Thursday, May 24, 2007

Detail Oriented

You know when you go for an interview and they always seem to ask you what your "strengths" etc are? Well, being detail oriented has always been one of my strengths. But, I'm beginning to wonder if it was really more like a curse. Let me explain....

If you know me, you know that I definitely have the math nerd characteristics (if her haven't already noticed with my pace, miles, time, etc calculations I provide in this blog!). My checkbook is balanced to the penny. If for some reason it's off, I fix it. I can do calculations in my head fast, very fast (with the exception of lately, and during or right after a long workout - the brain is GONE, literally). Those very nerdy detail traits follow me across all of my skills & habbits, etc.

When I plan a trip - I have a manilla folder with maps and numbers. Now, I don't plan vacations by time or itineraries, I don't like that. BUT, I do have all the options available, right in my little folder.

When I write emails, they tend to be far to much info... Same goes for this blog, sometimes...

You all know how I plan even our workouts. I have mile markers and potty stops and meeting times, etc..... it's all there...

Yet, on the same note when it comes to like say, work.... I'm all about efficiency, so when there are a lot of UNINTERESTING details, I tend to skip over them, and unfortunately sometimes forget about them.

I beginning to think this is what most people do.... on everything.

See, I've been working for a couple of months on getting some custom jerseys, tri tops, tri shorts, running tops and regular T-shirts made to promote I started working on the Tri stuff on January 31st. It is now May 24th and we just finally received the final bill (of course it's 1.5 times more expensive then the originally told us) and the sizes were messed up.

Now, I supposeI wouldn't be reacting as such, had I not just received a box of the other shirts yesterday, and we were missing ~ 15 of the tops I ordered. But, more on that later.

When I received samples of the custom tri apparel, the shorts ran REALLY big. Like everyone needed to go at least 1 size down. When I was placing the order I mentioned this, and they told me they realized this and were going to change the sizing. So, here comes my detail oriented mindset - I made a phone call to the company asking them if they were changing the size based on what I sent them on my order, or do I need to convert. Well, the poor guy was so confused and wasn't sure yet, so I decided to provided him with BOTH sizing. Which I did. In a very immaculate excel spreadsheet. Very clearly labeled. And, guess what was on the bill? A mixture of both columns of sizing. No rhyme or reason to it.

I totally freaked out. I put my multi-tasking skills to use and called them to clear up the issue... While I was on a work conference call. Thank goodness for mute.... Hope my boss doesn't read this :-).

So - I also get reassured that they will be done by the end of next week. And I make it VERY clear these outfits need to be in the mail NO later than next Friday or Monday, June 1. Ugh, our race is in 4 weeks.. kinda need to try out the shorts, don't you think!?

Ok... now on to the shirts. I ran into a friend from HS & College at my 10year reunion. I found out he lives in AZ and owns a marketing company that does custom shirts, etc. I sent him an email back in February asking about making these tops for us. He told me he could get coolmax tops and he'd give them to me at cost. He actually made the shirts our team wore in the Ragnar Relay. They were PERFECT!

So, once again I sent a VERY detailed worksheet with all the shirts we wanted. It was a mixture between technical fabric tops, plain white T's, as well as we needed printing on the Desoto tops that we wore for the Rage in the Sage Tri.

My friend was in his busiest time of the year. A bunch of year end stuff at ASU, and they were backed up beyond belief. He called me and said that the "they" screwed up the order and the technical tops weren't in, would it be ok to print them later. Absolutely.. I just need the Desoto tops for the race. So, I show up... and not only are the tops not printed, I wait almost 2 hours for them to get printed. I saw the pile of White T's there, but no time to print those, so he said he'd do them with the technical tops.

Ok, no big deal.... A couple weeks went by, I had to go out of town for business, etc. Finally I commit to picking the shirts up on Tuesday. I was about an hour early. They were JUST being printed. He showed me the T's - they looked great. He offered to have them sent to me so I didn't have to wait. Perfect - thank you. Then we went over the invoice. He was saying something about not charging me for printing on the Desoto tops, and he was just going to add on to the invoice I got for the white T's - Ok, whatever... He said you had like 10 of the technical right? Nope 19 - but 5 were paid for with the other order. Oh, ok... Somehow, he pulls out adding a certain amount for 15 tops and adds it to one of the line items on already on the invoice, so it looked like double the actual cost. Are you confused as I am? But, I'll I'm thinking is FINALLY I get to put this task to rest...

I thought this was reasonable - and the total price was very reasonable. I reminded him we would hook him up if he wanted to go to Rocky Point & rent our house. He said for sure, in the fall.

Yesterday the box came. Shirts look great. All 30 of the white ones I ordered, the 5 leftover technical tops from the first order and 2 random short sleeve technical tops. No sign of the other 15ish technical tops.


So, questioning my own clarity.... I go into my email & pull up the worksheet that I sent him. The worksheet we also went over in his office. The very detailed worksheet that I put together to make things easier on everyone. It was clear as day. And, the funny part. The technical tops were first on the list.

So, now I'm back at square one with these damn shirts. I'm actually waiting for a call back. I need to figure out how much extra it's going to cost, and see if it's worth the hassle.

For some reason I feel like the detail Kharma Gods are out to get me.......

Ok - I guess some of you might want an update on my training. So, here's the downlow.

Today momo & I did our long run (2:40). We wanted to have slightly fresh legs for the long ride this weekend (6:30/:30 brick). Fresh being relative to week 16 of IM training . The run went pretty well. We were both a little sluggish and had to fight some wind, but of course we prevailed, and were SO happy to be finished!

Swimming has been a bit rough for me this week. I'm never sore from swimming. I never really have BAD swims.... or hurt from them. Sometimes I'm tired or a little slow, but nothing like I experienced this week. I'm guessing it's a build up of Mark Allen's swim obsession on my schedule. All I know is this week, I just had no swimming mojo. I sure hope that changes tomorrow! My masters coach said it's too be expected at this point in the training. She said she was very impressed at how I've pushed thru the extra long workouts.

I wasn't impressed with my :05 -:07 drop in my 100's. I hope that is temporary!

So, I guess to sum it all up all is "ok" on the training front. No body issues, no injuries or anything. I'm tired, and pretty much ready for the taper. Although, I have to admit the taper pretty much just freaks me out, cause it puts all this into such a real perspective.

I am doing an Ironman in a month. I am freaking crazy. Thankfully, I haven't had the "WTF was I thinking" thoughts - YET

Two more BIG, never been reached before workouts, then things SLOWLY start to wind down.

So Saturday & Monday are the big days.... stay tuned to see what happens!

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