South Bend, The Final Frontier

Sorry it’s been a while but I was preparing for a training.

Ok so now I am in robotic mode.  I am finishing anything that is not 100% completed so that when I am gone,  whomever steps into my shoes will be ready to go.  I’m also not going to be given anything new…makes sense I suppose.

I will say that I am feeling a little invisible.  Everyone has so many things that they are working on and I am having out of body experiences watching from above or on the side but not really included.  Meetings are going on and my calendar is pretty clear.  Sometimes the long goodbyes are way too long.  Hmmm I think I may have said that in an earlier post.

Once I gave my notice, I was told there would be no more traveling.  This is a major part of my role.  As you can imagine, being in the office for me is like being a caged lion or tiger or bear oh my!  Had to put that in there. It came into my head and if I didn’t write it, it would be in my head all day.

I had one trip already on the books that I was allowed to complete but that was it.  Fortunately for me, it was with one of my favorite groups.  This group and another will battle it out for 1st place so I will be PC and not say who the true winner is, but they know.

Anyway, I was heading out there on a Thursday afternoon and would meet with the Agency Manager for dinner and brainstorming and then the training would be on Friday and I would head back on Friday afternoon.  Almost every time I head in this direction, there is some snafu with the flights.  It’s the old “you can’t get there from here” location so you need to stop somewhere.  My choices were Atlanta, Cincinnati or Chicago.  I decided to stop in one location one way and a different one coming back, just to hedge my bet.  Now remember, this was in May so I wasn’t too concerned with weather issues but… The last time I was there in February I sat for 13 hours, was de-iced 7 times and the crew timed out.  Understand the dilemma? I also have status on AA so they would move me to another flight…if AA flew into this airport.

I landed in South Bend, IN earlier than scheduled on Thursday, a new experience,  and was picked up by my favorite personal “limo driver” and whisked away to check into the hotel and then have our brainstorming session.  Throughout the dinner, I knew I was leaving the Company and could not tell the Agency Manager who, has also been my friend for 15 years.  I was asked not to say anything to the field and so I didn’t.  We had our strategy for the next day and were excited about the message I would deliver.

Friday was awesome.  The training went so smoothly and the message so loud and clear you would have sworn this was the 100th time I delivered it.  The Agency Manager and I watched heads nodding in agreement and light bulbs going on.  It was perfect and inside I was absolutely in tears (I believe that will be my M.O. going forward) because I couldn’t tell this group that this was to be my last training and I couldn’t say goodbye in person. Again,I was asked not to say anything to the field and so I didn’t. Here’s the big reason.  This team has a theme.  They are called the Mad Dogs.  There are three smaller teams within this big team and each one has a name that refers to a dog.  You can’t just become one of the dogs unless you are part of the team.  You can’t buy your way in either. You have to earn it.  One person from the Agency, who is also a very close friend of mine is an honorary “dog” and only one other person has earned their membership.  Want to take a guess?  I was named the Kennel Keeper because I watch over and take care of all my pups.  NOW I bet you understand why this was such a difficult but wonderful last training.

But, the trip certainly does not end here…

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