As part of my work, I travel for training. For two weeks in October 2014 I was in Atlanta Georgia. I missed my husband, but I was able to visit Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, GA. The largest cemetery in Atlanta with Confederate graves.
In October 2014 I had to go to Atlanta GA for training for two weeks. While I as there I decided to visit the Oakland Cemetery.
From my understanding, Oakland Cemetery had the largest amount of Confederate soldiers buried in the Atlanta area. I wanted to visit it for some research for my “Things You Should Know” videos, specifically for my Civil War edition playlists.
I really don’t have much to say about day 4. Classes went ok, and as I sit with both the instructors and fellow new hires I actually feel a lot more confident that I am more than capable for this job.
There is always doubt in my head just because of who I work for and what I do, but it is turning out I am actually better trained in some basics then a lot of the people in the Agency, and well enough rounded otherwise to put me on level higher then my fellow classmates.
When I got home all I did was hang around my room. I have a cold (which is worse today) and only got about 4 hours of sleep again. The weird thing is I have taken more pictures of myself in the last three days then in the year before that. I have always had problems with how I look, but this seems to be helping with that.
Today was a quiet day as well. I was incredibly tired when I woke up (haven’t gotten even more normal sleep since I got here) and as evidenced by my picture evidently I was in a mood (although I didn’t feel mad).
After class I walked down to the local Rite Aid. As I was walking down the street I noticed what seemed to be a difference between Pacific NW and Atlanta. People don’t smile and nod to each other when they walk by. Not a single person did that on my mile and a half round trip acknowledged what would normally get a smile or nod back home.
Now, first of all I recognize I am a big ole white boy and my size intimidates people, but usually if I can catch their glance and smile at them I can see a smile come to them. It very well could have been that, but it surprised me a lot. I think the surprise was underlined by the extremely nice reaction I get to people inside buildings (hotels, restaurants, etc).
Also I was fortunate, a person who follows both this blog and the accidentally gay suggested two LGBT places to visit this weekend (I would mention his name, but I didn’t ask if that was ok). The places are Joe’s on Juniper’s and Cowtipper. I might go to the aquarium and then drop by one of these places just to check it out, if I don’t chicken out..
I am not used to being part of a community that reaches out like that. It is really great feeling.
Journal note – exhausted so this will be brief :).
Day three in Atlanta went pretty well. I was feeling pretty rough the whole day, especially in the morning. I suspect I looked like a serial killer. However I got to call Jello and life perked up. You can see the transformation he has on me in the pictures below.
By the time I got back to the hotel after a day of classes, a friend of mine invited me to go to Flip Burger Boutique. We arrived (about 5 of us) and had some good burgers, and some pretty tasty shakes.
We ended up going back to the other hotel using UberX. That was actually more pleasant an experience then the far more expensive cab ride to the place. Surprisingly the cars used by UberX people here in Atlanta are owned by the drivers, whereas in Seattle my experience is most were owned by the company.
We then walked the 1.5 miles back to our hotel and I crawled in bed, talked to Jello and went to sleep (not a very good night sleep either).
So went my third day in Atlanta, it was decent with no weirdness.
Yesterday wrapped up pretty well. The schooling was long, and not very effective, but the first day of this type of training is often like that. The people are nice enough, the trainers are working hard.
Got home and worked out on a cardio bike for 20 minutes, then a 30 minute upper body workout (the new app I have turns out to kind of suck, so going with a different program). The workout room here is a lot worse then the one at our apartment complex (mostly just cardio and a few free weights) so I doubt I will get much working out here.
A friend pointed out that it is election time (which I forgot, we just get our mail in ballot and do research from there, we don’t watch tv) after I talked about the horror of the political ads here. Almost every ad isn’t about the issues, but about either illegal immigrants are taking all the jobs, or that Obama’s “horrible laws” will be upheld if they don’t vote in or out certain candidates. The worst part is people freaking about Obamacare!!!!! (yes the exclamation points are needed). It is obvious no one has ever researched the Affordable Healthcare Act.
In fact I was talking with a group and they were against Obamacare, I asked about if they read it and they said no. Not even two minutes later they were bitching about health insurance companies and the fact that medicaid wasn’t expanded. Then several of them were bitching about feminists and the gays (and yes, “the gays” is how they referred to it). I quickly retracted myself from the situation.
Now, I complain a lot about here, but I did watch something on their news I have to take my hat off to. Evidently a guy ran his car into a group of people (including a cop). It wasn’t until he hit the cop that the cop fired a single shot at him. If this was in Seattle, the police department would have shot the wrong person 22 times, then charged that person’s family for the bullets. At least at this point it seems like Georgia police are less likely to just shoot people (although that could be wrong, I have only been here two days).
Here I am trying to wake up to go to my first day of schooling (for two weeks of training for my new job). I am back in Atlanta, and as a side note for people who don’t know, I live in the Pacific NW, I got in Sunday evening and was way too tired to post then. My goal though is to post constantly while I am here, I slacked last time.
First, I have to say everyone in the airport and at the hotel have been incredibly nice. I realize they are service workers and that is what they get paid for, but the whole Southern Hospitality schtick seems to hold up so far.
The hotel room itself is actually really nice. I have a couch, coffee table, a nice bed, tv and a small moveable desk if I need. It is excellent for a two week stay. The only disappointment is the hotel doesn’t have microwaves in the rooms (wtf is up with that? Every motel 6 I have stayed at in the past had one, this is a higher grade hotel). So this is another pro compared to last time, this hotel is definitely a better grade.
Walmart was once again a nightmare though. I thought maybe last time I was here the Walmart food area was just overwhelmed but it seems to be a derelict of empty shelves at all times. The customers though are nicer here then in the Pacific NW. They smile more and say hi when they pass by.
The shuttle driver and service is also already a lot better then last time as well. He shows up when he says he will and doesn’t act like its the end of the world. So far so good.
There has only been two cons so far!
The first is our internet SUCKS!!! We get this 128k type internet (I am sure it is faster but doesn’t feel like it) and you have to pay an additional $6 a day if you want full speed. I am sure our agency paid for full internet so I will have to look into that.
The media… what was I thinking when I turned on the tv and they had a commercial that Georgia has a million new jobs! Yet ALL of those million new jobs went to THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, and that WE MUST TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY.
Ahh conservatives in the South are “still keeping it real”, it is nice you are so reliable in your outlook. I am a little more aware of things this time, so I can watch a bit closer on how different from where I am from, maybe I can be a little more discerning, but as a person in a same-sex marriage with alternate (read liberal) ideas I definitely feel out of my realm.
It doesn’t help I work a white collar job with the vast majority of people who have middle class or higher privilege and are straight/conservative. This just magnifies things. Also I do realize I have my own biases, and I suspect I will never move those biases as well (pro-working class and lower economic levels, pro alternate lifestyles, anti “traditional” outlooks).
Don’t worry, I am already seeing more stuff to write up, you will get a lot of stuff in the next two weeks.
I just got back Friday night from my first training with my new job. This was a series of new things that I haven’t done before and I am sure many of these incidents colored my view of the Atlanta Georgia, and by default the south in general.
The training was my “onboarding” for my new audit job. It was basically a week long introduction to the agency, some general overview of what and how we audit, and also sort of a networking opportunity with all the other new hires. I have never worked for the feds before, and honestly this week alone I got more training then any other job gave me over the entire span of my career. The State Auditor’s Office didn’t even come close.
So this trip had a lot of firsts for me. It was my first airplane ride (except evidently I was on a plane when I was 2). It was the longest I have been gone from Jello in our 22+ year marriage (5 nights, 6 days, when the total time before this for all days combined was maybe 5 nights separate). It was my first time to the south so that was a cultural, and physical difference. I want to also note that I have never lived alone for that long. I lived with my family, then moved in with roommates then with Jello. I have never lived by myself except for the days that I was away from Jello, which combined were the same or less total days then I was at this training. Although by the end of the trip, I think I was acclimating.
In addition lately I am super stressed because I am at a new job, a new probationary period, we are moving in three weeks several towns over. I am commuting about 90 miles a day (further then I was to my previous job in Bellevue) and my work day right now is 11-12 hours a day with the commute.
With all these stresses, I must be very honest that I probably wasn’t the most unbiased observer (combined with my super progressive/liberal/lgbt friendly outlook). So this post is partially a disclaimer for my future observation posts about Atlanta Summer 2014 (and I have a lot of them coming I think). I am fortunate, I am going to get to go back to Atlanta in October (not in the horrific summer weather) for two weeks for more training. When I give updated posts then I am sure the bias won’t be so bad.
Overall though the trip was good. This is a good sign that the agency I work for takes me serious. I would talk about my initial week but honestly it was mostly a blur. The airplane trip went really well. The landing in Atlanta was evidently way worse then others had ever experienced (and it was a bit scary, but post about that later) but the return trip was fine. The stay at the hotel did suck, but that was a hotel issue, not a “south” or Atlanta problem.
I met a lot of nice people, had several interesting interactions, and even with my hatred of being gone from my hubbie it was a good experience. I think it will be even better in October (omg people talked about the humidity in the south, but I had NO IDEA).
I think the job is a good thing, I still have some anxiety and uncomfortableness but I suspect some of that is the fact I like to shoot myself in the foot. I will post a lot more about the trip in several future posts. There was quite a bit of culture shock for me, but like I said I had a lot of stresses going in. I am hoping writing about it might let me separate what was actual experience versus the gerbils in my head.