I couldn’t have asked for better room mates. Justin and Ryan are two of the most laid back and chill guys I know. As I mentioned before I was a little worried, not only because they were bachelors, but because everyone was like,”Oh you poor thing,” when I mentioned who I was staying with. I honestly don’t know why because they seemed normal to me (who knows, they could have changed after I left).
One thing that I did learn when living with those two was Don’t eat anything on the shelves! This is an excellent example.
I walked in the door after work and looked up to see the pantry with a box of macaroni & cheese on the shelf. Now me, being uneducated, thought “That sounds so good,” and grabbed the box not thinking to look at the expiration date. I whipped out a bowl, ripped open the box, poured in the macaroni, sprayed it with water, and shoved it in the microwave.
Ding, ding, ding….I rush over to the microwave to make sure everything is fully cooked and edible. Firmly convinced everything is in order, I girlishly skip over to the counter, grab the cheese mix, and rip it open.
Hmmm……snif, snif. Coming from the bag is this funny, weird smellin, and greenish cloud of cheese. Now, I don’t know why, but I proceeded to pour the off color cheese dust onto my macaroni. I sift my fork through it, and it turns to a dark brown muck. With my lip turned up, I look at Ryan and Eric ( Eric also works at TFS ), and ask Ryan how long the mac & cheese box had been on the shelf. He turns to me in horror and says, “I didn’t actually think you were going to eat it. I don’t know but it could have been here for years.” Bug-eyed, and jaw dropped, I frantically look for the expiration date. I hold back gawg, as I stared at the numbers on the back of the box. “Ryan…..the expiration date is April 4th, 2004.”
Working at the shop was like nothing else I’d ever done before. Outside of being in Alaska, I had never been in an enviornment where there was so much “fish talk”. Customers coming in left and right wanting to know how the fishing was, and phones ringing off the hook, orders being filled, and even on the side lines, there was fishing being discussed. I was in my element! I learned truck loads about retail, and also travel sales. Half of my day was spent in the travel department emailing, and calling clients who came to Alaska the past few years. It was fun to catch up and “shoot the breeze” with past guests who shared a week with my folks and I in Alaska. One thing that amazed me about the travel department was how well everyone worked together. It was nice to be in an enviornment where everyone got along and did their best to bring in more business. I worked along side Pat Pendergast, Mike Mercer, Ryan Peterson, Bill Marts, Martha MacDowell, and Michelle Quinlivan. Pat Pendergast is an amazing salesman, and fantastic guy. Just listening to him on the phone was a learning session. I could tell that he loved his job very much, and it showed whenever he sat down and put that phone to his ear. Thanks for all that you’ve taught me Pat!
Martha and Michelle both are amazing “gals” who helped me get all settled in at the shop. Martha took me to lunch several times, where we gossiped about all sorts of girl stuff. Michelle was kind enough to go to San Francisco with me for a day of shopping and a day out on the town. It was my first time to a city of that size, so it was a “shocker” in more ways than one. Quite an interesting group of people down there. Thanks for the fun times girls. It was a blast!
Mike Mercer is an inspiration for me. The enitre time I was at the shop, I never saw him in a gloomy mood. He always had a smile on his face and a laugh that echoed through the shop. I was always amused by his sometimes “blunt” humor. The world could use more people like Mercer.
Bill Marts was another who was always in a good mood. He was kind enough to look over some winter steelhead flies I had tied. He gave me some “sweet” pointers.
Ryan was basically my wingman throughout my stay at the shop. Whenever I had a presentation, he was there. He even went along when I went to San Francisco for a presentation to the Golden West Women Flyfishers. We made the mistake of trusting google to get us to Fanny Krieger’s house. We ended up going sight seeing.
The rest of my day was spent out on the retail floor, where I filled orders, answered questions, and stocked shelves. It was fun to get out on the floor and see all the action. All the guys helped me out and got me in the groove of things. What an awesome group of people. There was never a dull moment, and pranks were always flying around (I was fortunate enough to avoid being a target). I did notice that basically everyone had an infatuation with Los Gordos, a small mexican diner, with the exception of John Deitz. So I decided to give it a shot and tagged along with Greg Kennedy and Justin during our lunch hour. We get there and the diner is very cute, and homey. I could tell this was a popular place because there was a substantial amount of people sitting at the tables. I was ordered to sit down, while Justin and Greg went to grab the burritos. I was beginning to think this was almost a spiritual occurance for them. They meant business, as they hogged all the hot sauce and salsa. I started to prepare myself for a huge “munch” session. They both walk over with a try full of burritos, salsa, hot sauce, chips, and large drinks. “You ready for this Camille?” asked Justin. “You bet,” I reply.
The burritos were huge! Each one had to have weighed at least 2-3lbs. I sat there and gazed at this monster as both Justin and Greg scarf their’s down. I tentativley un-wrapped mine and began chompin. Now I may be a girl, but I kept up with those guys. I very nearly ate the whole burrito and most of the chips, and as a result I didn’t need to eat for the next two days. Both Greg and Justin finished their’s off without a problem. Justin gave me a high five and said, “Not bad for a rookie.”