Category Archives: Work

Tech Trip

We made our trip down to Boston yesterday. The new technology that we are getting for the museum is truly remarkable. It’s going to be very nice, and I really think people will be impressed when they see it. That was really the only good part. My day started off with a mild migraine, but it got exponentially worse as the day went on. As I said yesterday, the plan was for me to do the driving. About halfway back, I had my boss take over the driving. I was having a really hard time of it, and I was very nauseated. I sat in the back seat for the rest of the trip back to the museum dozing off and on. Once we got back, we all went our separate ways, and I returned the car to the car rental place. By the time I got home, I felt like crap. I was tired, nauseated, and in pain. I crashed on my couch and barely moved until I moved to my bed and went to sleep.


Quick Trip

My colleagues and I are heading down to Boston for a quick trip down and back. We did this trip about a month ago to test some new technology for the museum, and this will be the final test of that technology before they come next month to install everything. (Or, will it be August? I can’t remember.) I picked up the rental car yesterday, and I’ll be driving. I prefer to drive as my colleagues tend to have lead feet and drive a little to fast for my taste, not to mention that my director hates to drive in Boston. Honestly, I don’t mind. Southern deivers are far worse than anything in New England, even the so-called “Massholes” aren’t as bad as drivers from Nashville, Tennessee, (notoriously known for being bad drivers) or even Montgomery, Alabama, for that matter. Driving is one of the times that I am a bit of a control freak. Most of the time I tend to think I am pretty easy going and go with the flow. However, I’d rather be the one to drive and be in control then be scared the whole time because of someone else’s driving. 

It’s going to be a very tiring day. When we went down last month, I was fine until I got home and sat on my couch and felt like I never wanted to move again. The good thing is that I’m taking vacation days tomorrow and Monday. I need to start using my vacation time a little along so that I don’t end up taking it all in May before the fiscal year ends. I’ll also be off Tuesday, but I’ll have to go in for a short while for a meeting. I’m looking forward to a four-day weekend. Will I be doing anything this weekend? Probably not, but I’ll have some time to relax and take it easy.


Installed

The new blinds got installed, and they look great. I had opted for white faux wood blinds because they are supposed to block out more light, and it was definitely the right decision. I won’t keep them closed all the time. I plan to keep a few up during the day so that Isabella can still sit in the window and look out at the birds, squirrels, and chipmunks. There’s also a woodchuck that lives behind my apartment, but he’s as big as Isabella, and she doesn’t seem to pay him any attention. I think she also prefers the chipmunks to the squirrels. She’s loves watching the birds though. I suspect if she ever got outside, no bird would be safe. She’s relentless when she hunts.

Anyway, it was nice having yesterday off, but it’s back to work today. I actually have a few things to get done today or tomorrow. I have a meeting this morning, and I’ve got mentoring duties this afternoon. I’ve had a high school student shadowing me all semester, and today is her last day. It’s been difficult to have something for her to  do once a week, but my boss gave her a project, so she’s been thankfully working on that. On Monday, I have a class coming from the local high school, so I need to prepare the artifacts I will be using to teach their class. So, I have a few things to keep me busy the rest of the week.


Boston Conference

I will be at a major museum conference in Boston through Sunday. Interestingly, I was looking through “Daily Memories” on my Amazon Photo app, when I realized that the first work trip I took to Boston was five years ago yesterday. I have been to Boston three other times for work. All four of my previous Boston work trips have been quick and busy trips. During that first one, we went to the MFA to talk to the curators there and were only there a few hours. The second time was to conduct oral histories and I was there for a couple of days, but I was very busy each day. The third was for a university function where the museum had a display, and the last one was last Thursday when we drove down and back in one day. I’m looking forward to a bit of a more leisurely trip. 

I’ll be going to receptions and discussion panels, and my coworker and I plan to have a pretty packed few days. Going to the conference is really just a way to get a vacation paid for by the museum and university. I just have to listen to some people give presentations about museums that will probably be very boring, um…I mean, interesting. Yeah, interesting, that’s the appropriate word. 😂


Boston

Yesterday, I went down to Boston for work. The new interactives for the museum are fantastic. They are so impressive and I can’t wait for them to be installed at the end of the summer. That was the good news. But, I knew from the moment I got in that rental car, that it was not going to go smoothly. As soon as I started the SUV, I realized that the instrument panel on the dashboard was not lighting up. It had worked the night before, but not yesterday morning. I tried several different things to get it to work, and nothing did. So, I thought I’d deal with it on the way. That was problem #1; problem #2 started a few minutes later when I was about a mile or so from my apartment. I had a thermos/tumbler of hot tea to drink on the way, and when I opened the spout and went to take a sip, the tea spilled all over the front of my shirt. I knew I had to quickly turn around and go back to my apartment to change shirts. I was only about a mile down the road, so it was a minor problem. The instrument panel was the major problem because one of the things not working was the gas gauge.

When I stopped to pick up the first of my coworkers, I googled on my phone how to fix the instrument panel. I watched a YouTube video and tried all the other troubleshooting sites. Nothing worked, so I had my coworker google it while I drove. She couldn’t find anything else. We were running late, so I headed to pick up my second coworker. After picking her up, I tried googling again. Finally, I came across a site that said, if you’ve tried everything else, it’s probably a blown fuse. I decided when I picked up our boss, I’d have him call Enterprise Rent-A-Car, tell them the problem, and have a car waiting for us at the place we were going in Boston. They’d been shitty enough yesterday, I thought this was the least they could do. My boss first said, “Oh, I can fix this.” I said, “I doubt it.” I know my boss, he always thinks he knows everything technical. So, he tried all the same things I tried, but nothing worked, just like I had told him.

His solution was to call our secretary and have her deal with Enterprise because if he or I called Enterprise, it was not going to be pretty. So, our secretary called. Enterprise’s suggestion was for us to go buy a fuse and change it out. I said, “No, no, no. That’s not going to work. We are on a schedule. See what else they suggest.” Their next suggestion was for us to show up at an Enterprise office on the way and try to talk them into exchanging our vehicle for one that worked. *eyes roll* Well, there were two fairly close to where we were, so our secretary called them to explain. The first did not have any vehicles for rent. Then, as we were waiting for our secretary to call the second place, suddenly, the instrument panel lights began to come on one at a time. My only assumption is that the fuse came loose, and as we were driving, it wiggled its way back in place. We did not have any more problems. It was smooth sailing the rest of the day.

Today, I am finally going for my next Botox treatment. With the problems I have been having with my migraines the last couple of weeks, I am really hoping this will provide some relief. I was happy that yesterday my headache was kept to a minimum. Yesterday was a long and tiring day, and today is another drive, but only an hour, not the three hours to Boston.


Enterprise 🤬

I’m taking a work trip today down to Boston. We are driving down, having a meeting, eating lunch, and then driving back. I hate doing a trip like that all in one day. It’s about three hours from my new apartment.

We are renting a car because my university says that any travel over 50 (or it may be 100) miles requires renting a car. We always have to use Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Back when I was the oral historian and traveled all over New England conducting interviews, I had a great relationship with Enterprise. The guys there knew me and really worked hard to be as helpful as possible. I never had any trouble except they’d often give me a free upgrade to an SUV when I really just wanted a car. Those guys transferred up to Burlington, and there is a whole new crew there.

With the new crew, I have only one thing to say, “Fuck Enterprise.” We booked a full-sized car (there are four of us going, so we wanted to be comfortable). They didn’t have a car that worked (no air conditioner), so they gave us an SUV. Because I’ll be driving in downtown Boston, I had specifically wanted a car because I think it’s more maneuverable. The “free upgrade” to an SUV really pissed me off because we were very specific on what we wanted. I don’t care if it’s a free upgrade. I booked a car for a reason!

As I said, I used to rent cars from them on a regular basis and have never had an issue with picking up the car. Yesterday was different. I was using the museum’s travel card, which is in my boss’s name. We’ve always done it this way. But when I went to pay, I was told that only my boss could sign for it because the card is in his name.

This has never been an issue. It’s a corporate account, and they always understood that the card may have a specific name but it was for anyone who worked at the museum. I pitched a fit, and after calling my boss to see if he could come to sign it (he lives about 30 minutes from Enterprise and was already home), the guy reluctantly decided he’d make an “exception” just this one time. I told him I’ve booked many cars with the museum card not in my name. He said “The policy changed.” If you change a policy like this, you should probably have inform you largest customer (my university rents a lot of cars from them because they are the only place here to rent a car from).

I’m also renting a car next week, again to go to Boston, for a four-day conference. So, I thought I’d check to make sure this wouldn’t be a problem again. When I told him it shouldn’t be because the car was already paid for through a direct payment from our corporate account, he said, “I doubt I that’s true.” I told him that it was booked through our CFO’s office. Thanks made him check, and when he did, he realized I was right and assured me that there would be no problem. I hope he’s right, and I hope he remembers me and makes sure they have car available.

Enterprise is going to think I’m a real asshole. Some of you may also after reading this, but I had a similar issue the last time I tried to rent a car by myself. I was not nice then, and I wasn’t particularly nice today because they were being unreasonable. Enterprise and really anyone that changes the rules without letting anyone know bring out the bitch in me.

Oh, and to top all of that off, they didn’t even have it ready. I had to wait forever for them to clean and wash the car. 🙄


A Long and Busy Day

I have two appointments this morning. At 8 am, I have a meeting with my “personal design expert” for a consultation a out the blinds I want to get installed in my new apartment. She’s going to measure the windows, show me some different blinds, and give me an estimate. Later this morning, I have a pre-op physical that’s required before my endoscopy next Friday. After my appointment, I have to head to work, but it won’t be just a half day. I have to be at the museum until 7:00 or 7:30 pm. Two on campus departments have a reception in our entry hall and the university’s board of trustees will be meeting simultaneously in our conference room. 

Hopefully, everything will stay on schedule and I get back home at a decent hour. I also hope that all will go well with the consultation and I can have new blinds installed quickly. Finally, I hope that the pre-op physical goes without a hitch.


Terrible Tuesday

Now that I’ve moved, my commute to work is about thirty minutes, which I quite enjoy. It means I can listen to audiobooks on my way in. Yesterday, however, was a different story. The drive in was hell. The first ten miles was actually fine. No problem. I had decided to not take the interstate in because I thought the other would be slower and safer. We got several inches of dense wet snow Tuesday morning, and I had expected that the roads I took, which are major roads in this area, would be plowed and easier for my commute.

It was definitely slower. It took over an hour and a half to get to work. Safer, it was not. There was one wreck, no less than five trees down over the road, and a snow plow and a tanker truck were playing chicken on a narrow bridge. The cell towers were also out when I was stuck at the first down tree, so when I texted my boss, it would not go through. Finally, when I was stopped at the bridge incident, I was able to call him. I’m not sure why I could call and not text, usually that’s the other way around, but the texts finally went through after I got to work. Most of the down trees were small trees, but there was one huge tree down when I got into near the university. Luckily, the police and fire department were rerouting people around it through the parking lot of a gas station.

Needless to say, it was a slow commute in. While a few times on the way in, I regretted not taking the interstate, my coworkers who did take the interstate said it was a mess and there were numerous accidents. Some people had prematurely already changed out their winter tires for their summer ones. I never have my changed out until the end of May. I’ve seen too many April and May snow storms to get it done any sooner.

The weather conditions and the long commute caused a headache, so I went home shortly after lunch. The drive home was much easier, but because I don’t have blinds on my windows yet, it was too bright in my apartment. I have a consultation Thursday about the blinds. I can’t wait to have them put up. I basically have to either be dressed when I’m anywhere but the bathroom or give everyone who’s around a peep show that I’m sure they don’t want to see.

Today, I’m hosting one of my public programs. I’m not the speaker at this one, but I will have to do the introduction and make sure it is broadcast virtually. I expect this one will be very interesting. It’s going to be about New England artists, and I’m looking forward to it. I hope we have a good crowd that shows up.


Back to Work, Again

In the past three weeks, I have worked exactly three days. One was a Saturday that no one else could work, and the other two days were last Monday and Tuesday. I had not planned on it, but I ended up taking the rest of the week off to finish clearing out my old apartment. Thankfully, I am now done with the old place and I can concentrate on getting settled into my new place. There were a few new pieces of furniture I needed: nightstands, a chest of drawers, and a bookcase. I’ve gotten all of that. The only thing left is a dining room table. I just need a small one that’s either square or round with four comfortable chairs. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a table, but I’m not sure where to look for one. 

The next thing to do is to get mini blinds for the windows. Currently, there is nothing covering the windows, and I feel like I’m constantly on display. I plan to call a local company today to get a quote to buy install the blinds. I want metal blind and not vinyl. Isabella tends to chew on vinyl, and I think she’d have a harder time with aluminum blinds. I may also get blackout curtains for my bedroom. When I have a migraine, I like it to be very dark. I’ve used a sleep mask before, but with the really bad headaches plus the trigeminal neuralgia, no matter how loose I have the sleep mask, it can still hurt. It’s all coming together though.

As for work, it will likely be a busy week. I have a program to host on Wednesday, and today,I need to catch up on emails. I also have several meetings throughout the week. Hopefully, I’ll get back in the routine of things fairly easily.


Back to Work

I’ve been off for two weeks (with the exception of that Saturday that I had to work). I’ve been packing, moving, and unpacking. I’m utterly exhausted. I don’t want to have to return to work, but I have things to do there too. I still have some more to do at the old place, so I’m planning to take another day and a half or two days off to finish up before my lease ends on Friday. I have another week’s worth of vacation time to take off before the end of May, I might as well take them when I need them most. Besides, until the end of May is going to be a busy time. On April 20, we are bringing in a speaker from out of state to give a lecture at the museum. I have my endoscopy April 29, and I’m going to see the comedian Matteo Lane on April 30. Winter Was a Drag Ball is May 14, and from May 19th-22nd, I will be in Boston for the Alliance of American Museum’s Conference. I have my annual physical May 4th and a dental cleaning on May 25th. And most exciting of all, Star Trek: Brave New Worlds premiers on May 5th. It’s a lot going on. Then summer will be here and things should begin to slow down a bit. With few students on campus, things should be a bit more leisurely. I hope.🤞