Friday, September 10, 2004

Trade Shows; the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

(c) Andy Ternay
  • Lighting candles against the darkness.

  • I have not been to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting for a week. It is one of those deals where the best laid plans of mice and men get disrupted. I pretty much go to noon meetings for the selfish reason that I do not have much time with my wife and that leaves evenings to be filled with time with her. Also, because I go to noon meetings I fill my evenings with commitments. Lately, however, work has been acting to prevent my making noon meetings. Not in the sense of a any kind of deliberate attempt to prevent me from going to meetings. Just things like being late and having to work through lunch. Having my coworkers ask me to cover the phones whilst they go eat.

    I must make a meeting today. I need a meeting. I get a little squirrelly when I don’t get my meetings…
    I need to plug into a Higher Power and recharge. Maybe I will have something I can share that will help someone else as well.

    Looks like I am going to have to go to the Chicago Backer Pet trade show Oct 8-10th of this year. I do not want to go. I don’t mind representing my company at the show, that is part of my job, but there are some factors that make it particularly unpleasant this year.

    The first of these factors is the fact that I am being sent with the son of the owner of the company. He is lazy, a chain smoker and he will only eat at one café. No, I am not kidding. All of the greater Chicago metropolitan area and he will only eat at one restaurant. It is a little café that specializes in breakfast items. They are not bad, but hey, when I am in Chicago I want pizza or something, not omelettes for breakfast, lunch and dinner for five days straight.

    My second reason for not wanting to go is the garage sale. My company has been eliminating several million dollars worth of close out pet inventory, mostly stuff we used to import and sell via cash and carry warehouses in five states across the country. The stuff is out of date, in yellowing packaging. It is very hard to sell your top of the line chemicals to people who are in a booth displaying aging packaging and ancient product. Kerry wants us to do the garage sale again and I don’t want to.

    If that last reason seems to have a lot of pride and ego tied into it, my final reason has more. About a month ago I went to a job interview with a competitor and I was all excited about the future. Well, that was no job interview. That was an attempt to mine me for information about a new sea salt mix we have in the making. This competitor pretended to have an interest in me to get info on our sea salt. Of course I feel used, and this resentment plays a primary role in my needing to do a through fourth step. I don’t want to see them at this show. Not at all. I feel like a chump and I hate that feeling. I especially don’t want to look like a chump managing a company that sells outdated products in ancient packaging.

    In one way the joke was on the people who interviewed me though. I have been so angry at what I perceive as favoritism toward the guy who is making our new sea salt that I have deliberately not learned anything about the sea salt. So, when they interviewed me and tried to learn about our sea salt, I spun them a merry fable, creating mythical properties about our salt. I also did not know the status of our analysis of their salt, so they got a fish tale on that too. Serves them right. My sponsor can assign me amends if she wants to. I’ll do what it takes to stay sober.

    Enough negativity and bitching. Let’s talk positives.

    If I go to the show, I will get to visit Robbie and Amber since they are one state over in Indiana. That would make it all worthwhile. I love the two of them and I want to see them again. Hopefully they feel the same way. This means I get to tell all of my conservative Christian coworkers that I am taking a couple of days off after the show to stay with my lesbian friends and that my wife approves of it. Since their minds are too small to comprehend that it is possible for a male to have a non-sexual relationship with a female, they will again be freaked by the fact that my wife will let me stay alone with two women for two nights! For some reason, they also seem to think that lesbian means bisexual, so they apparently think I go to participate in a two-day-three-way. I do nothing to discourage this impression.

    One of the gifts of my friendship with Robbie is that she taught me how to have a nonsexual relationship with a woman and as a result, I have many female friends. That is something most straight males I know cannot do. I am lucky that way.

    Tonight I am going to register pagans to vote. Now that is something I can definitely feel good about.

    Good Morning Goddess Brigit, my name is Andy and I am an alcoholic. I have been kept sober since Imbolc 2001 by Your grace and Your grace alone. I am grateful to have You in my life today as my Higher Power. Today is a good day to be sober.

    Please be with me today, all through the day and help me stay sober all day long. Show me Your will for me and grant me the power to carry that out. Thy will, not mine, be done. Be welcome in me and to me; body, mind, heart and soul. Thank You, Blessed Be!