Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I Am Not Normal

by Kris Pitcher

With my overnight bag packed I hit the road for another short work trip. A day of very dynamic interviews ahead of me, I packed a handful of servings of purse chicken, some protein powder, and threw in a Quest bar for good measure.

I would be hosting an interview candidate beginning with a Sunday evening dinner. Over the next day, I would engage in three meal meetings, and a reception. I would be...eating like the "normals". You know? Like normal people. Three square meals, no water, and few pit stops. And here's how it went.

5:30 am and I finish my cardio. The hotel clerk offers me an ice cold bottle of water. Yes please! I take a full cup of coffee back up to my room. I down half the water on the way. Once I'm there I jump in the shower trying not to be a complete pain to my poor room mate. She's not a morning person.

It's ten minutes to 6 and I drink my protein shake. The hotel breakfast bar opens at 7:00 am, but we have an 8:15 am breakfast meeting. I need to be checked out and on the road by 8:00 am. I decide I can wait to eat until breakfast. It will only be 2 hours.

8:00 am I receive a call from the candidate I'm hosting. She's feeling very sick and needs a few extra minutes. I ask if I can get her anything. Just needs a bit of time, dizzy and nausea. No bueno? I gas up the rig and go to the store for ginger ale, motion sickness pills and bananas.

8:20 am I'm starving and should have noshed down a few hard boiled eggs at the hotel. We're off schedule. But I get her in the car and she's doing much better. We race off to breakfast where the rest of our party is waiting. It's 8:26 am.

I've got to get us back on track and to the radio station by 9:15 am. "Would you like a bit more time?" the waitress asks. No! I tell her we need to get some food going. I order two eggs and a ham steak. Sides.

The plate comes and the ham steak is as big as my head. Good choice! I eat it fast, but not so fast the board members who'd joined us might think I'd never eaten before. Shoving my credit card in the waitresses hand I close the deal and whisk my candidate off.

We make it to the radio station by 9:15 am. That is followed by a visit to the newspaper editor at 10:00 am. I have to pee. No stopping. "Would you like to find a ladies room?" I ask my candidate. "No, I'm fine." she says...

Hoping I don't induce a UTI, we head to the next portion of the interview, a meeting with the executive director of the local United Way. I drop her off. Here's my chance! Restroom, and purse chicken! I guzzle down another 16 ounces of water in the vehicle and I greet her as she's coming out of her meeting.

Off to the chapter to hand her off and swap her out for the other candidate. I whisk him off to lunch. It's 11:00 am. Some of the same folks from breakfast join us, "I'm still stuffed from breakfast!" they say. Meanwhile, I am STARVING! Here's another chance for a restroom.

I take it! I excuse myself to the ladies room then rejoin my group to speed along the ordering. Salad with steak strips...about 1.5 ounces. Still starving. Off to another location where he'll make a presentation to the entire board. THERE'S SACK LUNCHES!

It's 12:30 pm. No one eats the lunches. They've all eaten. I want one so bad. All through his presentation, I'm wondering what's in there...I drink a water. Following a peppering of difficult, and some crazy, questions from the board I escort him back to the chapter where a reception awaits.

Volunteers have made mint chocolate chip brownies, cookies, chocolate dipped strawberries, fruit trays, and a variety of other yummies. I eat a brownie. It. Was. Delicious. As the volunteers were soaking up the candidate, I snuck off to the restroom.

This whole process was exhausting me. As we closed out the day, I handed off the candidate to our CEO and grabbed my poor not a morning room mate and we JUMPED in the rig to hit the road.

I handed her the keys at her offering to drive, and I dove for my little cooler. It's now 1:30 pm. Purse chicken and water. And I could not be happier to see them. Later in our only 3 hour drive I ate my candy bar, I mean Quest bar. Finally as I gabbed with my office mates back at home base I ate another baggie of chicken at about 5:00 pm.

Half starved, thirsty beyond belief and grateful for a chance to use the restroom, it had been a long day with the normals. I don't know how every one is not starving all day? I did the best that I could with the choices in front of me - except the brownie? But luckily in terms of my timing, I was able to be a normal and not have it impact my training.

I'm not dieting and there's no need for these candidates to be exposed to my purse chicken...yet. Whomever is chosen will have plenty of time to watch me eat chicken out of a baggie from my purse, during a meeting (every meeting we'll ever have most likely). They'll be able to see that my meeting or bladder limit is approximately 1 hour. And they will eventually find out, I am not normal.

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