Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Crazy Weekend, Part 2

So Sunday I came down from the moutain, stopped at home, made some quick mac n' cheese, repacked my suitcase from casual hanging out clothes to business wear, stopped at the office to check email, got gas, went to church (thank goodness we had an evening service so I could still attend) and then drove out to Vancouver.

I arrived at the hotel, checked in, dropped my bags off in my room, half heartedly looked for the welcome reception (I didn't really want to attend so I didn't look that hard) and, not finding it, just went to my room early. For the locals, I was in the Coast Hotel at Comox and Denman. Not a horrible area of town but not really the best either. I slept okay once I fell asleep but the city noise (sirens, traffic etc) made falling asleep difficult.

Monday morning I woke up, earlier than necessary, even with the "spring forward" time change got ready and headed downstairs (funny how much easier it is to get to work when your commute only consists of an elevator ride LOL).

So, why was I there? Annual General Meeting and Strategic Planning session for the association representing the organization that I used to work for. The one I sit on the Board of Directors for now? And yes I realize that I'm being cryptic but so far this blog isn't set to private and I don't really want my comments showing up on a Google search or something. I realized that as of this week, I have been involved with this organization for NINE years. NINE!!! That's longer than I've been scrapbooking!!! (For those of you who can't tell the story on your own already, I was placed with this group for work experience during grade 12. My plan was to work there for 50 hours and then try something else for my second 50 hours (100 hours total required for credit in my course). I got along really well with everyone on staff and enjoyed the work so much that when my 50 hours was up, they convinced me to stay for the second 50 hours. I then had two months "off" until they called and offered me a part time position (8 hours a week). I did that for the month of June (while I graduated, attended prom, wrote exams etc) and then took a full time summer position. When the summer was up they added me to an existing contract, when that expired I was brought in under core funding and then in December 2005 they offered me a position in another town where I was essentially office manager. After 15 months there the funding ended and I could have come back to the main office but I made, the hardest decision of my life, to leave. I secured my current position shortly after leaving that office.

Four months after I completed my employment (which had lasted seven years from the day I first started my work experience) they recruited me to the Board of Directors as a youth/female representative. I've been serving in that role for a year and a half now.

Phew! All that to say, I've been around for awhile. There were reps from 34 different groups, (all members of the same association) at this meeting. Many were names that I have heard for *years* and was finally able to put a face too.

Being at the conference felt very natural to me. All of the terminology was familiar (it should be after that much time!) and I've gotten pretty familiar with those situations. Breakfast, meeting, lunch, group break outs, formal dinner, sleep, breakfast, group presentations (I was volunteered. Yipee. Good thing I don't have a phobia of public speaking LOL), lunch, more brainstorming.

Lots of information. It was different to attend as a Director and not as staff. I admit it took awhile to stop paying attention to catering and facility arrangements, or if everyone had a package (that's the hat I wear when I do board meetings for my day job). It was good though.

After our session ended on Tuesday I went to Pacific Centre and shopped at Sears for awhile and then met up with Deb and her daughter for sushi before heading home.

It was a bit surreal to go from a rustic cabin at the top of a moutain to the 15th floor of a hotel in downtown Vancouver all in one day but I made the tansition quite smoothly if I do say so myself. And like a few people said when I explained my weekend plans "well, you wouldn't be doing it if you didn't enjoy it". Very true.

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