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Audrey Hepburn: Beauty, Class & a Kind Heart

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's a Tough Job but Somebody's Gotta Do it!

The view of the St. Louis arch from my hotel room.

This month, I was able to work 3 events for Novartis Pharmaceuticals. I love doing motivational speaking b/c for me it's almost like therapy... only they pay me! I spoke at 2 events in the Detroit area, one on 6/14 & the other on 6/15, & one in Little Rock on 6/22. To be honest, I actually couldn't tell you where Novartis is based but I know it's not in Memphis. So, I'm only around people who work for the company when I go on trips. It's always nice to meet the different Novartis reps. in different cities. I've seriously met some of the nicest people doing this job. The events I've worked have had anywhere from 10 to 100+ people & they always take place at a really nice restaurant. It's usually a 3 course dinner type of deal so a lot of times these things take place at restaurants I'd never be able to afford to eat at if I were the one who had to pay the bill. All of the events I've done have started at 7 P.M. so I always try to get there at least 30 minutes early so I can have a glass of wine before I get up & speak. As many times as I've done public speaking there are still times when my nerves start getting crazy & the alcohol usually takes care of that issue!! As much as I love speaking & eating at the nice restaurants, I have to say one of the BEST parts of the job is that there's always a car service that drives me around everywhere. Now, I'd never personally want to buy a Lincoln town car or a Cadillac but they sure are nice to be driven around in. Of course, they're always black & have the tinted windows & all of that good stuff & they always have leather seats. The backseats of these cars are seriously too comfortable to even put into words. I've taken some of the best naps in the backs of some of these cars. Sometimes the drivers can be a bit out there & they'll want to talk the entire time. That can get a bit annoying but I hate being a bitch so I never tell them to shut up. There have been a few times where as soon as I get in the car I'll make a comment about how exhausted I am & let them know I'll probably end up dosing off. That usually does the trick! I've heard some interesting stories from a few of my drivers. The guy who drove me around the first night I was in Michigan told me all about his daughter & how she was a drug addict & her husband had been shot & killed and b/c she was so bad on drugs her family was having to take care of her baby... it was pretty depressing. I was a bit shocked that the driver told all of that to a complete stranger but I guess sometimes it's just nice to tell your problems to someone else. Having a driver in all of these cities has spoiled me a bit... okay, more than a bit, b/c now, I HATE driving! If I had the $$, believe me, I'd hire a driver in a heartbeat! If I ever get rich, that's one of the things at the top of my list of  "Must Haves"! I usually get put up in pretty nice hotels, so I guess that's another plus. There have been one or 2 that were a bit blah but for the most part, I can't complain about any of the places I've stayed... especially when I'm not paying for it. The nicest place I stayed at was actually when I worked my very first job w/ the company last Summer. The job I did was in St. Louis & the hotel was literally next door to Busch Stadium (where the Cardinals play). The room I was in overlooked the Mississippi River & the Arch so the view was just breathtaking, especially in the evening when the sun would start to set. As glamorous & exciting as a lot of that sounds, there is one big drawback: AIRPORT SECURITY! I've been flying since I was a baby so planes don't bother me much, although, I wish they'd quit making them smaller & smaller. I do hate going through security though! I don't know what my deal is but no matter how early I get to the airport, I always feel rushed until I get through security. I don't really understand it! Since I can't walk the entire distance of the airport, I always fly with my wheelchair. Now, I do have to say one plus about flying in the wheelchair is that since I don't go through the scanners & all that crap & since they have to take different steps with me, I never have to wait in line! I'm always checked by a lady who basically feels me up & gets so up close & personal with me, I feel like she needs to take me on a date after it's over! Plus, they have to swab all over my wheelchair & my prosthesis to make sure I'm not somehow hiding explosives in them. You can't be one of these idiots who takes offense to any of this though. If you want to gripe & give the security agents a hard time, stop & remember this one day, back in September of 2001! When you realize what these people are trying to prevent, it's kind of hard to get upset w/ them for doing their job. Still, I've seen more than my fair share of people getting an attitude when they go through security. Anyway, once that part's over & done, I always relax. All in all, I'd have to say this is a pretty sweet job! It's kind of hard to find anything to complain about when you're getting paid to go to a nice restaurant, eat a yummy dinner, drink wine, get up & tell your story & then go home! I actually have no clue how long this job w/ Novartis will go on for but I obviously know it's not going to last forever. The vaccine I'm promoting is Menveo & it's still relatively new. I'd think that once it starts being used a lot & has been on the market for a while that they probably won't need me anymore... & to be honest, that's fine! As nice as it is getting paid to do this, it's even better to know that what I'm doing will probably help to save lives & keep other families from going through all of the mess mine has been through since I got sick 10 years ago! If I didn't really need the money, I'd probably do it for free. (but believe me, I need the $$!) I've thought about whether I'd want to keep doing motivational speaking or not once this gig is up. At one point I thought of making a career out of it but now, I don't really think that's what I want to do all the time. I really want to go to beauty school & become an aesthetician. Skincare is just something I love! Don't get me wrong, I love motivational speaking & helping others but I don't think I want to have a career where I have to talk about & am forced to think about everything I've gone through every single time I work. It does feel good to tell your story but there are times when it can also emotionally wear you down b/c you're going back to this dark place in your life over & over. Believe me, I do that enough when I'm not doing this job! Skincare is a lot more fun for me to think about & it'd definitely be an atmosphere that would just be a bit more, eh, happy! It would be awesome to continue to do this on the side though. I'd like to start doing some public speaking for the 2 school systems, well, I guess 3 when you count private schools, here where I live. I figured the kids would probably relate to me b/c to a lot of them I'm not yet at the age where I'm considered "old" so right now, I still know everything, like all teenagers do! (not really but I'd want them to think that) I know once they start viewing me as "old" I probably won't be able to get through to as many of them b/c by then I'll be an idiot who knows nothing! So, that's a bit about what I'm doing right now. As I said above, it's definitely not the kind of job you complain much about! I don't know if I want to call myself "lucky" for having this job b/c if I'd never gotten sick I wouldn't have been considered to fill this position BUT, I'd say I'm pretty close to it!

Gorgeous view from my hotel room of the Arch & the city lights reflecting off of the Mississippi River.

I was serious when I said Busch Stadium was literally next door to the hotel I stayed at. I took this while sitting on the porch of the Starbuck's in the hotel lobby.


  1. Hi Lindsey ~ Thanks for visiting us. We'll stop back by in a day or two; read a bit more, take a look through your photos, etc. Maybe if we can get a couple of your "kitty pics" we can introduce you to our followers as each Friday we usually show "new friends" (or sometimes "old friends") on our Friends Friday posting.
    Maggy and Zoey, and the Zoolatry Human, Ann

  2. Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog :)