Friday, July 27, 2012

Week 10... Wait, You Did What???


This week, I'm going to have a little fun at "my own" expense as I share with you a recent experience I had while out of town for a few days, attending a work related convention. 

A co-worker and I recently spent five days in McAllen, Texas, attending a convention as well as some training classes.  We drove the six hour trip in the "Company" vehicle.  Once at the hotel, our Company vehicle pretty much stayed parked and we shuttled back and forth from the hotel to the Convention Center on a Shuttle Bus each day. 

We arrived on a Friday afternoon and got settled in.  Our classes were going to be on Saturday and Sunday, from 8:00am til 11:00am.  We would break for lunch from 11:00am til 1:00pm, and have classes again from 1:00pm til 4:00pm.  On Monday, more classes, but in smaller increments, and we stayed there at the Convention Center for lunch that day.

Now, I need to preface this story by informing you that in the days leading up to our trip, there was what I will refer to as "something" in the works, not related to work, that I was super stoked about.  If you know anything about me at all, you know when there is something I want, I want it 5 minutes ago.  I just can't stand to wait and "do it/get it later."  Due to some Internet Technical "issues," I was not able to complete my "something" prior to leaving on the trip.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!  With that said...

I had been looking for a Chase Bank since arriving at the hotel.  I think I had even asked a hotel employee in passing about a "close by" Chase location and as best as I could "understand" from this individual, there was not one within walking distance of the hotel.  For my "something," I needed to make a small cash deposit into one of my Chase accounts.  Sounds crazy, but there's a "method to my madness." 

On Sunday, at the 11:00am lunch break, my co-worker and I got on the lunch shuttle that takes you to a certain area where there are multiple eateries.  You get dropped off and are told that the bus will depart back to the Convention Center at 12:40pm.  We selected our restaurant of choice, went in and ordered, and were sitting at our table eating by 11:20am.  From where I was sitting, I could see through the window in the far off distance, the familiar "Blue Roof" of a Chase Bank.  Bingo!!!  

A standard Chase Bank "Blue Roof"
We were done eating at 11:45am.  I told my friend, "I can see a Chase Bank.  I think I've got time to walk over there, make my deposit, and get back in time to catch the bus."  Ok, she knew what I was trying to do, so, of course her reaction was, "Cool, go for it."  And off I went.

Ok, so it was now 10 minutes or so into my brisk walk and I should probably mention here that I had just finished eating a huge, fat, Bar-B-Q chopped beef sandwich, some fried okra, and some mac & cheese.  Also, it was sunny bright and nearing 14,032 degrees outside.  Simply put, it was really hot, I was really full, and I was seriously sweating bullets!  Another 5 minutes or so went by and as I got closer, I could see cars turning into the bank parking lot and pulling up to the ATM.  Luckily, I was going inside to the "foyer" ATM where there was some cold AC.  I got inside and stood there just a minute, just to soak it all in.  Cold air...  wow!!!  So, I slid my card in the ATM, waiting for the prompts, holding my cash to deposit, and  a message appears on the screen:  "We're sorry, no cash deposits available at this ATM at this time."  I seriously can't describe the look on my face at that point.  I stood there just a minute longer, reading the message a couple more times, just to soak it all in again.  I stepped back out into the heat and walked over to the edge of the sidewalk.  I looked over at the "drive-up" ATM.  It was Sunday, mid-day, for crying out loud.  You would have thought that there was a "blinking neon sign" that read:  "Free money at this Chase Bank ATM."  I don't think I have ever seen so many cars at once at any ATM.  I looked at my watch.  Time was slipping away.  I had a decision to make...  did I walk all this way, in this heat, for nothing?  In my mind, of course I said, "Hell no!"  So, I walked the "Walk of Shame" yes, again and I got in line, standing, at the "drive-up" ATM lane.  I "pulled" actually, walked into the lane behind a car waiting in line, and just like that, another car pulled in right behind me.  Now, standing there, I could see the male driver in front of me look into his rear view mirror.  He clearly said something about me to his female companion, because she instantly looked to her right at her vehicle side mirror.  I can probably imagine how their conversation went.  The vehicle behind me...  I did not dare turn around, but I would love to have been a "fly on the wall" inside their car.  As the vehicle in front of the vehicle in front of me was clearly almost done, the dude in the vehicle in front of me "waved" me around.  So, as I "walked" around to his left, he rolled down his window and I had to thank him for the "pass" and it was, well, it was just awkward.  

It was now my turn...  and again, I slid my card in the ATM, "standing" there, and waited for the prompts.  This machine did take cash deposits and I put my cash in the little slot for cash.  The lid shut and the machine started doing its thing.  And then...  wait, seriously???  The machine spit my cash back out and the message was, basically, that it could not "read" my cash.  Wow!!!  I looked to my left and there were 5 cars in line to use the ATM.  I looked at my watch, thought about my walk, and I took my cash, not smiling at that particular point waved again to the guy who let me pass, and started my walk back to the shuttle bus, clutching that cash.

Just 3 $20's...  Was it worth the bullet sweat???  We'll see.
With about five minutes to spare (a little damp & smelling like a goat), I made it back to my friend/co-worker, who was sitting just inside the Target Store located in the shopping center where we ate.  Now, to put it mildly, she has had her share of bad luck.  Nothing horribly bad...  but tee tiny bad.  She asked me, "How did it go?"  All I could muster was, "I think your bad luck has rubbed off on me.  It's a no-go."  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

Now, here is the kicker.  Once back at the hotel that evening, I went to the front desk and got exact directions to the nearest Chase Bank.  I got in that "Company" vehicle a little later and drove to that Chase Bank and I successfully made my deposit.  I stopped at a Whataburger drive through for something to eat and little did I know, the "Walk of Shame" #2 was about to take place.   I parked in the back of the hotel and tried to get in through a back door.  Locked:  "Employees Only."  You see, that night was the Black Tie Dinner, the biggie for the week, located at the Convention Center.  I did not want to go.  Well, the back door being locked meant I had to go through the front door...  in my gym shorts, a ratty t-shirt, and carrying my Whataburger bag and a milkshake.  And yes, I strolled right past everybody that was going, all dressed up in "Black & White", waiting for the shuttle bus to take them to the dinner that night.  I could feel the stares.  Yikes!!!  Just not my day.  That said, I was ready to get up to my room and get my "something" going now that I had made my deposit...  and I just had to laugh what else can you do? when I was greeted onscreen with the same "technical" issues as days before.  Nothing could be done.  I could not help but wonder:  Was this a "message?"  
My "Blonde"

Now, I know what you're thinking...  Why is the "cash" deposit such a big deal?  Why couldn't you just simply do your "thing" from your main account or transfer money into your "cash" account?  Blah, blah, blah!!!  Well, because that would have "ruined" what was at that moment, a surprise for this really cool looking "Blonde" chic I know.  Ha!!!  And thus, my "Walk of Shame" not just once that day, but twice.  But, of course, I have to say she's absolutely worth it.   

We returned home on Tuesday, the 26th.  Five days later, on July 1st, I was finally able to implement my "something."  And I have since implemented three (3) more.  And I'm absolutely smiling now.  And in October, if all goes well, well, now that's another story.

My "new toy"
I hope to have some really nice pictures from my "new toy" in the coming weeks.  I am still learning how to "play" with it.

Recipe's:  This week, I want to share with you a very simple, quick, and easy recipe that is perfect for week nights, has a flavor that absolutely pops, and I think you will truly enjoy.  I love a large pot of beans done the "real" way, but when you are crunched for time, check this out:  Canned Pinto Beans...

Quick, Easy, and very Flavorful...
Done Slu's way:  Heat some olive oil on medium heat, add in some minced garlic and diced onions.  Add 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper.  Saute' for about 5 minutes.  Add in 3 cans of Pinto Beans and one can of petite diced tomatoes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir, bring to a soft boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve in a bowl topped with diced avocado, fresh cilantro, and freshly squeezed lime juice.  Garnish with a slice of lime.  Serve with crackers if you like.  Your taste buds will "love" you!!!

Libations Anyone???:  Due to the relentless summer heat in Southern Texas, I am highlighting a "Beat the Heat" special, taken straight from Donna's Pinterest "Lovely Libations" page...  This libation:  Pink Tequila, and the recipe can be found here at Refinery29.  Cool down and enjoy.

Music:  I happened to catch the end of a comedy bit on TV this week from Jimmy Fallon.  He was doing his "best" Neil Young and made me think how much I have liked Neil over the years.  I have a Neil Young Pandora station that I am always listening to.  It's tough to pick a "Top 3."  But if I had to...  #1: "Down By The River" (hands down favorite), #2:  "Cowgirl In The Sand" (nothing close), #3:  "The Needle And The Damage Done" (and a very close 4th would be "Cortez The Killer").  Check out Neil Young here.

Market Watch:  Yikes!!!  On a day when the Market exploded upwards for over 211 points, Facebook instead went south and is flirting with its all time low...  closing yesterday at 26.84.

The End:  As always, Thank You very much for stopping by.  I very much appreciate the time you spend here in Slu's World.  Next week, I hope you'll check in to see what happened "In Just 15 Seconds."   

Be safe, be smart, and always smile...  It's "Happy Friday"  



  1. Love the read, Slu. Isn't it just like that (bank fiasco) when you're trying to do something nice? ..When I showed your bean recipe to my husband, he said, "That would be great on some grilled dogs"...You may have just created our dinner. Enjoy your weekend.

    1. thanks... i swear: you will absolutely love that bean recipe. take care, slu

  2. While I'm sorry you had to stand in the Texas heat, I do commend you for being a romantic. The world needs more of them. Tricia Sluder Cason

    1. Ha!!! thanks cuz... you're too sweet. take care.

  3. This is really interesting…

    1. Thank you very much Shianna... appreciate it, slu


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