Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Il biglietto del treno

Dov’e’ la stazione?...Vorrei un biglietto a San Bonifacio, per favore… Grazie!
These few simple phrases are all you need to purchase your train ticket from Rome. Supposedly; in theory.

Apparently in reality you need these few phrases, three credit cards, the numbers to all the credit card hotlines, and authorization to use your card “over-seas” even though you’re not really over-seas but actually at home in your pjs trying to purchase your train ticket from an Italian based website. Wow, simple process turned complicated just because of commerce between two countries.

This is a lot of trouble to assure that I don’t get “stuck” in Rome on my first night in Italy, because I can't say that being stuck in Rome, Italy for a night would be all that bad. But I’m a planner. I like to have my plan of action and I would like for it to move smoothly. Therefore, I want to purchase my ticket before I arrive in Italy. Therefore, I spent the last three days trying multiple credit cards, multiple times in an attempt to find JUST ONE CARD that would work. Honestly, I’m surprised my card companies haven’t shut me down yet with as many combinations and routes as I have tried to get the site to say, “Payment accepted. Reservation made.” Instead all I got was a very consistent “Payment denied,” and a couple of emails to my credit card companies’ help desks sitting out there in email-limbo.

I’m sure this is just the first in the long line of frustrations I’ll be facing for my trip. A few instances from my trip to Costa Rica are starting to prick at the edges of my brain. Was that trip not all butterflies and beaches as I remember it to be? Ohhhhhh yea, there were just a few, shall we say, less-than-desirable moments. But I survived, and I would never change my experiences there for the world. I learned a lot about myself on that trip, and I’m sure I’ll learn even more quirky things about myself on this one. I just have to remember that being out of my comfort zone comes with difficulties, choices, and consequences. Most of all I have to remind myself that I thrive on being out of my comfort zone. And over the next month or so before I leave, while I’m taking care of all the last minute details and finalizing plans/budgets, I must remember to breathe, relax, make lists, and repeat my mantra: “I’m going to Italy…I’m going to Italy…I’m going to Italy…”

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Last of My Worries

Okay, well maybe not the last of them, but it was a BIG burden lifted off my shoulders. Yesterday was the day that I finally told my boss that I was leaving. I'm not great at quitting jobs. Usually I just move to another city so that I don't have to disappoint my boss by telling them I'm leaving. I think it would be easier if I had mean bosses. But I've always been very, very blessed to have amazing bosses whom I've loved working for! And no, I'm not just saying that because 80% of my old bosses are probably reading this post right now. I really have had some amazing people to learn from in my working careers. Any way, yesterday was the big day.

Let's start the day before the big day when the president of the college announced a hiring freeze due to budget cuts and sent the entire office into a small panic. Myself included. I hate leaving people in rough positions and I was already planning to leave right before the busiest time of the year, and now they might not be able to afford to replace me?! Luckily my friend Joe pointed out that my position was a full-time very important position and would not be a part of the freeze. Good news for my conscience. After this conversation, boss talked to me about my hours during August, how it was going to be very busy, and we would probably not be allowed to hire our part-time worker now that there is a hiring freeze. *Que the guilt!* I felt awful, but I couldn't tell her right then and there. I wasn't mentally prepared. So I would tell her the next day which was yesterday.

The morning was okay. I tried to seem as normal as possible. However, all I could think about was having to fess up that I was leaving and how awful I was going to feel,and how they would probably hate me since I was leaving them in their time of need. This is traumatic stuff for a girl who's always been more afraid to "disappoint" people than to simply make them "angry." **Even when I was little if my Momma or Daddy told me they were disappointed in me it would break my heart and I was sure they'd never be happy with me again.** As the day drug on(I mean the minutes were like hours) the nervousness became worse. I was making bathroom trips every 15 minutes and sweating even though my cubicle was so cold I had permanent goosebumps. So finally it was time, 4:25. Just enough time to tell my boss, tell my co-worker, and gather my things to jet out of there for the weekend so they could discuss me after I was gone! I went into my boss' office, closed the door and was immediately warned with, "Rachel, if you got another job, I'm so going to kill you," (obviously in a joking manner). I dropped my bright red face into my hands and my very well planned out script for this moment and converstaion went out the window and instead I blurted out, "I got a job in Italy!"

The rest of the conversation was great. My boss, being the awesome person that she is, was thrilled for me. She seriously could not have been happier. She was sad to see me go, but understood. She guaranteed me that she was not mad, and that she was happy for all the work I had done while I was with them. My co-worker had the same reaction and was really sad to see me leave. They both asked if they could come with me! I will miss them and ALL my friends at my previous job. I appreciate greatly all they have done for me in the past year as I stuggled with a new job and a new atomsophere.

So now that the cat is out of the bag, I can speak freely and just plain be excited about my trip. I'm going to learn so much and see so many beautiful things! I can't even fathom right now how amazing this is going to be.

Packing, Moving, Packing, Moving...

The past couple of weeks have been all about moving. What a smart idea for me to move out of one place into another while storing my stuff in another, and making sure that everything stayed in one location that's going with me with Italy. Okay, so maybe it wasn't such a smart idea, but I (rather WE) accomplished it. I'm finally "settled" in at my temporary location in Springfield with my backpack full of shiny new things for my trip, randomly thrown in, just waiting ever so patiently for August 17th. Thank goodness for mine and Kyle's families who were all willing to give up their time and energy (and trucks, and trunks, and backseats, and flat bed trailers)to put up with me and all of my stuff. You all are the BEST! Next time I have to move, I think I'll just have a yard sale.

So now that I'm here, and my computer is set up, and we have Internet connected; I have to get back to work. I've been making lists every five minutes of things I need to remember to do and people I need to remember to see before I leave. I don't think I have a single free weekend until I leave. AND if I do get to have a free weekend, I really need to spend it right here in front of my computer practicing my Italian. I also need to buy my train ticket from Rome to Verona, and I need to look into cell phone SIM cards, and I need to buy my insurance...there I go again, making more lists.