March 25, 2009

A Training We Shall Go

That's right. Another training opportunity, in Memphis, no less! Not the outlying areas but IN Memphis! On Elvis Presley Boulevard. Riding with my peeps from the Dyersburg store who decided to leave at 6:30 in the morning. The meeting started at 9 a.m. We were early--as in 45 minutes early.

Elvis Presley Boulevard is in one of the rougher sections of Memphis and obviously the area has changed and grown up around Elvis' home since he bought it. Whitehaven is highly-commercial area,lots of strip malls with some very nice homes in view and then some dumps, and a tremendously high crime rate. (I also learned that the Mississippi line is just three blocks from the store where we would be having class.) On the way to the store, I saw the "Heartbreak Hotel," Elvis' planes, and was straining for a view of the home. I was looking on the wrong side of the street. Coming back, the house was on my side and it is a very pretty, sprawling Colonial, which sits on a hill with lots of manicured grounds around it. I'll have to make a trip back to make the tour.

But to the training...much better than the one we had in Jackson a few weeks ago. Informative, the facilitator was organized, and the people in the group are funny. We had to do scheduled presentations and impromptu ones, as well. I was all prepared to do my piece when another member asked if we could share it because she was scheduled to do the same piece but doesn't do orientation so.... No problem, threw me off my stride but we pulled it out. Each person was critiqued by the group, receiving stars or triangles. The major criticism which I received was that I speak too softly. Been hearing it for years. You would think that the Speech Minor would know to project in settings such as this but...anyhow. Nemesis was the only one to give me failing grades on each score. What a hoot!

Mr. O was in attendance and took up about three hours giving material which could have been covered in a conference call, followed up with an email. This meant that the facilitator had to cut out a lot of her material in order for us to get out of there. Lunch was provided and while I'm thankful, their choice was for the birds. First, let me say this, we're there to learn about presentations, etc. And everybody who has ever attended anything, or entertained at any time, knows that presentation is everything. So we have snacks...thrown on the table in a haphazard fashion. The fruit, grapes, oranges, apples, were still in the produce bags from the store, the mini-muffins still in the containers, and the sink was filthy. But lunch consisted of assorted sub quarters, delivered from a high-priced deli, with tiny packs of condiments, and a plate of shredded lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions. So you know I wasn't happy, especially after leaving my house shortly after 6 a.m. I was looking forward to sitting down to a good, preferably hot, meal. And then, we were asked to eat while Mr. O kept on with his meeting!

Oh, oh, I've got to share this! We were being told that there should be no misspelled words (now you know that is a pet peeve)on documents while we're passing around thank you cards which read in part: "" Give me a break. And Nemesis' presentation on "Ethics" was continually referred to as "ethnics." Hello! There is a difference. And between me and you, Mr. O helped her with her presentation because she was a nervous wreck about it and had not a clue. Arrived with handouts galore and a very smooth presentation. I swear that there is something going on there. Oh, and I also found out in the meeting that she would be off for a week in April. In the meeting...not at the store, not in a conversation or email. Please.

Left the training site around 5:45 p.m., hitting rush hour. The driver navigated with the use of a TomTom GPS, see I'm not alone, which also talks. I like Miss Maggie's voice better and the dinging bells. Anyway, she's also named hers, I think it is Miss Maddie. But the darned thing didn't want to take us back the same way we came. Nope, she wanted to act just like Miss Maggie and take us back another route which just frustrated CT to no end. We finally wound up coming back through the waterfront area of Memphis, really pretty. Saw the Pyramid up close and personal. Memphis has a few high rises but very few. And it has a trolley car system. I really need to go in and play tourist.

Got back to Memphis and clocked out around 7:30. Talking about a long day. Then I had to find something to eat. Did I mention that eating spots are limited around here or that they are closing down between 8 and 9 p.m.? By the time I had chatted my way out of the store, it was almost 8 p.m., and I'm making a beeline to KFC for a meal to go. It was pouring rain and, as I learned upon arriving home, pouring right through the bathroom ceiling. AAARGH!

I have no words of wisdom or information to share today. I am asking that you say a prayer for Ms. Frances, whose friend lost his battle with cancer. Wishing you good thoughts and hoping you will be blessed.

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