Such a cushy life: “Oh, Leah,” say some of my high tech veal farm friends, “you’re so lucky! You can work at home, and you can sit there in your pajamas with your cat on your lap.” Uh, yeah. That’s when I’m prepping a course, or catching up on business emails, or writing new training material. But what about when I’m actually doing the training?
So allow me to share a glimpse of my oh-so-cushy life with you, as I walk you through this Sunday:
5:15 Wake up. It is still dark, there is thunder and lightening, and the wind is cold and gusting. My head hurts. My throat, already sore the night before, is now making it hard for me to swallow. Groan. I hope that we remembered to program the dude (water heater).
6:30 Drive to Akko. The weather is insane, and all the other drivers on the road are going as fast as humanly possible, so that they can get out of the storm. Gee, I think, as an overloaded van with a broken taillight fishtails past at 110 kph, this is fun.
7:05 Try to find a parking spot. Naturally, several people have selfishly taken two spots, leaving the rest of the commuters to park in a muddy field. I join the long line of people dejectedly plodding towards the station.
7:10 Board the train. The heat has been cranked up so that we can enjoy a sauna as we travel south.
8:10 I should be in Binyamina by now. My connecting train is supposed to leave Binyamina in just a few minutes. What’s going on? I wipe condensation from the windows and see water pooling on the tracks.
8:35 We leave Binyamina over 20 minutes late. This train has the AC blasting. I am surrounded by hordes of sneezing, coughing germ carriers. I call my client to let her know that I’ll be arriving late.
9:00 I go out the wrong exit at the Netanya train station and then need a guard to open the turnstile for me to pass through again. It is pouring rain and everyone is huddled under the entrance, effectively blocking all movement in and out of the station. I use my elbows, get outside, and grab a cab. “Sapir?” He nods. Five minutes later, I realize that he thought I meant Sapir street, not the Sapir industrial zone.
9:35 I start the training session, now half an hour late. My client has contacted everyone, and they are cheerfully easy-going about it. After all, some of them were caught in the same traffic jams caused by the torrential rain. (Gill later tells me that his 60 minute trip took 150 minutes due to accidents.)
13:10 We finish the session, which was the last of a series for these engineers. They are happy, I am exhausted. That’s 3.5 hours of on-your-feet, frontal training, with enough energy and animation to keep them engaged and entertained. By the time I have thrown the last chocolate and collected the last evaluation, I’m ready to plotz. I grab a quick bite and then order a cab.
14:20 The cab drops me at the Beit Yehoshua station.
15:10 I’m in Tel Aviv. I find a relatively quiet corner upstairs at the mall, pull out my phone, and catch up on some business calls.
16:45 Start walking to my next meeting, just a kilometer or so away.
17:15 Others start trickling in. I pretend to be awake and type frantically, as I’m the official note-taker for the meeting. The meeting itself is (thankfully) efficient and lacking in drama, tantrums, or whining.
19:30 Meeting adjourns. Three of us get a lift back to the station, where we continue to discuss business until our trains arrive.
22:05 Train pulls in to Akko. My little car is sitting in puddle, looking quite sad.
22:35 Home. It has only been a 16-hour day involving three car journeys, four train rides, two taxis, and an urban foot trek. Off goes the suit, on go the baggy sweat pants and wooly socks. Gill puts the kettle on, and, with the wisdom of experience, offers up the remote control. Nadine sprawls across my lap and purrs. I know that I will be spending at least ten hours the next day finishing material for another seminar, so I won’t even be able to sleep in. But for the moment, I’m with my husband, nursing a hot toddy for my throat, patting my cat, and catching an episode of CSI. I’m content.
So yes, there are days when I can sleep in. There are days when I can wear my scruffiest clothes. But trust me, my “on” days are twice as brutal as the average office shift.
PS: Happy Halloween to all my readers in the US!