Friday, March 31, 2017

Our Atlanta Work Trip

sooooooo. i know it has taken me forevers to write up a post about our trip to atlanta. i have been busier than usual and it took me longer to edit my pictures than i thought it would. anyways, i wanted to share with you guys mine and barry's first big work project together. it was a trip and an adventure. we had to use our incredibly smart thinking caps with this trip because there ended up being WAY more stuff than the supplies that were packed. we had to improvise. a lot. but we make a great team and made it work. plus we came along a few snags that without God i don't think we would have made it back without tearing someone's head off. but all in all, we enjoyed the trip to get away from our normal work routines and try something new. we were hand-picked by the bosses my parents to do this job. and it felt good to know that they chose us because they knew that a. we'd get it done right, and b. we're kickass we make a good team together. it feels good to be relied on: at my salon job and at my jenkins job. i am very blessed to have not one, but two jobs i enjoy very much. now let's talk about the atl.

we left on monday morning to head down to jenkins enterprises so we could get a ride to the truck company to rent the truck we'd be driving to atlanta. as soon as we got back to jenkins, barry started to load the truck with the packing supplies. and i started to pull out our bags to load up, too. then i realized damn, i forget my dang phone at the house. [that's just my luck] so while barry continued to load i rushed home to get my phone. once i got back, we were ready to hit the road. 
y'all, the truck was super bouncy, my feet wouldn't even touch the floor. it was very uncomfortable. i am so glad i brought my pillow with me to help make my 9 hour ride a little more bearable. thankfully barry brought his new yeti cooler and i was able to rest my feet on top of it. which was just way more comfortable. so, in the mornings, i have to drink a cup of coffee or i go crazy completely nuts and well, this morning was no different. unfortunately, i have a bladder the size of a pea. so we probably stopped forty five eight different times till i finally got it all out of my system. [my fault, barry] i brought this book along for the ride and soon tucked in and read while barry listened to the radio. 

soon, we finally made it to the arkansas-tennessee bridge and that felt like an achievement all on its own. after we went across it, we finally started to make some progress. seven hours later...we made it to atlanta! thank you, baby jesus. our hotel was just outside of atlanta: in lithia springs, georgia. that way we didn't have to worry about parking the big ole truck somewhere in the heart of atlanta. and y'all, let me tell ya...are hotel room was AWESOME! i was a little nervous because my friend, and co-worker beth, who got us the room at the comfort inn was concerned that since the room was waaaay cheaper than the hampton inn that the hotel/room would be a crapper. boy, was she dead wrong. our room had hard wood floors, [seriously, first hotel room i have stayed in that didn't have carpet] a sofa and coffee table, a little kitchenette with extra sink, a king size bed, a relatively large bathroom, usb ports embedded in the nightstands, super cool book lights attached to the headboard, a flat screen tv and some pretty darn comfy pillows. we were feeling super spoiled. after we got settled at the hotel, we realized we had only eaten road snacks all day and were both pretty hungry. i was really wanting some seafood for some reason so i googled that and the only place that even remotely looked like there was big truck parking was red lobster. and thank goodness, when we got there i was right. there was a big department store parking lot we were able to park the big honking truck in, that was right next to the restaurant. it was very close to their closing time so we were able to get our food pretty quickly.
we both decided to get seafood. i had been seeing them advertise their seafood feast platter on tv and barry and i were going to go there for valentine's day but decided against fighting a crowd. SO i have been really craving some red lobster and this was a much needed treat. for the both of us.
i had no problem cleaning my plate. obviously
the next morning, it was time to head into downtown atlanta to start our big project. we had no clue what to expect. we found the place [thanks to siri] and pulled up to the office to check in. checking in went fine, it was when we pulled into the loading dock where we hit a snag. "we" had not reserved a spot in the loading dock and were told we needed to do so 24 hours in advance. oh, no. not good. right when we first started to freak out, the guard takes a look around the empty loading dock and says, "well, we ain't busy so we'll let it slide. you can park over there in one of those empty bays." [not word for word but you get the gist] we were saved. [thank you, mr. security guard] we barry got the truck backed up into the bay and we unloaded the supplies. 
we got directions to our show booth from a very nice dock attendant and headed up to the 7th floor. finally we located it and were blown away by the amount of stuff, fixtures, and other knick knacks. 
uhhh. are we going to have enough boxes?! barry got to work making boxes while i found myself a good starting point. once we got all the boxes made we both went hardcore in trying to get as much stuff in each box as possible. we just knew we did not have nearly enough boxes. the merchandise was easy; we definitely had enough boxes for all of it. it was the hardware/fixtures we weren't so sure about. like these things for instance:
not to mention the hundreds of glass shelves. we were stumped. soon the dock attendant who gave us directions to our booth, came up to check in on us and asked if we needed any help. barry told him about our dilemma and asked if he had any suggestions. i was starving. so he told us, to go get us some lunch and he'd lend us a hand after his shift. so we headed back outside and asked one of the lady security guards where we could get some lunch. she started just saying all kinds of crazy directions and barry interrupted her, to ask if it was walking distance. so she turned to me and said, "let me tell her where to go." and started giving the same directions. so we just went with it. she said there were several restaurants up the street on PEACHTREE. okay before i go any further, let me just say how cool it was to walk on peachtree street. my my favorite author bases most of her books around atlanta; specifically peachtree and buckhead. so it was pretty damn neat to walk where my favorite [fictional] characters have walked. anyways, we see TWO restaurants. not several, but just two. hooters or the hard rock cafe. oh and a sketchy street vendor selling sandwiches. so naturally, we go with the hard rock cafe. a restaurant barry has never been to before. i wish we could have stayed longer so we could take a look around at all the memorabilia. but we had to pretty much eat and run. 
barry got a club sandwich and i had a shrimp caesar salad. both delicious. but it was time to head back to work. we were exhausted but no even close to finishing. it was time to finish the job. we did not want to come back the next day.
when we got back, the dock attendant who offered to help us had just got off his shift. he had found us two pallets, and two large trash cans. barry put all the hook, display easels, and shelf brackets in the trashcans and used the shrink-wrap [that he personally packed, just in case] to wrap up the glass shelves and put them on a pallet; with the dock attendant's help. they were also able to take the second pallet he brought up and him and barry loaded this huge glass table that weighed like a thousand pounds. there would have been NO WAY that barry could have gotten it all on his own. carrying it was just not an option, so the pallet came in handy. majorly. once we had the dock attendant's help things started to go so much faster and before long we had the whole place cleared out. it only took us nine hours and there's no way we could have done it without the dock attendant's help or the house keeping lady that went to four different floors to find us empty boxes. i was blown away with the staff. everyone was so helpful and that was a change from the north little rock scene where people usually don't wanna help unless they know for a fact they will get something out of it. to the dock attendant that helped us, THANK YOU! you were worth the hundred bucks we paid you and we are so very sorry we never even got your name. also, another thanks, to our co-worker, nancy, who insisted that they pack us some packing paper because packing only with the big bubble wrap would have made me lose my mind! [and i think she secretly knew that, too.] check out the before and after pictures below: 
we know how to get ish done! our feet were hurting, and our backs, we were hungry and tired but were both very proud of ourselves for getting it all done in ONE DAY and for macgyvering our way through it. 

we got the truck all loaded up and headed back to lithia springs. we needed to hit up a walmart to find us a lock so no one would steal any of our stuff. while we were there, i talked barry into buying swimsuits so we could hit up the hotel pool/hot tub. he agreed. we got back to the hotel, unloaded our stuff and took a rest while we decided what we wanted for dinner. this restaurant was right next door to our hotel so we walked over there for some much needed fuel. unfortunately, it was pouring down rain when we were done and we had to run back to our hotel in some really freezing cold rain. we decided to change into our new swimsuits and head down to the pool for hopefully some relaxation. boy, were we dead wrong. barry stepped into the "hot" tub and yelped and jumped right out. that effing thing was cold! ugh! are you kidding me? that's all i had been thinking about for the past 3 hours and it was cold. son of a bitch. the pool was a little warmer and i made myself get in so our trip to the pool wasn't just a total waste of time and our new suits weren't a totally waste of my money. barry refused to get into the pool though. he was beat and just as disappointed in the cold tub as i was. soon we wrapped up in some towels and headed back up to our room. i took a shower and by the time i got out, barry was already asleep. i stayed in bed and read for awhile before i couldn't stand it any longer and soon passed out, too.

the next morning, barry let me sleep in. check out wasn't until 11:00 and let's just say we checked out at 11 o'clock on the dot. it was back on the road again. you know that song, on the road again? willie nelson is crazy...on the road again. i just can't wait to get back on the road again--say what?! really? you can't wait to get back on the road again. that's a lie. at least for me it was. i was not looking forward to being back on the road again. thank goodness i had my book, but i knew i would have it finished long before we got home. it was another long, long day of traveling. and boy, we didn't quite realize how long that day was going to be until the weigh station disaster we got ourselves into. you see, here in arkansas there are like no weigh stations even opened. we don't know the logistics and rules to the whole weigh station crap. we breezed by all of them on the way there, but barry wanted to follow the rules and go through them on the way back. the first one we went through gave us a green without us even slowing down. the second station, not so much. we pulled in, got a red light, a voice came over the intercom and told us to drive to the inspection area. uh, what the heck? what did we do? we were all kinds of confused. barry pulled into this huge shed and rolled down the window. one of the weigh station policemen came to our window and started accusing us of stuff we had no clue about. he kept asking us what we were transporting like we had small children hidden in the back. "no, no, no sir. it's just college merchandise." that's where shit hit the fan. "merchandise for sale?" "um, i guess so." we had no clue what can of worms we just busted open after saying that. "where's your logbook?" he asked us. "logbook?" what the cluck is a logbook? clearly he could see we were clueless about a logbook. so he went into the long drawn out speech about this so-called logbook we had to have. then he said "the penalty is to wait 10 hours.." that's when i broke down. barry started freaking out. and this officer of the law started to soften. he looked me straight in the eyes and told me everything was going to be okay and he promised he wouldn't make us wait for 10 hours. he then proceeded to explain why we had been stopped, and inspected. and guess what? it was not out fault whatsoever. the trucking company wrote our company's name on the doors with THEIR d.o.t. number. that's what had us. the trucking company's mistake. when we told him it was actually mhc that did that, he softened some more. clearly, it wasn't our fault. SO he said, "from now on tell everyone that the stuff in the back is for your own personal use. and when i turn my back, i want y'all the get on out of here." i think we just caught a HUGE lucky break. granted, we lost an hour's time, but that's waaay better than losing 10 hours time. 
once we got to to alabama, barry was on the lookout for the talladega superspeedway track. and we found it. you can't see it well in the picture, but i promise that's it. he wanted a picture of it so bad, but we were just too far away. we seriously thought about getting off the freeway and checking it out but were also very determined to get home. we did get off to get some food and maybe stopped three times for me to use the bathroom. i finished my book right around the time we got to galloway. i had never been so happy to see that sign. that meant we were about 25 minutes from home. 
it was a good trip with my husband. we work great together and even though we were working, we still had a good time together. i'm glad we were chosen for this special project. it just gave us another chance to prove ourselves. i had posted in this post [number 7] that i was worried that i wouldn't be needed at jenkins once they found a bookkeeper. i can definitely confirm that after being asked to do this project, that i have more to bring to the table for my dad's company than just knowing how to pay bills and keep up with the paperwork. yea, i ain't going nowhere. and from the typical white girl that grew up in dogtown, here's song that represents how i feel after this trip. this song sums it up:
funny how the first line sung by clifford harris is, "started in atlanta..."
also, in the words of dewayne carter, "i be stuntin like my daddy."
annnd moving on, i literally have been working on this post for three days now. i am at the salon working today and just finished off my second red bull. bout to head into the break room to eat me a pork booty butt [it's the shoulder, y'all] sandwich. i am so so happy i only have to work till 3:30 today. i had to work till 6:00 last friday and woo it was a loooong day. i finished the nypd red series that i got for my birthday and started this book yesterday. i have officially read 18 books so far this year. tomorrow i do not have to work. thank goodness! i had to work three out of the four saturdays in march and man, i need the money but the saturday shifts are always very slow. i'm glad i don't have to work a saturday again till later in april. barry may have to work this weekend so that means i can be a lazy cat and spend my weekend doing nothing. that just sounds awesome to me. 
"yes. uh-huh. i'm not kidding. that's where this "class act" brought me. yeah, you heard me. hooters. this is the first date i've been on since the divorce and the guy brings me to a hooters."

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. I think you are a very talented writer. Even though it was a long post it kept me interested all the way through. I appreciated you and Barry for doing this tough job. I knew I could count on you guys --- And Im glad y'all had fun doing it.