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Doing Life Together

July 23, 2010

You may have noticed that we had no blog entries last week.  That’s because our assigned blogger for the week was Char. Yes, we assign bloggers each week – there you go. The truth is revealed.  There’s so much great stuff going on at TC and with our clients these days that if we didn’t plan ahead a little on our blogs, we might never get anything posted! Since we missed last week, this week’s post is extra long.

So, back to my story.  The reason you didn’t see a blog entry from Char last week is all my fault.  Well, I’ll share the blame with a little bat we’ll call Fang – you know, the kind of bat with wings and teeth?  But we’ll return to Fang a little later in the story.

First, some background:  We are at the half-way point of our 30 city ILTA Roadshow 2010. And while Char speaks on every roadshow – as our very own celebrity – the rest of the roadshow team consists of a member of our leadership team and our designated Account Executive for the region. It’s just luck that so many of our roadshow destinations in the first half of the series have been out west. So, Char, Cathy (our West Coast Account Executive) and I have dubbed ourselves Team West Coast!  Over just a few weeks, we’ve been to Palo Alto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Century City and now Vancouver and Seattle together.  We truly are TRAVELING Coaches.

It’s incredible how much you bond with and learn about your co-workers when you travel with them.  That’s probably why one of the internal mottos of Traveling Coaches is “We Do Life Together.”  Some of my closest friends work at Traveling Coaches, and yet I don’t think I ever fully understood the meaning behind this phrase that I’ve heard time and time again…until last week.

My story takes place in those last two beautiful cities – Vancouver and Seattle – where we were just last week.  And what a week it was!  It all started with an email Cathy and I received from Char on Sunday – the day before we were to fly to Vancouver. Char’s subject line read “Broken Toes” and her message included the text: I am in pain. It involved my outdoor curtains, a bat (aka: Fang) and my chaise lounge.

Char had two broken toes and was on crutches after crashing into her chaise lounge while running from Fang, who was hiding in her outdoor curtains.  There’s a longer and more humorous version to this story, but I’ll let Char tell it to you sometime.  With two broken toes, two crutches and two suitcases, Char headed to the airport the next morning to travel for another week.  Yes, she is most definitely a trooper! And Cathy and I were most definitely her Sherpas, hauling her bags along with our own across downtowns, through airports, in and out of taxis, etcetera. 

Doing Life Together doesn’t necessarily mean carrying each other’s bags around. But, when Cathy and Char shared a room in Vancouver and Cathy re-taped Char’s broken toes for her the morning before our Roadshow presentation…well, THAT, my friends, is what I call Doing Life Together.

The next day we traveled together to Seattle where we hit the ground running (or hobbling in Char’s case) to four consecutive client meetings, and ended the day with a lovely dinner at the Pink Door down by the water with another client/friend.  About three hours into dinner, just as the check arrived, my face hit the table.  Seriously. Char, Cathy and our friend all jumped to action calling 911, talking with the firemen, finding my insurance information and trying to keep me conscious. For several minutes, I cycled through stages of unconsciousness and hyperventilation – it was a truly terrifying experience. Though much of it is still fuzzy, the part I’ll never forget was when the paramedics were wheeling me down the street on a stretcher and Char (with her broken toes) was running along side holding my hand and reassuring me through teary eyes that all would be okay.  THAT is much more than an employer.

We spent 6 hours total at the Emergency Room. The first 2 were still scary. The middle 2 were much better once the IV kicked in. The last two were shear torture as we waited around for final results and to be discharged.  Despite my telling Char and Cathy they should go back to the hotel, or at least go in shifts so that they could change out of their business clothes and get comfortable, they refused. They literally stayed by my side until 2:30 am, first reassuring me and later entertaining me.  We knew I was in the clear after they moved me out of my own curtained-off room and into the hallway parking space “Hall #5”. But, there we sat for another 3 hours. At least I had a gown and a bed! The two of them were stuck sitting in folding chairs in the middle of the hallway getting an unintentional peep show from the patients in their open gowns.  We did our best to keep the mood light in the hallway with me channeling my inner Glee star and belting showtunes while Char and Cathy did chorus line dancing in their barf bowl hats. 

Thankfully, everything is fine and we can all laugh about it now. Turns out I need to eat more bananas and get my potassium levels up – who knew? The next morning at 8:00 am, Char and Cathy kicked off the Seattle roadshow for about 40 attendees. With painfully broken toes, very little sleep and no time to practice, Char stepped in and delivered both of our presentations while I blissfully slept in. I’m not sure how I’ll ever be able to express my gratitude to Char and Cathy. They saw me at my worst. They took care of me. They called my loved ones. They made me laugh. They covered for me.  They did LIFE with me.

I never understood. I even wondered at times…why would I want my co-workers and bosses to “do life with me?”  I get it now. This is much more than a place to work. And this is much more than a group of co-workers.  As long as we work at Traveling Coaches, we are Doing Life Together.

And that’s why there was no blog entry last week! 😉

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2010 11:34 pm

    Brie & Char & Cathy –

    Oh my, what an adventure! Am so glad you are both on the mend, and Cathy: stay alert for symptoms of “post-Traveling Crutches Stress Syndrome”. (<– Considering the law of threes here, ya know? On the other hand, because the first issue involved two toes, you just might be in the clear!) 😉

    Stay/Be Well –


  2. Lida permalink
    July 30, 2010 8:39 pm

    What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing and I’m glad to know that all of you are going to be all right in the end!

  3. Jan permalink
    August 3, 2010 6:28 pm

    I am only laughing knowing that everyone is okay, but this story reminded me of my vacation trip to Seattle where I ended up on crutches and a broken leg. Traveling on crutches is horrible! Glad to hear that a banana will fix you up.

  4. Laura Daykin permalink
    August 12, 2010 8:53 pm

    Well, if Sherry’s right about the law of threes – and if we’re all connected in this larger community for such things – then I think you’re safe. I just broke one toe last week, so my one plus Char’s two – there’s our three! My story is far less entertaining than Char’s, but it did involve a piece of furniture (a very vicious coffee table leg, it turns out). Anyway, wonderful reading about the support and friendship you all shared through that week of “adventures.” That makes all the difference, doesn’t it?

    Heal well!

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