Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Joseph Smith and Hulk Hogan Live in Tampa Bay

Before I get to talking about the amazingly funny things that took place this week I first want to state that I apologize for the terrible writing and incorrect words that I used in the last post. I for some reason used of for off once and a bunch of other BS that makes me look super inarticulate. I was on a plane and didn't get proofread the stupid thing before I got off the flight. Also, I got a little carried away about things that are a little too serious for what I really want this blog to be about. In the future you won't be hearing useless shiz about my life anxieties. Which by the way are hardly ailing me these days!!

So, as I promised I will now tell you about some funny things that happened throughout this week in beautiful Tampa, FL. The first day that we got here we sat down in what's called the Opening Meeting with all the big wigs from the dealership. As we're sitting there this man that looks like he has to be 90 years old comes walking in the room as he is coughing up a lung or even two. "Yikes!! Here comes death himself I thought." Not only was he coughing like crazy his skin was freakishly yellow. Bar none one of the most unhealthy looking people that I have EVER laid my eyes up. As he gingerly walked closed a certain smell began to fill the room. It was that of nasty old man halitosis and old man smell like I've never experienced. I almost couldn't bare it. I honestly think I would have rather smelled a freak nasty fart.

As the title of the blog says I did figure out that Joe Smith lives in Tampa Bay. If you're not familiar with the name, Joseph Smith is the founder of the LDS (Mormon) church. During the early days at of the church Joe Smith was put into a jail which later proved to be his place of death. So as we sat down and Joe Smith (old nasty smelling man) walked into the room I cringed due to the burning of my nose hairs. He sat down and proceeded to tell us his name. The first thing old Joe said as he sat down was, "I'm the one that survived." Haha!! I knew exactly where this whole situation was going. As me and the other two consultants played along he began to tell us that if we can't remember his name that just think about the founder of the Mormon Church and we'll be able to remember it. He went on saying that Joseph Smith was that person that survived "Heritage Jail" (When actually it's called Carthage) and Brigham Young was one that was killed. I was on the verge of bursting out in laughter. But I continued on listening to him. One funniest things that I learned from old Joe is that the Mormons made a pilgrimage from Texas, which was also knew to me. But none the less Joe was a good guy. Not at all what I had pictured Joseph Smith to be like in my mind. This Joe Smith was a cancered man and on his death bed. From this day forward I will picture the founder of the LDS church as a man that has yellow skin, a shaky hand, a terrible funk and savage halitosis!

Okay, Joe Smith was funny, but there is no one better than Hulk Hogan himself. As I got to the gate in the Tampa airport I sat down and watched my co-workers luggage as he went to the bathroom. As he meandered back to me with a slight grin in his face I couldn't help but wonder what had just happened? Of all the things he could have told me happened in an airport urinal he breaks this news to me, " I just peed next to Hulk Hogan." At first I played it off as a joke or that he maybe peed next to someone with a bleached out skullet, fu-man-chued faced and 45 inch bicepts. But as inquired further I began to discover there was no joking in his voice. He pointed me in the direction that he went and said he's wearing a red shirt. As I promptly began my pursuit for a behemoth in a red shirt I turned to my right and there was the head band wearing, overly tan, bleached out man that we all know as the hulk. After a slight inner battle I came to the conclusion that I would never see him and so I went and asked him for a picture. While he was at the bar he said, "right after I finish my beer brother, a picture is all yours." Due to the size of his biceps I felt it fitting to not push the inquiry any further than that. However, my flight was getting uncomfortable close to boarding time I had to count my losses and head back to my gate. As I was sitting at the gate I once again saw the giant of a man walking towards my gate. He sat down to get ready to board the same flight as me. Not often do we get second chances like this in life, so I had to take it. "Mr. Hogan, I see that you're done with your beer and I still haven't gotten that picture from ya." He motioned to me to come and sit next to him and after the exchange of a couple words the picture was taken and my life was complete. "Hey thanks a lot BROTHER." Those words will be forever etched in my mind. The Hulk used his staple word on me by calling me "Brother" and I was in disbelief. So the I punched him in the face and suplexed him twelve time until he tapped out. That's just what I thought you did to pro wrestlers.

That was my trip to Tampa in a nut shell. Met some great people, smelled some terrible smells and beat up a WWF legend. No big deal. Until Next time folks… Until next time. Wish me luck in my travels.

Ps.. I've seen some googley and lazy eyes in my day, but you have NEVER seen one like I saw in TAMPA. Not only did I see it, but I had to see it every single day on an hourly basis. Do you know how hard it is to not laugh at something like that? I seriously couldn't tell is this guy was looking under the refrigerator for something he dropped or on top of it to get his car keys… Awkward! So if you're at a car dealership in FL and there is a General Sales manager that has a nasty googly eye. Tell him I said hello.




Wednesday, April 14, 2010

San Clemente Flight Freak Out... I Love Making Fun of Myself.

Since I started this job I have wanted to begin blogging. Not only to write about where I have been but also talk about the funny situations, crazy people and awesome experiences I get to experience while also making a living. This is the type of job I have been looking for quite some time. I have always known that I wanted a job that would allow me to see parts of the country and world that I most likely never would have under normal circumstances. Now that I’m in the swing of things I thought it was time to start my blog.

My adventure first started as I walked into the airport en route to San Clemente, California. The trip was a day trip to go and interview with my, what I know to be, future boss. Dressed dapper and nice I walk confidently into the airport to begin my journey in trying to become a software consultant. There wasn’t much I knew about the job, but I did know that I had the chance of being a “business man.” Oh man that sounded nice. All that work that I had put in during school could be paying off. But is what I haven’t mentioned is the fact that I am a bit prone to panic attacks caused by anxiety! Heading to my gate I began to get that all too familiar feeling that I have grown to hate throughout my life. Palms sweating, heart rate rising and the cold feeling of the adrenaline releasing into my system. If you’ve never felt it, trust me, there’s nothing worse.

“Good morning ladies and gentleman, we will now begin boarding all passengers for Delta flight 1872 at this moment.” There were the words, it was time for me to board the plane, get in and relax. I was hoping that big and roomy seat combined with the refreshing (yeah right) air would be just what I needed to calm my palpitating heart. Well… I have never been more wrong. As I walked onto the plane I had to duck and squeeze my six foot three frame into the main cabin of this 12 row, 24 set flight. This was not what I needed to overcome this stupid, but 100 percent genuine, feeling. As I was herded like cattle on the Montana range to the second to last row on the airplane I noticed that my anxiety had not at all gotten better, as a matter of fact I felt even worse. As I looked up and came to the realization that this cabin is not much bigger that my bedroom; The only difference between it and my bedroom is that I can freely get up and move as I please there. As my mind continued taking its habitual tirades of the “what if syndrome” from one level to the next I found myself on the edge of panicking and flailing my body while screaming at the top of my lungs like a mad man through the cabin and ultimately out the door to the freedom of the cold cement of the runway. If you haven’t been able to tell I may or may not be a little claustrophobic as well. Sitting there anxiously as I clinched my hands I heard the words that pushed me over the edge. “Ladies and gentleman the cabin door has been shut and locked.” Ahhhhhhhhhh!! I just about lost it. Thoughts raced through my mind as to what I was going to do to get the hell of this plane! I was exploding in side. The only thing that I could even think to do was try to talk to the person next to me. I turned to the guy next to me and literally attacked him with conversation. “HEY!! WHAT ARE YOU FLYING INTO TO LONG BEACH FOR?” I still feel bad for the man to this day. I probably scared him to death. Not only did I attackingly fire up a conversation but I don’t think I took a breath for the first ten minutes I was speaking to him due to the rapid productivity of my words.

After settling down and surviving the flight we landed safely in Long Beach and made our way to San Clemente for a great series of interviews. Needless to say I got the job. But let’s just be honest here for one second, I knew that this job entailed me traveling (flying) every single week for the first four months and frequently after that. There is no way in this world, or any other, that I would survive any more of those near explosion experiences. I would be going out on a limb if I said my heart could have handled more than two more of those episodes without going into full cardiac arrest. But I made the decision that I was going to all that I could to combat the problem pursue a good career job that I so diligently had been seeking since graduation 9 months prior.

It was at that point I had to dig up all the tools I had learned to use from years of dealing with anxiety. Through many sessions with a great counselor I had become pretty good at combating the anxiety before it got there, but never had I gotten claustrophobic when I was on a flight. This was all new to me, so I made an appointment with the same counselor the day before I left. I learned some funny things about myself during that counseling session; Things that sounded ridiculous to start but actually helped me in the long run. The mind is such a powerful tool that can, as we all know, help or hurt us. I have been blessed with an extremely active mind that I myself still on occasion have a hard time controlling, but through practice and patience I am beginning to find myself wrangling it better and better with time. I learned to say to my panic attack as I was getting on the plane, “Bring it on! I want to have a panic attack!” I was also told to try welcoming it and almost saying, “There you are, I’ve been expecting you.” I know to many of you this may sound so ridiculous and weird, but when the time comes, if it ever does, that you struggle with panic attacks or disorders this just may come in handy. As I got on my next flight to go back to San Clemente for training I once again stood face to face with the twelve rowed midget of a plane. My nemesis! There it began, my heart rate picked up, the cold feeling of adrenaline release flowed throughout my body but I knew it was coming. “There you are, I expected you’d be here,” I said in my head. This was the key. As I sat and accepted that I may start to panic a little, I realized now that I have accepted this there was no battle going on in my mind. I knew it was coming and 100 percent expected it. It was at this point that the worst had come. The mind has a hard time getting worked up over something when you’re welcoming it. I had learned a great lesson. I had learned on more tool to combat the ever lingering powers of anxiety. Don’t get me wrong I still get the same feeling and I am on multiple flights each and every week. I need to frequently remind myself that that’s just how I am and accept the fact that I will get on a plane and sometimes feel that trapped sensation. This was not a fix all but it showed me the strength of the human mind. It showed me that I won’t get anywhere fighting my mind and instincts.

Humans are blessed with the fight or flight syndrome that triggers when we start to become flooded with anxiety. My first instinct is to run, to get as far away from that fear as I can. Often times in this modern world the fight or flight syndrome is something that is more a nuisance than it is a help. Thousands of years ago when we as humans were fighting for survival we needed that anxiety and fight or flight reaction, but in the modern world we don’t find the use for it like we did then. Those of us that are blessed with a heightened anxiety just need to learn to harness that of which others don’t have and use it to our advantage.