The Daily EO: December 1st, 2012

After some procrastinating, I finally got down to the business of packing about 10 pm. Emile on the other hand decided to get up early to pack instead.

Which I learned this morning that means I am getting up early too.

December 1st (like it is already December) Extra-Ordinary: Finally on our way!



The Daily EO: November 27th, 2012

I spent most of the morning worrying about the number of pairs of shoes to bring.  And how long it would take me to walk to the Skytrain.   And did I have my passport.  And how casually should I dress for the flights?  I am travelling with senior members of team afterall.

I am travelling to Utah for work, and I am more worried about the stupid things than anything at all important.  Should I take a snack?  Will I take a travel mug?  Where should I put my business cards?

Have I packed my passport?  The flight leaves at 1 pm, right?

I’m excited to travel to Utah – I am catching up to Emile.

When I am actually on the plane, I start to finally relax a little bit – except for the germy, phlegmy old man sitting beside me.  I don’t want your germs.  I’m leaning into the aisle.

Why am I going to Utah?  Does it matter?  Something about wooing a new customer or something.

Where’s my passport?

November 27th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Minutiae distracting me from what’s really important.

The Daily EO: July 6th, 2012

What an ironic day.  At least I think it was ironic.  It could be Alanis Morrisette ironic.  I am not totally sure.

I was in a toy store shopping for a gift for my nephew’s upcoming birthday when I received a call from a recruiter.  It’s weird to have a conversation like that in a toy store.  It was a recruiter I’d worked with before – he wanted to know if I would be “too angry” to talk to a certain company about a Materials Manager job (in Markham) and the company had asked for my résumé.  Yes, that is a funny question, but here is a back story:

About 6 weeks ago, a job posting come up on Workopolis.  The job requirements matched exactly to my education, experience and skills – with one exception, they prefered a candidate with pharmaceutical background.  But seriously people – I’ll tell you now:  Manufacturing is Manufacturing.   Good practices are the same regardless of what industry you are working in.  Obviously if you are making pacemakers versus inexpensive pens, your levels of quality control, government regulations and testing are adjusted.  But don’t let anyone bamboozle you into thinking the underlying principles are different.

Anyways, I applied to this position.  I got no response – which given how many resumes postings get when on Workopolis, I can understand.  It’s pretty easy to get lost in the crowd.  Later that week I received 2 calls from 2 different recruiters about the same job.  I told you my background matched the description!  Well, when the feedback came back from the company, I was told that I didn’t appear to have any “MRP/MPS experience”.  Huh??  I’m a Materials Manager!  If you are in manufacturing, you know what this is.  So, I’ll give you examples of what this means to say to a Materials Manager.

To a teacher:  You don’t seem to have child interaction experience.
Electrician:  You don’t know how current flows.
IT Technician:  You don’t how to put together a home computer.
Accountant:  You don’t know how use a spreadsheet.

MRP/MPS is the basis of any materials role.  If you have worked manufacturing, you would know that you cannot run your department without it.  MPS = Master Production Schedule.  MRP = Manufacturing Resource Planning.  That sounds fancy pantsy.  But really, it means having a plan, knowing what you need for the plan, and knowing what you’ve got for the plan.  If you have ever planned a dinner party, you have done MPS and MRP.

Anyways, I’m not angry – I just thought it was funny.  Their loss and I moved on.

But now, they are back. (And so you’re back! From outer space!  I just walked in to find you here! With that sad look upon your face!) And the recruiter thought I might be too angry.  Angry??  This is what all Richard Marx listening break-up victims dream of.  Ha ha!  Oh, I’ll interview alright, and you’re going to see I look fabulous, I’m thin and I so do know what MRP/MPS is!   Ha!

Later that afternoon, I got another call from a recruiter for another position (Mississauga).  One that I think they copied requirements directly from my résumé.  They want to know my interview availability.  What??

Why is this ironic?  Several reasons:

  • I haven’t received a call from a recruiter/company in about 6 weeks.
  • Emile has been working on landing a position in Orillia with his former company after deciding that perhaps Toronto is not the place for us.
  • We are leaving on Wednesday (or perhaps Thursday) for a long sojourn across Canada and the USA.  We have so much to do to get ready!
  • Our car needs an oil change and check-up before we head out.  The car will be out of commission in either Monday or Tuesday.
  • Emile is working Monday and Tuesday for a friend.  So he will not be available during the day to assist.

So needless to say, these two calls fly in the face of short and medium plans we have finally been able to put together.   And I’ve had ample time over the last couple of months to do these things – yet now I have to try to perhaps to fit in 2 city interviews and all the prep for being away into a short period of time.

July 6th, 2012  Extra-Ordinary:  Do I really have to say?  2 calls in 1 day?

PS – Yes, we are coming to a city near you, so you west coasters, we’ll be there soon!

The Daily EO: April 26th, 2012

It’s race weekend!  Off we head to St. Catharines to participate in the annual Chocolate Race.  No ordinary race for us.  No sirree!  I mean, if you are going to run, then you should pick the shortest distance available that also serves chocolate at the water stations, don’t you think?  And then serves post race chocolate?    I’m proud of how far Emile has come in just one month.  He will be able to beat his personal best and run the entire race I am sure.  I’m going to be dragging a bit, but nonetheless, I can run about 500% further than I used to – so an accomplishment regardless if I can run the entire 5K.  We both have targets we are hoping to beat, so we’ll see how much chocolate drags our butts back!

About 12 or 15 years ago, my friend Mark and I had the same late 80s navy blue Honda Accord.  (though mine was a standard – even more fun to drive)  We both loved our cars – so well-built, so reliable and so easy to drive.  And with 4 doors, great for moving people and things.  I drove mine across the country and back, he drove his back and forth between British Columbia and Alberta.  Mine helped me move 8 times in 2 1/2 years while I earned my MBA at McMaster.  But Mark drove his further than I ever got.  So much in fact, that one day we were all treated to an amazing email.  And I was sure I kept it, but there is no record in my mail.  Nonetheless, I remember it well.  It was a picture of his odometer and trip meter:

Odometer: 333333.3
Trip Meter:  333.3

The text told us all that this “miraculous event” took place in some mall parking lot in Edmonton (can’t you see him driving around in circles, then yelling “Stop!” at just the right moment?).  And that car kept going beyond that.  Mine eventually died from electrical problems – the battery kept draining for reasons unknown to anyone.  Mark’s. . . I am not sure what happened to Mark’s, but I know it got him far, but only so far.

In my most recent Honda – a 2007 Honda Fit – I’ve only had cause to drive it across Ontario.  St. Catharines, Toronto and I swear that thing could drive from Midland to Huntsville by itself.  When Emile and I are together, we always drive the Fit to save the 1996 Honda Prelude SLR that is on its last wheels.  Today we celebrate a little milestone on our trip to St. Catharines, silly as it might be.  I like silly.

April 26th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  I only wish I could have lined up the Trip Meter:


The Daily EO: March 18, 2012

It is about a 3.5 hour drive from Huntsville to St. Catharines.   We do the drive often:  Highway 11, Highway 400, 401, 427, QEW, 406.  For excitement, sometimes we use the 407.  Always a good idea at the time, never quite sure when the hangover in the form of the 407 bill comes in.   As we are normally driving there for a weekend with my in-laws, we tend to going South on Friday nights and North on Sunday nights.

This past weekend was such a trip.  We left later than we normally do on a Sunday because we had the rare occasion of a quiet afternoon and supper with just my Mother-in-Law.  So, we didn’t leave until after 7 o’clock.  A long trip for someone who has to work the next morning – ahem, unfortunately, that is not me.

The trip seemed to go by in a flash this time.  We talked about my family, his family, Huntsville, Toronto, his work, my potential job offer, our friends, where our next vacation might be, Christmas gifts (yes, sorry, I have a problem – blame my mother), future plans, and short-term plans.  He laughed at me, I laughed at him.  We laughed together.

And somehow when I looked up, the sign said “Huntsville 53 kms”

March 19, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  The mundane turned into reconnection.


The Daily EO: March 13, 2012

I left my mom’s house in Cranbrook at 9 am MST and arrived at my house in Huntsville at 11 pm EST.  These are the perils of living in small towns, people.  It is only 2700 kms from Cranbrook to Huntsville and by plane that should only take 4.5 hours give or take.  But it requires me to take a small jet over the mountains to Calgary, then a layover there, 3.5 hour flight to Toronto, .5 hour wait for luggage (is it just me or is Toronto the slowest airport in the world to get your checked bags?  It seems like it is), then a 2.5 hour drive to Huntsville.  I guess there just isn’t the airport facilities in Huntsville to allow for a 757 to come blazing in to drop me at my house.  So, to visit Cranbrook, it is 12 hours door to door.  (shorter to fly to Portugal!)

My flight from Calgary ended up being 1.5 hours delayed, extending my expected layover in the Calgary airport from 2 hours to 3.5.  The airport is under renovations now, and with it being Spring Break and many flights delayed, the airport was pretty busy.  In fact, there were line-ups at BOTH the womens’ and mens’ bathrooms.  When does that happen?!

I wandered back and forth at first.  Looking for another bathroom (it’s not right to have to stand in line at an airport).  Interacting with the woman promoting Aeroplan credit cards (my usual “I already have one” didn’t work this time, she then tried to upgrade me – what a terrible job for those team members).  Checking out what there was to buy (Alberta has privatized the liquor stores, so it is interesting to see the unique products in store ).  Seeing the food choices (always get sucked in with Starbucks – never know what is it, but it seems like a special occasion when I have Starbucks).  Located my gate (phew).

I needed to eat and my diet of late wasn’t the best.  I decided on Jugo Juice where I purchased a Mango protein Smoothie and a vegetarian snack wrap.  Surely these selections counteract the Mozza Burger Combo and Key Lime Pie from the night before.  As I came around the counter, I saw it.  An oversized comfortable leather arm-chair bathed in a stream of sunlight.  Is this for regular people to sit in?  I sat down and ate my wrap, certain the Elite and Super Elite would come and ask me for ID.  When I determined it was safe, I threw my legs up over the arm and snuggled in the sunlight like a cat, sipping my smoothie and doing a crossword puzzle on my phone.  I could pass 3 hours here, in fact, I could become one of those airport lifers who get trapped in the country with no passport here.

This chair would be the EO for today if not for someone I encountered while in that marvelous chair.   As I sipped my smoothie – feeling the protein eat away at that ice cream binge – I noticed the cleaner starting on the large bank of windows in front of me.  He started on the left of the nine windows that I would estimate at 12 feet tall.  Carefully spraying the surface with a special elongated cleaner, then meticulously using his squeegee to pull the water down – slightly overlapped to avoid any streaks.  With the window sills now full of cleaning solution, he then precisely used his squeegee and rags to perfectly dry the sill.  Each window took him about 10 minutes to complete.  As the sun streamed in on me, I watched him complete one window after the next, each one getting the same careful treatment.

I admired his work ethic, the preciseness of his movements and the care he took to ensure the windows were clean.

March 13, 2012 Extra-Ordinary Event:  Staying motivated and true to your work ethic even when the other person hasn’t done his half of the job.  Those windows were filthy – on the outside.