The week has been filled with adventure and a lot of” seats in the seats of the truck time” as I am accompanying the husband on an across the midwest business trip. I am, as my friend Ann observed, a roadie of sorts. I am driving the behemoth of a truck. I am navigating and getting the man to the places he needs to go while he takes calls, sends emails and texts and does business on the road.
I have made many observations along the way. First of all —all vehicles should have some kind of gear shift of some kind. A rotary knob is just wrong. I don’t care what you say. I just can not get used to this.
I fit right in at the Kwik Trip. We had to do a flying eat on the road thing because we had a lot of miles to cover and not a lot of time to cover them before the next appointment. I went in to “gather” as Chris filled up the gas tank. It was a cornecopia of food selections and there were a lot of men milling around. I had my eye on the hot dogs rolling on the cooking rollers or whatever you call them but I couldn’t figure out how the heck you got them off and where were the buns? You can’t just grab a hot dog and eat it bunless, can you? I told a man standing there that it was overwhelming and he looked at me like I had 5 heads so I moved on to the prepared sandwich area where a kind lady helped me decide on a sandwich and chicken tenders. I don’t think I am cut out for gas station food. We said hi to Chicago and spent what seemed like an eternity trying to get through the city. Chris LOVES the Skyway so we took it even though my GPS was saying no. I was glad he was driving. It was stressful. How many years have we been driving through Chicago and it is ALWAYS torn up. Always. Not to mention the millions of trucks. I think every truck in the USA was on the road in Chicago. I am going to be returning to Chicago in a little over a month but more on that later. It is going to be EPIC. That is all I can say at this point but trust me on that one.
We were less than enamored with the toll booths in Indiana. Seems like Indiana is on everyone’s hate list right now but our pet peeve with them was their blasted toll booths. We both have the I-Pass things in our personal cars which makes our driving to Ohio trips a piece of cake but in this rental truck we had to go to the cash/credit lanes. The Indiana ones were unmanned booths and the machines were hinky. Chris was losing his mind trying to get them to work. Let’s just say we were glad to get out of Indiana.
I have been able to go into some of the businesses with Chris on this trip and meet some folks, tour some plants and generally see him in action which is pretty darn cool. One place that I did not go in other than to avail myself to their facilities (it’s a long trip) boasted a new state of the art building with security out the wazoo. Unfortunately no one was looking out for the welfare of this poor little plant. Seriously folks—throw it out!One plant that I was able to go into was the Strek-O facility in Abbottsville, Wisconsin. We met with Al Deiler who gave us the grand tour and shared the story and vision of the company with us. It is always fun for me to go into a factory to see how things all work together. Chris’s roots are deep when it comes to his love of factories and helping them become more efficient and I appreciate his skill and love to watch him take it all in. Plus the smell of wood—yum.
Strek-O does some amazing door designs and we even got Al to pose with one that is simply beautifully crafted. Wouldn’t you love to have something like this in your home or place of business?
Al told us that they had a high school art class do the mural one summer and it was quite a project. Apparently productivity went down for awhile in the plant because the mural was painted by a number of girls wearing short shorts. Yep, you got the picture, right?
It is always fun for me to talk to business folks and to hear their story and their passion about their product and their customers and to understand what their business is all about. Al shared a lot of great information with us and I loved how they used every bit of wood product in their plant and nothing goes to waste. As Al said “We use everything here. If we slaughtered pigs we would use the squeal.”
Of course safety is always first in places like this and I love that the pair of safety glasses I got were my favorite color.
It has been a great week so far and I am having a blast spending time with the hubby this way. By the end of the week we will be with my mom and our boys so that is a pretty fabulous way to end the week and spend Easter, isn’t it?
Have you ever gone on a business trip with your spouse or loved one? How did it work out for you?