Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We're Really All the Same

So I have the pleasure of working with two lovely lady process engineers named Danielle and Jen.  They're both young engineers just like me so they're the first people I turn to when I need to vent or when something frustrating happens at work.  Jen is originally from Ohio and I'm sure you recognize her from a bunch of my other blogs about our trips.  Danielle is from Utah I've also blogged about her a few times as well.  They are easily my best friends up here in Ogden.  In 2008 we even took a trip to the Grand Canyon together since none of us have been.  I think that was the best organized and easiest camping trips I have ever been on.  Here's a picture of us on that trip.

As you can see, we all look pretty similar.  We're all younger ladies.  We're all kind of tall (I'm the shortest at 5'9").  We all have brown hair and lighter colored eyes.  We're all on the skinnier side.  We're all white.  And to top off the look alike contest, we all wear the same uniform to work everyday. 
You can imagine we get mixed up at work quite often.  We've finally come to the conclusion that we really are the same person to everyone else here (except our other fellow lady engineer Carolina - She also has darker hair too but she's originally from Columbia and a mechanical engineer so it's harder for her to be thrown into the mix though it does happen sometimes).  We've hypothesized different ideas why it's so hard to tell us apart for our coworkers.  1)  They're always just looking at our chest (ignoring the name embroidered on our uniforms) and thus can't tell the difference.  2)  They never see us in the same room together since we typically are working on different things so we really might just be the same person (one amazing person at that!).  3)  Remembering names are hard (especailly when said person literally wears their name around on thier shirt all day).
Regardless of why it happens, it makes for some pretty funny conversations.  Like one I had this morning with a team leader.  The team leader saw me walking in the hallway and stopped my by saying
"Hey, I was just bragging about you and what a good job you're doing." 
Cue my first skeptical thought since I haven't talked to said team leader in a good 3 weeks but maybe I've done something for him without knowing.  I respond with a,
"That's good, what did I do?"
"Oh I was just telling you manager how great it was that you went through my board (as in status board) with me and asked some good questions."
"That's great
By this time I'm certain he doesn't really mean me but after having this happen so many times, I've learned it's just easier to play along for now then relay the information back to the person that really needs it.
I figured it out a few hours later by asking both Jen and Danielle if they had talked to the team leader recently.  Danielle and Carolina had last week so I relayed to good news to them.  I can't help but wonder now if he thought I was Danielle or Carolina though.  Good times. 
It really sucks when you're sitting in a meeting and they get the name wrong.  I can't count the number of times one of us has panicked when they've said Jen will be covering this trial (on a material she doesn't own) or Allyson is on backs tonight (I am, really?  I better go home then...)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Good Job!

You guys are great guessers. I am in Paris. See here's a picture of the tower with me in front of it.

Oh yeah. Paris, Texas! Look at me rock my uniform too. Sexy.

So I'm in Paris for 2 days this week for work. The mill here is one of two plants in the city (town?) so as you can guess it's kind of small. But the Eiffel Tower replica with a giant red cowboy hat is quite charming. Maybe today we'll go find the Jesus statue wearing cowboy boots in the cemetery because everyone knows when I picture Jesus, I picture him in cowboy boots (doesn't everyone really?).

Other than it being a small very spread out town (it has to be big, it's Texas, right?) I've felt like I'm living in an episode of King of the Hill and the majority of locals I've met all sound like Boomhauer so there's been kind of a language barrier (I should have used that as a clue yesterday!).

In prep for the trip I got myself psyched for all sorts of large amounts of meat (something I truly have to physch myself up for since I really don't like meat). None of the restaurants have disappointed. Monday night - Steakhouse. Tuesday - BBQ place for lunch, Hibachi grill for dinner. I can only dream what today will bring!

So what happened on Monday to make it the second to worst travel day I've ever had? The day started off well, we got on our flight to Phoenix, left on time and arrived on time. Loaded onto our flight to Dallas without issue then proceeded to sit on the plane on the tarmac for 3 hours (the actual flight is only an hour and a half!) because of a "sticky switch" then because we had to change out the "sticky switch" then when that didn't work they had to try "something" else. Then just as the got the problem fixed, they announced there was a huge storm in Dallas and all the flights going to Dallas were grounded until it cleared. Cue time to refuel so we could wait out the storm on the tarmac. Fast forward an hour and a half later to the storm clearing out of Dallas and us finally moving towards the runway. Then our hopes of leaving were squashed by having to wait to burn off a few HUNDRED pounds of extra fuel we were carrying because we would be too heavy to land. I know the American people are fat but really, the plane can't land when it has a few hundred extra pounds in it? Thank goodness we didn't have a few more POS (people of size) on the plane because it sounds like we could have all died in a fiery crash landing due to their extra weight. And isn't plane fuel the main reason it costs so much to fly anyway? I now understand why, we're just burning it for no reason!

After a fairly pleasant flight to Dallas, we landed and got our rental car. Because my coworker and I were starving we opted to eat somewhere in Dallas before starting our 2 1/2 hour drive to Paris. Enter the random steak house we found open at nine on a Monday night.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Where's Ally?

Let's play a quick game of Where's Ally? Here are a few clues

1. The city I'm in starts with the letter P
2. The name of the city has 5 letters
3. The name of the city ends with the letter S
4. I had the second to the worst travel day ever yesterday flying here
5. I have NEVER been here before

Hopefully I'll have time tomorrow to update where I am, maybe even with pictures. Good luck guessing!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lava...it's hot

What have you been up to lately?  I've been up to a lot.  I know my last post really had nothing to do with our lives per say, just me blabbing about what it's like to be an engineer for me.  How about I tell you what we've been up to lately?


After surviving our super bowl party, I did some coverage.  Made it through New Beginnings with our Young Women (I'm the personal progress advisor so I got to talk for 20 minutes about it). 


For Valentine's Day Shad surprised me with a little trip.  Friday after work we headed up to Maddox for dinner then drove up to Lava Hot Springs in Idaho to spend the night.  I know my hubby had really good intentions for a fun, romantic trip.  Apparently Lava doesn't tend to provide those though.  Let me back up a bit, before I left work on Friday my coworkers asked me what we were doing for Valentine's Day to which I had to respond, I don't know my husband insists on making it a surprise.  The first words out of my coworker Dave's mouth were Lava Hot Springs.  To which I quickly replied, I hoped not (famous last words).  I explained I didn't want to drive that far and was really hoping for a nice night up the canyon somewhere.  A few more ideas were tossed out including the Cliff Lodge at Snowbird (I had been told to pack two swimsuits) where we would swim in the pool and then have a spa day the next day (thus explaining the second swim suit).  The conversation then ended with Mike saying – look Lava has live web cams so we can see you if you go there.  Um good?


Unfortunately our accommodations in Lava weren't quite as nice as the Cliff Lodge.  I tried to hide the terror that struck me when we drove into town and Shad explained to me we had reservations at the only motel in town that provides your own bathroom.  (Excuse me?  Are we staying at the dorms?).  It didn't get much better after  that.  We walked into our smelly, gross old room and I quickly went to check out our own personal bathroom (it was after all the selling feature of the room).  Did it have a toilet?  Yes.  Bathtub?  Yes – one large enough for a party of 4 and only supplied with hot spring water and with the stains to prove it.  How about a shower?  Oh no, course not, we weren't at a fancy place, hot spring water is perfectly good to clean yourself and 3 of your closest friends with…at the same time.  Not wanting to give up on it yet, we headed down the street to the springs.  Those were actually quite delightful except the freezing cold shower – honestly a simple heat exchanger to heat up the clean water must be too much to ask.  It's not like they already have hot water coming out of the ground…


After our  trip to the springs we were both quite thirsty.  I asked Shad if he had packed water bottles (he had packed us snacks for the drive) and he hadn't so we set off to find a gas station, because every town has a gas station, right?  Wrong.  No gas station in the town of Lava Hot Springs.  There used to be one, it's now a Thai restaurant (yikes!).  So instead we found a vending machine on the side of the road that didn't take bills so then we got to scour the car looking for $1.00 in change just for one measly bottle of water.  On our way back to the hotel, we found another machine that ate our $2.00 and spit out fifty cents.  Thanks for nothing.


Just before we went to sleep I told Shad I know he meant well and he tried really hard to plan a fun trip but I also asked if I could plan Valentine's day next year (Hello spa day at cliff lodge!).  I also pointed out that trips like this were supposed to happen when we were newly married and dirt poor and neither of those descriptions really fit us…


You know it's been a bad night when you wake up at 6:00, see the time and say to yourself why isn't this night over?  Longest night ever!  Between the train every 30 minutes and the stray cats screaming outside our door (I'm not exaggerating about them SCREAMING either) I think I would have rather been at work on a back shift.  Not that it was an option, I was just thinking of things I don't really like but would rather do.  When 9:00 finally rolled around, I woke Shad up and asked if we could please just go home. 


Now that this quick update is already super long, I think I'll leave everything else we've been up to for another time.  And just so you know, the terrible weekend didn't end there.  When we returned home, we found a messy house and a sick/grumpy puppy thanks to Shad's younger brothers coming up to stay with Dublin for the night.  I guess it's too much to ask for common sense greater than a 2x4 sometimes…