Friday, February 13, 2009
Detroit to Golden Colorado
Well, after sitting in the office for the better part of a month (a bad thing for a field service engineer in a slow economy) I at last hit the road again this week.
My trip started in Detroit but I had no fun and nothing to write about there. Most of the time I tend to fly to a location the night before and then start working with my customer the following morning. This is a luxury my company and I can no longer afford if we have the choice though, so my day started at 4AM and I didn't get the repair done and back to my hotel until almost 9PM. Uggghhhh. Again tying to save my company as much as I can, I flew directly from Detroit to Denver for an installation. Here's where I passed another milestone - I flew from Detroit to Denver "pretty". :-) I've flown dozens of times by now, but only from the Austin airport, where I knew people were friendly and "accepting",
AND where I would have had the option of returning to my car to change if I'd had to. Flying dressed from a airport other than my home airport allows for no "back-up-and-punt-plan" though. If you check your bags, then the TSA didn't allow you through, your stuck. No clothes, no place to change, etc, etc, so I had not tried this until now. I have read a lot of posts on the web in the last year or so from other TG's that had flown from all over the country with no problems, so I went ahead and gave it a whirl. The only down side was, to get ready, and get to the airport for my morning flight, I had to get up at 3AM after having had so little sleep the night before and working a 17 hour day before. You might say was dragging ass a little. (pun intended)
I recently bought this red(ish) skirt at Goodwill and thought I'd give it a shot. When I first saw this skirt, I thought it was hideous, but for some reason it kept grabbing my attention, and I ultimately changed my mind and decided it was cute.
No exaggeration - that day I had seven women go out of their way to tell me how pretty they thought it was. :-) Honestly, I still haven't decided if I should love it or hate it. Everyone at the airport (The airline and TSA) were great and treated me with respect and courtesy. Going through security, I handed the female TSA agent my ticket and license and she started to grin. I winked at her, and in a loud stage whisper I said "Shhhhhh!!! Don't tell anyone!". She busted up laughing and said "Sweetheart, your secrets safe with me!"
Got to Denver, got the bags and rental car with nothing of note happening, and then made the drive to Golden Colorado where my customer is. As I had on my last visit here, I stayed at the Holiday Inn on Colfax. Also as with the last time I stayed there, the staff didn't so much as blink when I checked in. This hotel is designed with HUGE indoor spaces that give you the feeling of being
outside while still in the comfortable and heated environment. I thought the area was very pretty and so took a photo or two.
Recalling the name from a trip I took to Southern California where I had dinner with Holly and her spouse, I went to Mimi's Café for dinner. The waitress was awesome with a genuine smile,and the food was great too.
The next day, the first day of a two day install and training, I spent working with my customer. I have to wonder if he might have been one of "us" (TG). He had very long hair in a pony tail, and was very closely shaved, and just seemed very friendly even after seeing my long nails (they do
sometimes make customers hesitate). Anyway, hardly definitive proof he was TG, but still I wonder.
Fairly exhausted from two long days with little sleep, I got to the hotel and just went to bed.
The following day, I completed the training a bit early as the customer was already fairly familiar with out equipment. Having a good part of the afternoon off, I decided to go see a movie:
"The Reader". I wore a new outfit again, a long leather skirt and a pink sweater. Did I mention it's COLD in here?
"The Reader" was a VERY good movie, very well done, but MEGA depressing. It left you feeling horribly sad. I wont say anymore 'cause I don't want to be a spoiler, but if your inclined to suicidal tenancies, stay away from this movie. After the movie, I returned to Mimi's Café again
for dinner, and this time got a very young male waiter. I honestly felt sorry for him and just a touch guilty as he was clearly uncomfortable dealing with me. I'm not sure I've ever seen an African American blush before. LOL Embarrassed or not, he grew accustomed to the concept and treated me well. He was never rude, just kind of embarrassed.
I got a call from my manager asking if I had completed the install. My manager never checks up on me, so I knew something was up. Turns out that the same customer that had taken me to Vernal Utah,
was now in Durango Colorado with his mobile system, one of components appears to be bad, and he is extremely angry. Unlike the last time, this sounds like the fault really is with our system, and is not his fault, so instead of heading home, I'm now headed for Durango! That's OK with me though, because my job gets safer every time I'm called on. It;s gonna suck to loose my Saturday for traveling home, but I'll take the job security that comes with it. Don't know if I'll have the time or chance to have any fun in Durango - we'll see!