Friday, September 2, 2011

90 East to Bu-, Bu-, Buffalo

Last week was my last week at home and last weekend was my last in Erie for a bit.  My last week at home was filled with some quality time with Faith and family, and then I headed up to Buffalo, while staying in Erie for two nights to see some friends before it seems like I fall off the face of the earth. The weekend in Erie was wonderful! It was exactly what I needed to begin this string of chapter visits, and I wouldn’t have traded any minute of it. Except my favorite place downtown was not living up to the high standard it set for itself over the past two years. Who cares if I got tackled and didn’t hear Sweet Caroline or Living on a Prayer (as usual)? When the company is good, what you’re doing and where you are matters less. It was probably one of the best weekends I've ever had.

Before I left Erie for Buffalo on Sunday, I stopped by my collegiate chapter’s car wash fundraiser for some support, but mostly for a car wash ;-)  Then realized my car’s left turn signal was broken! So after a trip to the auto shop (and being told it would be an hour’s wait to get it fixed), I met a nice man at Auto Zone who showed me which bulb I needed and even installed it for me. Now that I know what to do, I won’t freak out as much next time. It’s definitely less complicated as I thought it would have been, but there was no way I was driving to Buffalo without a turn signal.
When I arrived in Buffalo, five of the women gave me a delightful tour of their campus, went with me to grab some supplies for the upcoming events, and took me to dinner at El Palenque Mexican Grill – which was very similar to El Canelo, minus the gaudy décor. After I got back to the hotel, I put on SNL and ironed just about every article of clothing I brought (which was a massive amount since I had the ability to drive and the luxury of what seems like limitless space). The hotel staff has been nice and accomodating; however, I think they are tired of continuously providing me more hangers.

Megan, another of the three consultants, arrived on Monday, and we got some more supplies and lunch.  We then prepared for the evening’s program—where we met the women as a whole, introduced ourselves, set expectations for both parties, and began with the first education lesson. It was a good meeting, but I recognized some things I can do better for the upcoming education lessons.

Since Megan was leaving Thursday, we decided to take a few hours and visit Niagara Falls on Tuesday. Megan had never been there before and the women were mostly in class all day, so we took a few hours off to sightsee. I never realized how close Buffalo was to the falls!

The rest of Tuesday was spent meeting with women and planning for Wednesday’s recruitment workshop.  It was fun and I think the women had a good time and learned some valuable skills! Megan ran a lot of the program, since she’s great with motivating others to recruit. I chimed in and facilitated the portion about examining the values the women are looking for in potential new members and if those align with what our organization stands for. They hit it spot on and it seems like they had a good time reminding themselves about the type of women they’re seeking for the organization.
Last night we had a sisterhood program.  During the event, I threw in some things I picked up along the way, both from training and from being a collegian.  I had the women send me an email stating something they like about each and every member, and then I compiled them all on a pretty piece of letterhead and distributed them at the end of the night.  Unfortunately, in the commotion of working the printer and MS Word 2003 in the hotel’s “business room,” I accidentally printed them upside down! I don’t think anyone will really notice, but that’s just a great example with my attention to detail some (most) times.  This was something we did in our chapter, and as I was packing up to move out of my old apartment, I found mine. It brought a huge smile to my face and almost brought tears to my eyes to read again what nice things everyone had to say about me.  I told the women I want them to have these memories and feelings flood back to them as they stumble upon this paper when they're packing up to move onto another chapter in their lives. Along with that, we also did a Post Secret activity where everyone got a notecard and anonymously wrote down a secret, either funny or serious, and I read them aloud.  That's a neat activity to do, even in a group where members think they know everyone extremely well.  There is always someone who catches you off guard and throws a curveball secret.  Everyone seemed positive after the event; in my opinion, anything ending with a power clap and a group hug is a good thing!

After a little under a week on the job, I'm liking it and can already see some good things happening.  I'm looking forward to the coming weeks.


  1. Your comment in the first paragraph: "Who cares if I got tackled and didn’t hear Sweet Caroline or Living on a Prayer (as usual)?" made me crack up!

    Apparently, Staci works with him. She informed us this weekend... Amy and I both responded, "Wait. The guy how knocked Justina over? You know him?!"

    Miss you!