29, 2005
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
My morning could have started off a lot worse though if I'd been living in NYC. How about that Transit Strike? My idea of welcoming the first day of winter is definitely not by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to work in 24 degrees of New England cold. Brrrrrrrrr
My own commute into work this morning went smoothly. Door to door service even (!) because Matt drove this morning and dropped me off at work. The Providence-West Kingston commute down 95 usually does go smoothly (unless I'm running late and then the traffic is always HORRIBLE, HORRENDOUS, there must have been a pile up or something, right?) Even on 95 South in Rhode Island this morning we could feel the effects of this transit strike with some extra congestion towards the Connecticut line and a sign that warned "NYC Transit Strike, Massive Delays"
This sign actually got me thinking back to my days in France when the city buses would strike and the 30 minute bus ride to school that we would gripe about turned into a 3 hour walk which we were vehnement about. That being said, I feel your pain NYC commuters... maybe not in that my toes and fingers are numb sort of way because my strike days were spend in the South of France... but the walking part definitely sucks.
Monday, December 19, 2005
UGH. They better make up for this BIG TIME.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
I was searching Google today for Christmas Lights, more specifically, Christmas Lights in New York City, so I could find a picture for my desktop background. Now being from New England and also disappointed that I wasn't going to be able to make it to NYC this year for the holiday fan-fare, I really wanted a nice pic of Rockefeller Center or some other holiday display... so I searched "Christmas Lights+NYC" and waited for the results. Now, I figured this would be easy and the first thing that came up was an entry for Google News so I clicked on it. Once there, I was assaulted by story after story involving Paris Hilton... Ok... damn you Paris Hilton why are you EVERYWHERE?!?! You RUIN everything! Curiosity over took me at that point and I clicked on one of the links.
Go ahead... take a look for yourself.
So from this article in a paper from South Africa I read on...
Cranston - See Paris Hilton in all her seductive splendor, striking a provocative pose for passing motorists and spreading hot Christmas cheer in a chilly Rhode Island winter.At this point, I'm shaking my head going... Ohhhh Cranston.. what are we going to do with them? If you're not from Rhode Island it might be hard for me to explain this one. But think of that loud, obnoxious Italian cousin who is so out of touch with reality that everytime you bring someone to meet the family you have to warn them in advance. Then that person says..."Ohhh don't worry about it, we alll have crazy family members" and 10 minutes into the introduction they're just thinking about how to reconstruct the ridiculous details to tell all their friends. That's what Cranston is like.
And now I realize that I'm going to get in trouble by my large number of Italian friends from Cranston and probably their boisterous Italian mothers (a la "Ange") Hahaha
The moral of this story is... Paris Hilton in suggestive poses as a Christmas lawn display. Only in C-Town. Gotta love it.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
And even while I'm writing this I have a gazillion more things I need to be doing!!
Ps. Spell checker... gazillion is SO a word ; )
Friday, December 09, 2005
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
forecast for snow tonight in Rhode Island... I guess that's good, this snowman could use a little help! : )
Actually this was built by my sister a few weeks ago at our ski house in New Hampshire. By now there's a lot more snow up there. My whole philosophy on snowfall in RI has always been that they can get as much snow as they want up in New Hampshire where I can actually ski, but I'm all set with snow here. Last year at the Maywood Mansion where I used to live with my two darling roommates snow (and lots of it) only lead to cabin fever and a stove fire(Blizzard of '05), an expensive heating bill (yay for living in a beach house during the winter), and yelling and screaming matches (about shoveling of course). But on the bright side we did make snow angels and somehow managed to make it to the Spring without killing each other : )
Bring on Winter of '06! And Jen... it's your turn to shovel.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Monday, November 28, 2005
Here's the update:
- Spent Thanksgiving-Sunday in North Conway, NH and finally got to hit the slopes! We went to Sunday River on Friday and then Attitash on Sunday. The snow was pretty good, however the crowds were too much for the few trails that were actually open.
- Shopping in the NC was out of control- that didn't last too long. I was a little disappointed that I had to miss Black Friday down in Rhode Island though : ( I was looking forward to the sales at all of those highly commercialized stores like Target's 1 am sale or something ridiculous like that.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Here's the cast's business venture. It's a spray tanning shop on Duval allll the way at the end.
Monday, November 14, 2005
We fly into Ft. Lauderdale at 10am on Wednesday, pick up the car and head down the Keys to where my dad lives in Marathon. The next day, we're driving down the rest of the Keys to Key West for some key lime pie and pina coladas at Sloppy Joes (and them some more at all of the other bars on Duval). And while we're there... we might as well check up on those Real World kids. Why not right? After we leave Key West we're heading ALLLLLL the way back up to Miami to spend the night and next day on South Beach and then back to Ft. Lauderdale. Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy that's a lot of island hopping : ) I'm listening to some Gloria Estefan right now to get in the mood.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
According to Bloomberg.com
The European currency fell versus 13 of its major counterparts as social disorder may damp growth and deter investment in euro-denominated assets. The euro extended losses after sliding past last year's low against the dollar, a level at which traders placed pre-set orders to sell the currency.
``The riots in France will have impacted confidence over Europe and we're also seeing key technical levels being broken, pushing the euro lower,'' said Paul Mackel, a currency strategist at ABN Amro Holding NV in London. ``The market may have jumped the gun in expecting the ECB to raise rates, so that's negative for the euro.''
Monday, November 07, 2005
Les principales villes touchées par les violences
(The main cities touched by the violence)
According to an article in the Washington Post,French President Jacques Chirac addressed the public Sunday for the first time since the violence began, saying his government's "absolute priority" was "reestablishing security and public order." His brief appearance came hours after the arson rampages struck the heart of Paris and accelerated their spread to other major French cities.
It took him until Sunday!! 10 days after the suburbs of Paris are being torched by rebel youth?!? Now what Chirac?
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Tonga Tonga Tonga... I'd never heard of the "Friendly Islands" until news that V was being sent there for her Peace Corps assignment. I had to say that I was relieve though that she wasn't being sent to some war torn African country just because she had a few years of French in high school.
Her first email was very positive, minus the fear of potentially vicious pigs, and I'm sure she's ready to get rolling in her new home. There are even flip flop stores! I love flip flops... I could live in them year round except for flip flops in the snow is not pleasant, I've tried.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
I just got back from the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. this weekend and I am exhausted! My feet hurt, my legs are sore... and I was just spectating! Yes yes, it's true, I didn't actually run in the marathon but being a spectator is hard work!
Here are helpful tips that I wish I had known before embarking on the role as Marathon spectator:
Running 26.2 miles is hard enough, so we at DCist decided to lend our
extensive experience as both runners and spectators to help you optimize your marathon experience. Why? Because we love you. And we hate blisters.
- Muppets on TV? Creepy. Kermit running a marathon? Amazing.
- The Crystal City Street Fair is a favorite spot for spectators, but spectators should try to hop around to cheer on their friends and family. Some of the loneliest segments on the course are Haines Point and the 14th Street bridge, which one DCist marathoner likened to Dante’s 10th circle of hell, so place yourself strategically.
- Chafing is no joke—stock up on the Body Glide or Vaseline.
- Some spectators pass out cups and beer and shots of tequila along the course. Amusing in theory, disastrous in practice. There are several water and Powerade stations along the course, but also try to position friends with supplies of your favorite (nonalcoholic) beverage.
- The best things for spectators to hand out are orange slices, hard candy, sports drink and gel packs. And bring signs – your friends will appreciate it more than you realize.
- Screw Atkins and carbo load.
- Out of the 26.2 mile race, the final 0.2 are arguably the most difficult. But don’t forget to smile for the camera.
Click here for a map of the race
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Check out the snow at Killington
Monday, October 24, 2005
Here are some pictures of the flooding in Key West. I can't believe that in 3 weeks time I'll be down there. It kind of sucks that the first time I'll be showing my boyfriend around the Keys, they're still recovering from a major hurricane. I'm sure he'll just have to come down again sometime : ) The most remarkable picture I've seen is the one on top. It's a picture of North Roosevelt Blvd. If you've ever been to Key West, it's the main street with a whole bunch of commercial hotels that you first drive down before you reach Duval. That line of palm trees used to represent the line between the ocean and the boulevard... however, from this picture you can't tell that there's even supposed to be land under there!
If anyone has heard anything about the damage in the Keys please let me know! Especially where my dad lives in the Middle Keys (Grassy Key or Duck Key specifically) Thanks! : )
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Oh No! Category 3 again!
12:33am It's going to be a looong night in South Florida. I hope my dad fares well down in the Keys. Right now the hurricane force winds are starting to kick up in Key West. I hate watching CNN and hearing about all of those places I love being ravaged by this hurricane. They just mentioned Grassy Key, the island that my dad lives on. I wonder what he's up to... probably playing poker or something.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
The tickets are booked for the Keys! Yeah yeah I know... who books a vacation to the Florida Keys right before they're supposed to be hit my a major hurricane? Well I do. I couldn't resist Spirit Air's sale (that ends today I might add) that will get me down to Ft. Lauderdale in 3 hours from Providence at less than $200. I used to fly them all the time and they had a really great price for the PVD-FLL trip. However, they thought it would be a great idea to nearly triple the price of that flight : O!!! Outrageous. Luckily I caught them with a sale this time, the only thing was that I couldn't wait to see what this storm did. Thank God for travel insurance. I think the $12 for each of us is a good investment this time. Ahhhhhhh I can't wait! I haven't seen my dad in forever and I could really use some sun and salt water right now. I just hope the boyfriend can handle the Keys and all those sea creature encounters that my dad just loves to impose upon people ; )
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
It looks like I'm going to have to hold off on booking that flight down to the Florida Keys again....
The last time I was going to go down there Rita comes along and just last night I was telling the boyfriend..."Let's make sure we book our tickets tomorrow!" Ayyyyy! It looks like our Thanksgiving trip to visit my dad might have to be delayed until further notice. So what does this mean for Fantasy Fest that's supposed to begin on Friday??? http://www.fantasyfest.net/
A Cat. 5 Overnight??
I swear... I turn my back for a minute and that rinky-dink Tropical Storm Wilma is now a Category 5 and the "most intense on record" with a pressure of 882 mb. How in the world did that happen? Outrageous. Once again, I have to question my dad's judgment in the face of a hurricane.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
First off, let me say that Rice Pasta is the most disgusting food item I've ever consumed.
The boyfriend and I decided 2 weeks ago that we were going to follow a detox diet in which you can't eat meat, dairy, wheat, sugar, or basically anything else that tastes good. These detox diets are supposed to cleanse the body and make you feel more alert and less tired. It was one of those health kick "it seemed like a great idea at the time" sort of things where we were all gung-ho about it at first. And really, it did seem like a good idea at the time, but the problem was that four weeks is a really long time to eat things like brown rice and drink soy milk all the time.
Things were going well for the first week. We went to Whole Foods and made use of all the wacky things you can buy there (i.e. rice pasta and all organic squash soup- also disgusting) and then to the normal grocery store so we didn't have to pay $4.99 a pound for some green peppers. During week one we would make interesting dinners involving artichokes, squash and zucchini, green peppers, salmon, and of course rice. Lunch is tough though because you have to prepare everything on this diet. For the first two days of this detox experiment was absolute torture because I was facilitating this training that had lunch catered and it just looked soo delicious. Alas, I had to eat salad the first day instead of an Italian feast and steamed broccoli the second day instead of Chinese food. I think our tragic downfall came when we decided to take a "day-off" from the diet for Oktoberfest in Newport. After that, we just haven't been able to go back. I'll try to stick to the diet as much as possible by eating those vegetables and drinking the Vanilla Soy Chai that I discovered, but even I can't drink cranberry juice all the time. I even gave up my beloved Diet Coke, and let me tell you, those withdrawal headaches were no joke! Damn you caffeine!
Friday, October 07, 2005
Hot or Not?
Now I know that this title conjures up visions of that website where you go to rate people on attractiveness and have a little laugh about it at the same time.... but I'm talking about a whole new game. The game where every time I take a bite of food I have guess whether or not my boyfriend got to it first with his hot sauce, chili peppers, or other forms of hotness. Even the most unsuspecting dishes turn my mouth on fire and send me reeling for a glass of milk. Most recently, I even blamed him for making the grapes in the fruit bowl hot. Then I realized that it was my fault for handling a bottle of some hot sauce with a name like Insanely Hot or Mad Dog's Hot Sauce and then going and picking up a grape right after. Hotness is so invasive!! I just have to touch it and it will make my eyes burn and my lips scorch. My boyfriend tells me that hot food is something you learn to love- and then you just can't get enough of it. I belive that it takes a certain kind of masochistic personality to enjoy that pain. However, the bf's penchant for rollercoasters, running marathons, and Indian sunburns (I mean seriously who LIKES that???) give some indication towards that masochisitc personality without a doubt. It must be something that runs in the family too... the first time I had dinner with his parents, his mom made turmeric pasta, which was great- but hot as hell! I've come a long way since that dish and have really tried to open up to the hotness. I still catch the bf trying to add some form of hotness to everything though. Last night, I caught him adding red pepper to the spinach...it's a disease. I swear. Love you baby! In the meantime, I'm sure my "Did you.....!!!" Followed by that smile will continue until I've gotten to the point where I don't either don't seem to notice, or to mind the heat.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
After being stranded in a training session in the Auditorium for 2 days, I was slacking on both news perusing and blog writing. This is why I was so surprised to get a phone call from my dad at 11:45 last night with the "Did you hear??" (and also the, when are you coming down here followup). Now, news of that sort from my dad is rare. It takes a lot of shock value to make it news worthy to him.
Apparently, this time a gas tanker blew up on the 7-mile Bridge on Monday and closed it for 15 hours. I would imagine that would leave a lot of people stranded on one side or the other for the night. My dad said that they were really lucky that the fire didn't burn though because not only would it have to be closed for weeks (cutting off all access to Key West by car), but also cutting off water and electricity. Yikes!
Those bridges throughout the Keys scare me enough and now I have to be worried of fiery gas tanker crashes?? Seriously, the number of head-on collisions per year throughout the Keys is tragic. I guess it's a lethal mix of 2 lane roads and bridges with amazingly distracting scenery and amazingly stupid people who feel the need to drive like maniacs.
Friday, September 30, 2005
Being the news junkie that I am, I stumbled across this article "French forces storm ship". Knowing how dramatic and excitable the French can get I was intrigued to open.
After reading the whole article, I was brought right back to my days of living in France...and les grèves. It's a phenomenon that Americans struggle to understand, "strikes". Sure, sure we have our share of teachers striking at the start of every school year but nothing compares to the French grève. Before moving to France, I had heard tales from others who ventured across the pond and had dealt with the French tendency to basically wage "war" on the government until they got their way. I swear, if you pulled any of those stunts here you would be dubbed a threat to the United States of America before you could say put me on that Terrorist List so I can't board planes...
A French grève will disrupt your day to day life more than you ever thought was possible. What do you mean public transportation is down today?? The trains aren't running?? How is that possible. While living in Marseille, France I was unlucky to experience a few of these upsets. The worst was when the Garbage men of Marseille went on strike in May. If any of you are familiar with the South of France in May... it's HOT. Let me tell you, the combination of heat, garbage, and strike are lethal. The smell was horrendous. I guess they proved their point though... Ahhh give them whatever they want! Just make that smell go away!
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Awww I just could not resist! I had to put this up for the rest of Baby Joe's BSG Aunties. I'm sure Joe will eventually teach him all he needs to know about having his own BSG.
What a muffin he is! Ohh I'm sorry, "peanut" would be the appropriate term according to Carey. God I miss those girls and those days!
Hahah I met Joe a few years ago on his 21st birthday. He was screaming and hanging out of a convertible and we've been best friends ever since : ) Congrats again!!
*BSG- Black Shirt Gang
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
I'm sure you'll get everything you're looking for and more.
Ok so I know my posts haven't been work related in ages but this stuff is just too good to let go...
After all of the Florida Keys posts of recent, I thought I'd let you all in on the Real World gossip that hasn't even aired yet. : ) As someone who grew up with the Real World, it's always exciting to find out what town those crazy kids will be tearing up next. It turns out that the MTV execs of the RW just couldn't get enough of South Florida and are back again, this time in Key West (or Key Havento be exact, an exclusive neighborhood a few miles from KW).
Here are some good links:
Real World Flees Rita
Miami Herald's Businessman Sues MTV's Real World
Monday, September 26, 2005
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Hurricane Rita is now a Cat. 5
Unbelievable that we'd have 2 Cat. 5's in less than a month! I don't remember ever seeing one! I hear the Keys ended up less damage than expected. I am glad to hear that, haven't heard from my dad yet though. I would imagine there's flooding and some wind damage, but not complete destruction.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
'Riding out Rita in Key West'
My dad, a Florida Keys resident for the past 10 years is a very brave man, not so smart right now or incredibly wise when it comes to judgment, but a brave man. I'm sitting here today, stressed beyond belief because my dad has chosen to ride out this hurricane on a tiny island surrounded by water and with a maximum elevation of 12 feet above sea level (and that's technically in the middle of Rt.1).
"In the Keys, a lot of people are stubborn," said Craig Fugate, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
Yes, I can definitely agree with that statement... My dad calls me on Sunday night to say, "Oh I think this one's going to hit us pretty bad." Then goes on to rave about his new sea kayak for 20 minutes like this storm coming straight at them is some summer rain shower. "And Julie wants you to get Jessica to take some good pictures of the surfers at Narragansett." Priorities... "Dad are you going to evacuate this time?" "No, no we'll be fine" "Ok well call me, and let me know if you need anything" "Ohhh we won't neeeed anything" Ahh I finally see where I get that from... ; )
Anyway, while my dad is "hunkering down" (gotta love those Bush phrases, they must have some crazy uncle in Texas that comes up with all of these) in Marathon, Hurricane Rita is now a Category 2 storm and continuing to batter the Keys. The storm surge is already causing problems and the islands are not designed to handle it. If you've ever been to the Keys, you'll notice that the ocean is never more than a few feet away (ok ok maybe more than a few).
Most importantly, I hope my dad is going to be just fine down there, especially knowing how vulnerable the area is in which he lives. My guess is that the sea kayak was a good investment. Hopefully, he didn't have a lot of property damage, I will have to wait to hear about that. It's so sad for me to think that my paradise is going to be so damaged by this storm : ( I'll be down there in either October or November and I'm sure the mess will still be there.
I'll leave this entry with some pictures of happier times in the Keys : )
This is me on a catamaran at Dry Tortugas, off Key West on a brighter day.
Dry Tortugas, Florida Keys
Friday, September 16, 2005
I just got my pictures back from my business trip to Ireland. The trip was a few months ago in June, so you can see what happens when your digital camera breaks days before you go away and you're forced to use a disposable camera. The film literally sat on my desk right under my nose for 3 months until I decided to get it developed. You can say that I'm definitely one for the instant gratification of digital cameras.
Castle at the Cliffs of Mohr
near Galway, Ireland
I found out that I was going to have to make this trip a mere 4 days before leaving. I guess that's Corporate America for you... The short time I had to get ready for this trip wasn't a problem, I've been to Europe a number of times for vacations, to live, etc. I knew exactly what to pack to keep me comfortable in a strange land (Benydryl to knock me out cold at night, enough women's fashion magazine to keep me occupied for weeks, and a new selection of toiletries to keep me happy) Although I've been to Europe before for vacations and school, I'd never been on a business trip across the Atlantic. Granted I knew the madness that is functioning in a foreign country. However, I came up with a new scale to categorize this madness that one can expect when traveling to Europe.
Cat.1- Traveling: expect to get lost, fry a hairdryer or other electronic device from the US, get ripped off (hopefully not pickpocketed), and other small annoyances that come with tourist life.
Cat.2- Study Abroad: same as above for first 2/3 weeks until the culture shock sets in. Then one can expect dirty looks from locals, extreme frustration with bueauracracy, longing for a Cheeseburger and fries, normal TV, and non-existant internet connections etc. etc. (but also expect loads of time off, really easy classes, and great parties)
Cat.3- Working abroad: Oh while it's usually pretty smooth sailing as far as getting on the plane and to your hotel because business travelers are pretty well taken care of, as soon as you get to the office and try to get any work done the way you usually do it is just not going to happen. I'll continue this entry later....
- - To Be Continued - -
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Where do I not want to be right now... face to face with Naomi Campbell-she's crazy! I would imagine that the scariest job in the world would be Naomi Campbell's assistant. Just today I've heard that she backed a woman up against a wall and started punching her in the face Tyson-style just because she had the same dress on as her AND had a temper tantrum fit. She even has her own daily tantrum alert... apparently her reputation precedes her.
Naomi tantrum alert: Naomi Campbell was scheduled to walk
the runway at Chris Aire's jewelry presentation Tuesday, but did not. Women'
Wear Daily reports that Campbell stormed out of her fitting when she realized
she would not be wearing the highlight of the show Â a $40 million dress made
completely of diamonds.
Honestly kids, beauty isn't everything... remember it's no excuse to run around terrorizing people.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Go ahead google my name.... I'll wait a minute. Yup that's right America's Nude Girl Next Door from Lincoln, Nebraska. When I first googled my name a few years ago I came across this Melissa Harrington and her nude website. At the time I was slightly shockedand then annoyed because she had way too entries for me to ever find something actually related to me personally. So basically, I had to be more specific when researching my internet fame. Next, I tried to add URI to my name, which gave me enough sites to satisfy me. Apparently, I have much URI internet fame due to the Rainville Award, URI in Marseille, and the Student Senate minutes (where you'll only find my name in roll call...because I was too busy sending notes across the room than contributing to student government).
The Melissa from Lincoln story did not end with my initial Google Me search. A few months later, my friend Nick called me up, "Dude! You're on CNN." Now, I must admit that my level of trust with Nick's credibility is somewhat low. Hmmm... maybe due to the fact that he tells me outlandish stories all the time and I believe him and then feel really stupid when it turns out they weren't anywhere close to the truth. Like the time he told me that he just got back from Virginia Beach where he joined an amateur photography club and took pictures of seals or something. See? That could be true and why would someone tell you something like that if it wasn't true? Anyway, I didn't have any idea what he was talking about until he went on to say, "This girl is on CNN for posing topless in Lincoln, Nebraska to promote her website and she has the same name as you!." Ding ding! I know this girl. A few days later I was telling this story to my friends when we were sitting around on Wine-O Wednesday and they thought it would be a great idea to log in and take advantage of http://www.hotmelissa.com free trial membership of 20 minutes. I didn't see the site unfortunately, but they assured me that it must have been much better before her appearance on CNN and subsequent controversy with the city of Lincoln.
The moral of this story, go out there and google yourself! You never know who you'll find or what kind of identity crisis to expect in the future. ; ) Let me know if you find anything good!
Friday, August 26, 2005
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
So anyway, here is a little taste of what it was going to be like.....
8.23.05 After getting in to work at 7:30 am to assist a teammate with Presentation Skills II and finally sitting at my desk around 9:30, I am greeted with the most awful racket emanating from the wall just outside my desk.
JeM4415: AHHHH what is that racket?!?
JeM4415: I feel like someone is about to poke their head through my wall with a sledge hammer!
Magnus: what's going on?!?!
Magnus: Heavens to Pete
JeM4415: BANG BANG BANG BUZZZZZZZZ BANG BANG
Magnus: AHHHHHHHHH STOP
...2 hours later...
JeM4415: so I just went to a meeting, and discovered that they ripped our stairs off the wall and flipped them around.
JeM4415: well that would explain all that noise... however... why the HELL they flipped the stairs around is beyond me.
Friday, August 19, 2005
It’s August in Corporate America and while I’m sitting in my cubicle working on my fluorescent tan, millions of Europeans are off gallivanting to the Mediterranean (or other seaside destinations) in their Speedos. I can only imagine the conditions in Europe right now- Paris is abandoned…only one eyed-cats and unsuspecting American or Japanese tourist roaming the empty streets (and what’s with all those one-eyed cats in Paris anyway…), In Rome, the incessant beeping of Vespas has stopped, and the rush hour on the Autobahn in Germany is noticeably lighter. Now... imagine you and millions of other tourists of all nationalities tromping through Provence, frolicking in Speedos up and down the Côte D'Azur, or standing in the sweltering heat in a line at Euro Disney where the people who are there to serve you aren't so happy go lucky as they might have been in April, since they didn't get to take the month of August off. This mass exodus of Europeans from their desks means one thing to me… more work, frustration, and no sun! The European culture of taking “quality of life” seriously (i.e. taking vacations) has always been a topic of discussion in my French and International Business courses. I was always amazed at the thought of not working for an entire month- and getting paid for it! I had one German friend who informed me that in Germany they even get paid more for vacation time, “because they’re spending more money.” WHAT?!
So, basically, I was reminded of this vacationing phenomenon on Monday morning, August 1st. On that particular morning, I had to send out a mass e-mail to all of the global users of the web-conferencing program that our company uses and I’m the administrator for. I expected to receive some Out of Office emails back like usual… however, this time my inbox was over-run with these Out of Office replies. I started to read through them to see what everyone was up to… while the NAM (North America) folks were out for an average of two or three days, the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) employees were out for the whole month! “On Holiday 8/1-8/31, no access to e-mail or voicemail” So as if the vacation related jealousy wasn’t bad enough, I read through a few more of these Out of Office replies to discover “On Holiday, will return 9/5, contact Melissa Harrington for any assistance regarding [my job whatever that is]” WHAT?!? Who are you, how did you find me? And what is your JOB?!?
So after discovering that one, I stumbled on a few more involving things like, “…with issues with ______ , please contact Melissa Harrington” and the, “I’m on holiday dammit, stop e-mailing me and bother Melissa Harrington…” Ok that one was a little dramatic, I’ll admit, but you can imagine my disbelief in all of the new responsibility with words like "issues" and "assistance" that I wasn’t aware I’d be getting for the month of August.
Luckily, I only have two more weeks of this summer daze I’ve been in before I can take a vacation and direct all of my Out of Office replies to my newfound European counterparts. ; ) Muahahahaha
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Well.... after 5 years of college and a year in Corporate America, I must say that I have some pretty funny and interesting stories to share about my experiences. I left the University of Rhode Island with three majors and a lot of great memories involving strip poker, jell-o shots, leopard carpeted bars, and politics. There are also a few academic-based memories, some from my study abroad experience in France, and the most recent crazy landlady from Maywood. When the inevitable "So, what's your major?" line comes up it's always the same thing... "Well, actually I have 3 majors." "Three majors! What are you? Masochistic?" (Actually it wasn't so bad until I had three Capstone, or hardest classes ever, at the same time) Then I have to go on and explain that I majored in Marketing (the original choice), French (roped into it by a very persuasive French-born professor), and International Business (what was I thinking?!?). Sometimes I'd even get the "Ahhh so you're a French major... Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?” Hey listen, just because I'm a French major doesn't mean I'm easy!
Now I find myself at Tech Company X (I believe in protecting the identity of my victims) doing the -8:30 until whenever I can tear myself away thing - five days a week. I work on the Sales Training team (we even had a two day retreat once to come up with our own logo) developing eLearning and doing everything else it takes to provide global sales training to our sales force. That’s the easy way out of explaining what I do…