Thursday, June 25, 2009

We'll Pick You Up

My apologies on the delayed posting, but I wanted to jump on here and quickly update folks on the latest job stuff. As you probably guessed from the title, I have accepted a position with Enterprise Rent-a-Car as a Managment Trainee, and I started work yesterday.

My title may sound glorious, but in actuality it's simply the standard customer service position you would see if you went into a branch and wanted to rent a car. The title is accurate though, because all of Enterprise's management, from branch assistants all the way to VP's, start as management trainees. It's nice because that means that all of my supervisors have been in the exact same position that I've been in, and likely fairly recently. It's obviously still early on, but so far the people that I have met have been extremely outgoing, friendly and helpful, which is definitely comforting for someone who's been out of the work enviornment for as long as I have.

I'm also impressed with the amount of resources being dedicated to me. The pay is decent and comes with benefits, but I've also been provided two workbooks of information (company policies and benefits details), a 2" thick binder with training materials, and a hardcover copy of "Exceeding Customer Expectations," a book about the Enterprise sales philosophy. There was a lot of paperwork (25 documents or so that I had to turn in) and at times, the amount of information being thrown at me can be a bit overwhelming, but overall it's good to be back to work.

Hopefully some interesting rental stories will arise and provide some great fodder for this blog (which, I admit, I've done a poor job of updating), but until then, stay tuned...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Greetings from the Kogod Courtyard

I'm back once again in the safe, quiet and friendly confines of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery in downtown D.C. This is now my third time relaxing in the sunny portico, and I definitey consider it my preferred refuge in our nation's capital. Thankfully, even though sun is pouring in onto the live trees and rhododendrons, the air conditioning is also working at full power, so it's quite comfortable.

On the personal front, I have gotten my things about as settled as possible at Ted's house. Not that it should be a surprise to anyone, but Ted is also a very gracious and accommodating roommate to have. Huge relief there since we share a bathroom, but not surprising. There is another roommate in the house, but his room is in the basement, so sightings of him are pretty much limited to an occasional meeting in the kitchen.

Professionally, the job search still has not been completely resolved, although I hope to have it tied up in the next week or so. In the meantime, I keep working and hoping that the search will, indeed, be over soon. Living in an area the size of D.C. does have its benefits, and I am truly glad to have found a place like the Kogod Courtyard to spend some of my free time. It's a bit of a new experience, but I love spending time here. Unfortunately, the one downside is they do not have electrical outlets here, so I only ever get about an hour of laptop use before the battery dies.

Going to have one of my first 'cultural' experiences since coming to D.C. tonight. Apparently gathering in the sculpture garden on the National Mall on Friday evenings is quite the happening place to be. There are world music concerts and plenty of people gather on picnic blankets sipping adult beverages or maybe having a picnic dinner while they mingle with friends and listen to music. Tonight is going to be Brazilian Jazz I'm told; what the heck is that? I've pondered that this afternoon, but haven't gotten much of an idea what I'm in for in the auditory department. Ah well, an interesting evening at least!

Anyway, for those that still check this blog, I just thought I'd update a bit on how things are going here. It's pretty humid but, for the most part, a positive experience thus far. If there is further news on the job front soon, I will likely post it here. Ciao until then.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ode to Synths

I was talking to Michelle awhile ago about music and music tastes, and she mentioned that she has things funny thing about songs that she loves when people sing notes, like "la la la" or something similar. It's interesting to me that something so particular about a song could make it so appealing, but as I sit here listening to the Shiny Toy Guns' take on "Major Tom" on a seemingly endless repeat (and a blissful endless repeat at that), I realize I have a similar affliction: I love keyboards and synthesizers in music.

It's funny that I would end up with that sort of feeling towards something that so many people think cheapens music or hurries its downfall, but it's just me I suppose. I took a look at my iTunes to see if I'm just making this up, but I'm not. The top three most listened to songs ever on my iTunes are by a band called Chromeo and the Killers, have a combined 192 plays between them, and are practically dripping with synths. Looking through my songs in alphabetical order, the first name on the list is 80's band a-Ha, then continues with the Bravery and Duran Duran, all the way through the Shiny Toy Guns and the Thompson Twins.
Thankfully, not every song with synths does it for me, but I think that is the single largest common thread through my iTunes library. Maybe it's due to being born in the 80's, but both my parents hated 80's music. I didn't even grow up listening to it, I heard the Monkees and Leslie Gore on an oldies radio station. Oh well, I've had this strange affinity for the sound for most of my adult life, and it doesn't appear to be going away. May as well turn it up!

Earth below us,
Drifting, falling.
Floating weightless,
Calling, calling home.