Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The conclusion of my trip to Phoenix




The last week in Phoenix went like a blur...it was work all day and go out at night with my friend, have dinner, look for housing (he's moving there soon) and head for the hotel late night.

Wednesday I was also asked by the Sales & Marketing VP to go to his house and fix some computer problems he had. It was a difficult decision for me. On one hand I could go and fix his stuff and he would probably pay me well, but on the other hand he might have something really messed up and I might not be able to fix it or take a lot of time.

In the end I asked for more specifics and hoped for the best. I went to his house in the evening. It wasn't so bad in the end. I was at his house for about one hour and fixed most of his problems. He gave me $75, which was more than the $50 that I was going to charge him if he asked me. After that I meet up with my friend back at our hotel and we went on with our night of eating and talking and drinking.

From the week before there was a cabling reoganization to do in the server room. My boss there had gotten quotes from a local company to do the job at $175/ hour for 8 hours. I volunteered to do it myself at night. There was some delay in getting his approval because the company might become a customer too but eventually that fizzled out and so he handed the job to me and told me that if I did it right he would give me a $100 bonus.

All during my trip I had been looking for something important I was thinking of buying but had some second thoughts about it. It was a Nintendo Wii game console. My friend and I looked everywhere, Best Buy, Circuit City, Ebay, Amazon, Fatwallet, Fry's, Walmart, Sam's,etc and it was priced at $249.95 everywhere. It was even higher on some of the bids on Ebay. Eventually we found it at $245.95 on Costo. I had been torn the whole trip where to get it there now or later back home at about $400 at it's priced here. I'm in frugal mode now so I went long hours pondering if spending that much money was worth it. Eventually I decided it was worth it and bought it along with a second controller and a recharging station, so the total was about $300 for everything. That was the largest purchase I made during my trip. The next biggest one was a $30 face cream for my wife.

Thrusday late afternoon we went off with my friend to get 48 3-feet patch cords at Fry's Electronics. We also picked up some plastic tie straps to wrap everything together. My friend was going to wait for me and do his expense report while I would go into the cable jungle and disconnect and connect cables here and there until it would look something more civilized. We had dinner near the office and headed back.

It was a long 4 hours of disconnecting, tracing, connecting, and then strapping large bundles of cable , and then smaller ones until it all was cleaned up. Then picking up the old 48 cables and cleaning up the mess on the floor. In the end I was tired and my hands hurt but it was a nice work if I say so myself. I took pictures of it and im attaching some to this post. I don't know where they will show up but I hope it is obvious which are the "before" and which are the "after" pictures. It might seem like something small but I was really proud of what I had done.

Friday morning came and my boss congratulated me on the cabling job and showed it to anyone that would go by the office. It was my friend's departure day back to MO so after working all morning we left at noon for the hour long drive to the airport. Picked up lunch on the way (I loved In and Out), dropped him off and went back to the office. By the time I was back it was 3pm so I started packing up my stuff at the office and saying my goodbyes to the people there.

I must have done some good work at the sales VP's house because a lady from the sales dept, actually she was also the daughter of one of the company owners, came and ask me to go fix her computer at her house too. It was a little bit easier but it took more time. I told her I would go there friday night, my last night in Phoenix.

My boss congratuted me once more and reiterated his desire for me to come work full time to Phoenix when (and I would add if) the company grows a lot bigger. He said he was very proud of my work and glad of having decided to hire me. It was hard for me to say goodbye. I really liked the city, the company and the people and working from here, it's almost the same but not quite.

The office manager told me that everything was settled with the car company so that I could drop off the car at the airport saturday morning and also check out from the hotel and they would take care of all of that on their end.

With my friend gone I had to drive myself to the sales lady's house and after missing a few turns I got to her place. She showed me in and told me where everything was.
She left her house for a bday party and left me there fixing his puter and the nanny would show me out. She gave me $50 even before I had finished, I hope she had a good impression on what I did on getting her stuff fixed because I couldn't see her again as I was leaving the next day.

Friday night I spent it packing up, making calls and reviewing the trip. The things I had bought, the money I had spent and the money I had earned.

Saturday morning started bad when the hotel told me they didn't have the company's credit card and so they would place the charges on my card. Later this was fixed and my card was reimbursed but that day I was a bit concerned about the car payment too. Turns out the car was in fact paid for and so I just got a receipt for it and went on to board my plane.

I must have been too anxious or the lack or sleep combined with taking my blood pressure meds too early or something, but I felt really ill on the plane ride to Houston. The symptoms seems like I had low blood pressure because I felt really sleepy but also a general discomfort all over my body. I couldn't see my face but I'm betting it was pale. After a strong cup of coffee and sodas I felt better. It's strange because it's the second time this happens to me. It happened on the return flight last year when I was visiting my friend, back then I thought it was exhaustion...and maybe this time it was too. The flight from Houston to Tegucigalpa went normally so again I think it had something to do with low blood pressure in the morning. Next time I will not take my BP med that early and I will try to sleep better.

So Saturday afternoon I got back to Honduras and to my awaiting family.

It was a great trip. I like going to the US and the return home is always bitter sweet. I do like travelling, specially for work because i'm earning money. Travelling for pleasure has become something not so atractive to me as I'm always thinking of how much everything costs. Good thing that I don't travel to the US for pleasure, at least not on my own money. I haven't said so yet but my friend in MO is truly an guardian angel for me. He's always looking for jobs for me and if he could he would get me to the US. The only thing that makes it difficult is that it's not only me that he would have to get over there.

The purchase of the Wii is something that previously wouldn't have bothered me much but now i'm more concious of my decision and of making the best of it. I am actively using it to sweat at least 15 minutes every day (that boxing is hard!!). My daughters and I play on in on weekends. Only my wife refuses to use it but she likes to watch us play golf as she likes the scenery.

That's the end of my trip.. it almost took me the same time to write as I spend travelling. I hope you enjoy the reading. Hopefully now I'll be able to get back to shorter posts.

The memories are forever..and this blog is free.

4 comments:

mydearlizzy said...

Thank you for such a detailed account of your trip. I feel as if I had been there too.

AJ said...

mydearlizzy,

Work trips are always very full of things to do. I get up early to get ready for the day ahead, then get to work all day..sometimes until late at night. Then after work I have to use the rest of the time for my personal interests.

Since each day here is relatively expensive (hotel, plus car plus plane ticket) I try to do as much as I can everyday to count towards results.

What I wrote is a really really short summary of what I did. I wish I could record every moment and tell of the little things that I found interesting, but most escape my mind. I do remember that I enjoy the trip as a whole, and I actually don't remember any downsides except it's a bit difficult or expensive to stay in touch with relatives and friends back home. I have ways to do it very cheaply, almost free. But getting to talk to everyone I wish to talk to takes a lot of time.

Thanks for reading. Hope you keep reading some more. I hope you never find it boring.

AJ said...

PS.. I fixed the order of the photos. But I think you figured the "after" photo already. The long straps on the big wraps of cords were not cut off because they are re-adjustable, so the whole strap was left in place without cutting up the tips.

mydearlizzy said...

By the way, your English is excellent. You must have gone to a bilingual school.