Another plane ride, another post. Leaving Bridget and Dylan was hard, but there's hope that more management nonsense will take me back to SoCal again soon. For now, lets recap:
Got in late Monday night. Trader Joe's run was a success and I am totally jealous of the wine selection in SoCal as compared to Seattle. Picked up more goodies than I ended up needing, but I like being prepared. Tuesday's wake up call came early and I met the boys in the lobby to carpool to the first day of fun. Four of us from Seattle, two from St. Louis, and a crap ton of folks that were local. Kelli, the main meeting organizer had hooked us up with a continental breakfast that included coffee, and more importantly -- a giant pile of bacon every morning. Between that and the sunshine, I decided the management thing wasn't going to be all bad.
The meeting was mostly learning to play nice together and with finance. The business ops guy somehow got the floor and talked about processes and procedures for infinitely longer than anyone was interested in listening. We went through the Meyer Briggs stuff; I am an ISTP, which surprised me a little. Not the ST data loving part, but the introvert and go with the flow personality part. Bridget assures me that those are correct and that I've grown into my "P" since Tom. The last day we did a C-17 factory tour which was kind of disappointing after working up in the commercial factories, since we didn't even get to touch the airplanes, let alone operate the ramp door.
Evenings were a bit more exciting. I missed whatever good times were had Monday night. Tuesday was the Huntington Beach street fair and margaritas with fish tacos. One too many margaritas, I'd say. The evening ended with me trying on a kids' hoodie that zipped all the way to the tip of the hood and gave me an alien head. Photo forthcoming. Wednesday dinner was at this posh restaurant within a restaurant which I was excited about until I realized they didn't know the difference between gluten free and cross contamination. Halfway through my fish I couldn't see straight and was headed for a full body meltdown. I guess that's about the time I accepted my introvertedness because all I really wanted to do was crawl into a bathroom stall until I could snag a ride back to the hotel. Mostly recovered by Thursday morning although I opted for a stroll on the beach instead of any kind of workout Thursday afternoon.
The Marketa Tornado rolled through Thursday evening, starting with a bottle of wine and no corkscrew. She attempted to pop it open using my black heel, but eventually took my suggestion to just open the screw top bottle in the fridge. Two pink solo cups and an hour in the jacuzzi and we were sufficiently dehydrated and ready to rock. Then she insisted we finish the other screw top bottle I had in the room on our way to Fred's for more margaritas and more fish tacos. The conversation was everything I hoped it would me and more. We rolled over to a high class establishment called Sharkeez (I think) for a Jell-O shot out of a giant plastic syringe and another round of booze while we watched the 20 something's do the dance club mating ritual. We stumbled our way back to the room where Marketa regrouped and headed home.
Friday morning wasn't pretty, but all I had to do was listen in on the communications meeting and complete couple of management clean up tasks for the week. A quick lifting session to try to sweat out the previous night and I was on the road bound for San Diego and best friend hugs!
The weekend was mostly just wonderful. Hung out on Friday and admired the enormous toddler that Dylan has become. He's walking and almost running. He never stops making noise or trying to climb things. The world is fascinating and sometimes scary at the same time. All food is good and he can't get enough of any of it. He prefers a bare bottom at all times which means some floor puddles, but apparently cleaning that up is easier than trying to change his diaper. I got to experience Mona training, which I think has been great for all of them -- the 110 pound Love Dragon is much more calm than she was a year ago. We spent the majority of Saturday at the future home of Dylan, et al -- just after Mama Webb and Matt move on to their sailboat. Lauren was there and recovering after her nearly 24 hours of Ragnar relay the night before. Ben was master of the BBQ and we ended up with way more food than we knew what to do with. Matt and Dylan had a noise making contest and Matt's snoring won over Dylan's pot banging -- at least in consistency. This morning Bridget and I attempted a TRX workout, but Dylan wasn't overly pleased so it didn't last long. We did replenish with a giant pile of gluten and dairy free biscuits and gravy. I spent some time rubbing Mona's belly before saying the goodbyes and heading back up to catch my airplane home.
Carla gave me some good insight on managing people and some reading material to check out. I think the most difficult part of this new gig will be to redefine the relationships I've known for the last 8 years. George is now my peer. The guys are now my minions... Officially anyway. I have some kind of authority. Stirring the pot may just be a bit more fun now!
Nearly to Seattle. I'm sitting next to a woman from Boeing procurement who might actually call ethics on me for putting six bucks on my corporate card for an airplane snack. But I did get EIGHT olives as part of my GF snack pack instead of five -- and they didn't taste like toothpaste -- so I think I'd still come out on top.