What the…

I have started traveling for work, I have taken been given the opportunity to be an agent for a start-up medical company and this being an exciting opportunity have decided to take it. Part of this is the fact that I can now travel again, visiting hospitals, procurement managers and Departments of health in other states.

This is something I know as I did it for nearly 20 years for pure financial reasons. As a nurse and single mum, (no child maintenance) I wanted to afford my child the same opportunity I had which was catholic schooling and working as a nurse you are financially restricted by your boss, in my case the Government, as I worked in a public system. Even doing shift work, it became hard to manage a mortgage, life style and school fees, so once given the opportunity to become a medical representative I did.

After nearly 7 years away from it I have gone back, though traveling to the those that don’t it looks and sounds glamorous it is for the first couple of days then it becomes a chore, everything you eat is paid for out of you own money and is expensive, no matter where you go.  Changing hotel rooms is hard as everything needs to be packed up and put into your suit case, even hiring a car is a necessity and an expense. Most employers if they have staff that travel are generous with these allowances, my motto always has been “if I am not prepared to pay it for myself I certainly wouldn’t as my employer” this always helps when Dr’s or nurses want you to have an open tab at the bar. My rule of thumb is 3 drinks is enough, then I will close the tab.

Now all of these expenses are mine, it is even easier to say no, but luckily there has been a shift in everybody to stop the “your company pays” mentality “I’ll drink myself under the table and order 4 courses”. As I use to say to people, you are actually paying for it, it is built into the price of the goods. It is rather pleasant to travel and sit in a restaurant or café and have a meal with people it opens the dialogue to talk things other than work. I don’t know if my week was successful yet but I enjoyed it and I got to stay with a great girlfriend for one night who though we talk regularly on the phone it is fantastic to share a couple and sit and chat.

Excited I was to also be heading home, you have to be on your best behavior when you travel, not that I sweat the small stuff often, but you are representing yourself or a company so one must be nice and informative most of the time. After landing I have a 3 hour drive home, which is not too bad, but having to stop and shop prior to heading up the freeway can add an hour to this trip.

It is nice to be home but what I don’t like is the fact that there are dishes (washed) in the dishwasher that I put in there last Sunday. Today is Saturday, and yes it is a small thing but it is also annoying as you know that the day after you arrive home or even the day (I got in at 915pm) you need to spend doing house chores, washing clothes etc, so yes it irked me that I have to do the dishes AS WELL.. Nothing more can I say about this to the women that travel, you will understand, to the men that travel, I bet it’s something that you do not think about… and there in lies the problem. Yes this may be a generalization about the sexes but hey ho.

 

this fixes everything

I spent a nice afternoon yesterday helping the farmer inoculate seed which is being sown into pasture later today. For the uninitiated the wind has to be right and the sun HAS to be shinning following the soil testing that indicates there is moisture in the ground enough that when you dig with your fingers (remember doing this at the beach when you were little and before ‘false nails became a fixture on many people’s fingers) the ground appears damp or wet? Well that appears to be the exact science of crop sowing and I am not trying to make light of it, there are days he can not sew as conditions are not right.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA (truck in shed behind it)

There is placing the auger over the Gason bin which the seed will be delivered into which is attached to the air seeder which is attached to the tractor. There is a truck that is backed up to the bottom of the auger which has no brakes so my weapon of choice a sophisticated block of wood. I was to drop this where the truck should stop and get out-of-the-way incase it didn’t. I can do this with ease now (do not try this at home kids it is dangerous)

Then we fashion a tub that holds the liquid that is sprayed over the seed as the trucks tray is tipped over the auger which is turned on and turns the seed and liquid up in to the Gason. It is a precise science of guessing and should the inoculant gun clog up everything has to stop. You can not hear each other over the noise of a truck, an auger motor and the actual rotating swivel of the internal auger. You would easily loose a hand if you put it in there, so yelling is not an option, turning everything off is the only way one can get attention. As we both wear ear plugs it is easier to swear without him hearing and makes the stressful working environment much more pleasant.

It was at the gun delivery section that failed us, it is a thick black like tar mixture that needs to go on this seed and when it wouldn’t work he asked for a stocking. I walked back to the house and grabbed my last pair. The last symbol of my ‘glamorous’ pre-farm life. They were a silk pair and navy blue and as I walked them back to the shed I felt a tinge of sadness and I slightly marvelled at the ingenuity of the stocking.

I bet in the 1940’s when the nylon / silk stocking was invented they would never have guessed how this simple two-legged invention could fix almost everything. Wallace Carothers & Julian Hill would never have placed ‘these make great sieves’ to their list of reasons why the DuPont company should go into mass production to sell them to farming communities. No they were intended for everyday wear for comfort and durability. I can not think of another invention which has had so many uses next to a plain roll of sticky tape.

Well for all intents and purposes by beautiful stockings were a flop, only in my opinion as the master farmer wanted to leave a small sock at the end. This then meant that one (me) when pumping the gun to get the liquid out sucked up this spare sock and it added to the problem. Needless to say we did get the job done and my last expensive pair of stockings were unceremoniously discarded on the ground, black, wet and still intact and no longer needed.