Monday, March 15, 2010

Dumpster Diving: America's Favorite Pastime

Today at work was definitely a Monday. A Monday that started way to early due to Daylight Savings Time. I had just returned to my desk after lunch to see that horrible red flashing light that I absolutely despise....voicemail awaiting. I hate voicemail, and I hate the people who leave me voicemail (at work at least). I just don't get it. If you call, and I'm not there, send me an email. Guaranteed I will respond to that faster and I will be much happier. Anyway, my hatred of voicemail is not the purpose of this post. As I was saying, I had a voicemail and it was someone else in my company telling me that she had talked to one of our Clients about some samples that had arrived today for her department. The Client had informed her that we were supposed to use the Sample ID handwritten on the Samples and not the Sample ID written on the Sample Submission Form. This is stupid. Why would you fill out the Sample Submission Form, whose soul purpose is to provide the information about the Samples you are submitting, with a different Sample ID than the one you intend to use? Stupid. But I have come to realize that Clients can be just that sometimes. Anyway, she knew that I had also received these samples from this same person so she wanted to give me the heads up. So I walked over to the lab to make sure the people doing the test had kept track of the handwritten ID. They had not. But no worries, the packaging was in the garbage so we could just get it from there. Nope. The janitor had already taken the garbage. I became frantic. I did not want to call this Client and tell him that we had started five of his tests and the data would basically be useless because we wouldn't be able to tell him which results were for which samples. I found one of the Janitor's and she informed me that the person who took my garbage had just left for the day and had dumped his trash in the trash compactor. I hate Monday's. So I ran outside to the huge trash compactor to see if anyone had compacted the trash, hoping my bag of trash might be sitting on top. I could see two very accessible black garbage bags and I thought, surely it must be one of those because he had just left. I was going in. Luckily, at the last second someone suggested I go to the clean room and get a clean room suit. They are basically one of those white onesies that you may remember from E.T. or something like that. This was genius! So I went and got suited up and then made my decent. Into the trash compactor I went. This was not a very easy task because trash compactors were not designed to have people hopping in and out of them very easily. Luckily we had a wood pallet sitting outside that I put into the trash compactor to use as a ladder to help get me down. It took quite the effort to get in without killing myself. Once in I started handing black garbage sacks up to my co-workers so that they could sift through the trash. As I was going to grab my fourth bag I grabbed it from the bottom and nearly everything came spilling out. Right on top of the trash I had spilled sat one of the bags we were looking for. There was much rejoicing! After a few more minutes I was able to recover all five original bags and I am now able to claim I am one of a very short list of successful dumpster divers at Nelson Labs! I love Monday's.

Climbing out of the dumpster: dirty, sweaty, stinky, completely happy....priceless!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Viva Las Vegas

I have recently been obsessed with my Ding! App. from Southwest. I love Southwest! I love them because it has been fairly easy for me to obtain free flights so whenever possible I do all I can to fly Southwest. I recently received a Ding! for super cheap flights to Las Vegas so we booked em' and headed to Sin City for the weekend.

This was my priority list:
1. Pool
2. Shop at the Outlets
3. Stay in a nice hotel

This was Jer's priority list:
1. Buffet's
2. Golf
3. Buffet's

This was how the weekend actually went:

We arrived and headed straight to the hotel (a Marriott, so not a super nice hotel like I wanted but still nice - on a side note, I'm not having as much success with the Priceline Negotiation App as with the Southwest, hence the Marriot and not The Wynn). We checked in at 3:00 and were in a hurry to get over to the Bellagio for our first buffet, we wanted to be there around 3:15 to get the lunch price but still be able to get the dinner food which started at 4:00 (I know, how "Senior Couple"ish are we?) However we were running a bit late and couldn't decide if we needed to dress up for the comedy show we were going to at 7:00. We decided we did need to dress up (first mistake) and that we wouldn't have time to come back to change. So we hurried and changed our clothes and off we went.

Unfortunately, because of our delay at the hotel we arrived at the cash register of the buffet at 4:02, which means we got to pay $35 for each dinner as opposed to $17. It was an expensive 2 minutes. But the food helped wash away our pain...and all the hard work we've been doing at the gym.

Jer loved the meats and crab legs.

I loved the chocolate dipped strawberries and the pizza!

After dinner we started heading down the strip, we needed to go 1.2 miles in about 2 hours. Cake, right? Not so much, due to the clothes change. The shoes I was wearing started hurting my feet about 50 yards into the walk, but I thought I would be able to make it. That's when we hit mistake #2. We hadn't made it very far when it started getting kind of cold, we were at the Miracle Mile Shops and I thought, hey that's a mile, let's just walk inside the mall and be warm and still head in the right direction. Wrong. The Miracle Mile isn't so much built in a north-south direction and by the time we came out we had only made it maybe half a block further, and by that time my feet were on fire. I had blisters forming on both pinky toes and both heels. It was so bad we stopped at an ABC store to see about buying some flip-flops, which we found but they cost $8 so I didn't want to buy them, mistake #3. So on we went down the strip with me hobbling along like Quasimodo, literally. I was in so much pain. I kept trying to walk in different ways to avoid the pain but nothing helped, and everything made me look more and more stupid. Finally, by some small miracle we made it to our show and I was able to sit in peace...

Turns out, if you take off shoes that are too small after straining your feet for a 1.2+ mile walk, they swell. Who knew? So now the shoes really don't fit, and really cause pain. I can barely walk. Somehow we hobble down to the main level and stumble upon a gift shop where the flip-flops are now $26. And we kept hobbling on. We decided we just needed to make it to the monorail which was just across the street. We made it outside and I wasn't doing to well so Jer decides he will carry me. So I hop on his back and off we go, we weren't really making better speed with this new plan because every few steps Jer would have to stop and kind of boost me back up on his back because I kept sliding off. People probably thought we were some drunk in love couple but I assure you, we were none of those things at that moment. Finally, we made it to the monorail and we think we are saved and we find out the monorail is going to cost $10 for us to ride, and we will still have to walk all the way through two casinos and across the strip to get to our car. Why didn't I buy the $8 flip-flops? After much debate we just pay the $10 and ride one stop down on the monorail. At this point Jer has finally convinced me to just take the shoes off and walk barefoot. I had been refusing to do this because I didn't think it was appropriate behavior but finally I gave in and we made it back to the car, with very dirty feet.

Luckily, the mini-vacation did get better. We got up the next day and went to the breakfast buffet at the Paris and after stuffing our faces again we walked around for a bit where we were able to learn it is the year of the Tiger.

And we also were able to visit the best Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, star of the show Pawn Stars. Chum Lee wasn't there but we had fun taking pictures anyway.

We then headed back to the hotel for a much needed nap (cause we'd been working so hard...eating and driving). After our nap we decided we needed to do something spiritual seeing as it was Sunday and we were in Sin City, sinning so we headed up to see the Las Vegas Temple.

After the spiritual journey we headed to the Outlets to do some shopping which was quite enjoyable for me, but much less enjoyable for Jer. Finally we ended the evening by enjoying some sandwiches from Capriottis. They were SO good and I'm not sure how Jer ever lived without them. His description of the sandwich is as follows:

"Turkey - Awesome, Stuffing - Awesome, Cranberry Sauce - Awesome, all of it on a sandwich - Awesome!"

After all of this we needed some more relaxation and wanted to head to the hot tub. I was very cold so I decided to dress up for a journey to the pool.

As we got on the elevator, a group of maybe 5 guys was getting off and they gave me an interesting look at my outfit but I didn't really care because I wanted to be warm when we came back up. Unfortunately, the pool was closed. As we dejectedly returned to our floor the same guys were getting back on the elevator. Now I just looked like an idiot, even I can admit that. I mean maybe if I had come back wet, it would have explained walking around in a robe, but to come back up maybe 30 seconds later, just looks ridiculous. Oh well, it's just Vegas!