Navigating the Airport Process

Today, after driving through the worst ice storm recorded in April, I dropped my mother and her friends at the airport for their Biennale “Jesus Tour” Trip. Because of work, I’ve been clocking a lot of frequent flyer miles and have become completely accustomed to the “do-it-yourself” digital atmosphere at Terminal 1. Continue reading “Navigating the Airport Process”

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The Baby Shower

A lot of my friends are skipping the wedding and are going straight to motherhood. This made me think of where the idea of a baby shower came from, and it’s real purpose other than presents and food. Continue reading “The Baby Shower”

The Captain Class – 7 Core Qualities of True Leaders

In a recent Tony Robbins Podcast, “Are you part of the Captain Class?” Sam Walker gives us insight into what drove him into writing his book “The Captain Class”. It all started with a question. What makes teams so great.? Was there some foundational DNA to a winning team. Next, once a team became great, his next question was, how do you stay that way? How do you create a culture and chemistry to continue to win? That’s the thing that makes a team better than the sum of its parts?

Continue reading “The Captain Class – 7 Core Qualities of True Leaders”

Only rugby players really like rugby

This is what my friend says to me as we begin our hour drive to Buffalo to play in a Rugby Seven’s tournament. She participated in it last year and really liked it and managed to convince me to play this year with her.

In preparation for the upcoming rugby season, I have been on a diet that eliminates alcohol and most processed sugar and have been on custom off-season program to specifically work on endurance and speed. Leading up to this tournament I tried to run for 7 minutes (each half is seven minutes) and nearly died on the treadmill. Let’s just say, my approach to the tournament was more social than athletic.

When we got to the border, the security control officer asked us what we were doing. We told them we were going to a rugby tournament. It was minus 11 at the moment. He responded…”outside?”, we said yes and he let us through.

The night before I was asking my friend what should I pack, and she went down the list of, tights, lots of socks, a towel, garbage bag if it’s wet and warm clothes…I joked and said so I’m bringing a parka and everything I didn’t pack when I was in Miami. The things you do for friends.

When we finally arrived, the bitter cold was so piercing that our warm-up was literally putting on our kit, taking off the layers to play. Our team was called the Misfits and our first game we didn’t have enough people to play sevens. We only had fives. So we played a game of rugby fives, which we kinda made up on the spot. That game I actually scored a try and got the wind knocked out of me because I landed on the ball.

The next game was a little more intense but because we had more players and the team was a lot bigger. Once again, it just means that I have to work on my tackling, or just like everyone on the team was saying, just get it to the wings…because I’m fast and they were losing a lot of their rucks.

Because it was so cold and we had won 2 of our games, the last game was against Niagara. We knew that they probably won their games so why not just call this game the championship game and let us go home early. The organizers agreed. I had one glorious yet tragic moment where I had the ball, no one was nearly in sight until I panicked and slowed down to try to deck out one of their biggest players and got plowed by her. Thank god one of our subs was on the sidelines and I she was able to come in while I recovered. Then the medic and another parent came over to see if I was ok because I got hit pretty hard. Luckily I was and just got the wind knocked out me again. Then 2 of the girls on the opposite team came to me and said that when Madison comes after you, you don’t slow down, you run faster. I took the positive criticism. They said that they thought because we had spent the entire day together they could speak openly as friends. I appreciated it.

We ended up winning the Senior Women’s Battle for the Border Tournament. It was a good start to get me into the season. I was able to get some of my anxiety about playing and figure out the areas that I need improvement with.

The Carnivore Diet

I definitely consider myself a carnivore. I really don’t like vegetables unless it’s fresh from the garden or in a stir-fry, with meat. I saw a holistic practitioner to learn more about my diet and there was a moment when my body didn’t reject meat but was ok with it. She didn’t like the results and reset the test and my body shouldn’t have pork. As part of my rugby training, I’ve eliminated alcohol and added sugar. So dieting is part of my lifestyle. I’ve tried the bulletproof diet and really didn’t like the amount of fat I was consuming. I’ve tried eliminating carbs but would nearly go insane because of starvation.

But the carnivore diet is something that might be interesting to try as outdoor practice starts to ramp up. I don’t have the typical body for rugby but I have the speed and endurance. As I’ve been getting older, I’ve been looking for any way to give myself an edge over the young guns on my team. Limiting my diet and training during the off-season saw significant results last year. This year, I feel that I need to step it up another notch and might try this diet for a month before the season starts. Stay tuned for more blog entries about my progress.

You’re job will be replaced with robots in 10 years

When did customer service mean that only those with major attitudes, who essentially hate their job get these positions?

I just came back from a luxury vacation, but because of forces out of our control (a snowstorm in New York), our flight was delayed 3 hours, which meant that we were going to miss our connecting flight in La Guardia to get back to Toronto. This is where an amazing vacation went south real fast.

Our first stop was with the Delta staff at the airport. We told them our situation and asked them to help us out. After a lot of waiting, the staff told us that they had arranged our new flight and to talk to the other staff member at the gate once we got through security. Mistake number 1. When we got to the take we found out that they didn’t book us on a flight. They just deflected it to the next person, who could care less about our situation. She told me to call a rebooking number “now”. Nearly 30 minutes on the phone and stalling boarding the plane we got our flight rebooked for the next morning. I asked the customer service rep about getting a voucher for our hotel and she deflected to call their other customer service number.

When we landed, I called the number to find out that the customer service hours were closed. Perfect! Next, we had to find a place to stay that night. I called the nearest airport hotel which was the La Guardia Plaza Hotel. The person on the line told me that they had space, so I asked them if they provided shuttle service and they said yes. Just for some insurance, I went to the information desk at the airport and asked them about hotels in the area and shuttle service. The woman gave me a piece of paper with a list of hotels. I’m thinking, this was not helpful, what is your purpose. Next, I asked where the hotel shuttle service is. She told me that I would have to call the hotel to find that out. Once again, not helpful, what is your purpose? How can you work for information and not know anything? So after a long time waiting, we finally got the shuttle and headed to the hotel.

When we arrived at the hotel, I asked them for a room and they told me that they were sold out. I told them that I called and that there was a room available with two queen beds. Then the staff started giving me attitude that nobody at that hotel told me that there were availabilities. So, I called the hotel number, talked to the same woman who I did before when I wanted to book a room. She found me a room at the La Guardia Plaza Hotel and booked us a room. This was all done in front of the rep at the hotel. Then I told the staff to look up my name and confirmation. Of course, they didn’t want to, but I told them to. When they looked up my name, low and behold, my reservation for a room with two queen beds popped up. Luckily, I kept the customer service person on the phone to make sure everything went through smoothly.

Next, the person on the phone wanted to talk to the person in the hotel because they wanted to know how they could book a room when there were no rooms available. After another hour of waiting they magically found a room for us. How could this be possible? When they said they were sold out but I was able to book a room. Sometimes impossible things are possible.

The next morning, when we were checking out we asked if we could split the bill three ways. I was asking the shuttle to wait because it would only take 2 minutes because we were checking out. It took the representative nearly 10 minutes to cash us out. How hard could this be? It took two of them to do this. Once again, not helpful, and what is your purpose. This was the moment when I just wanted to tell these individuals that their jobs won’t exist in 10 years so they better figure out what they are good at because automation is on the horizon.

The future is not too far away. Cashiers are being replaced with self-checkouts. Websites like hotels.com and expedia.ca make it possible to book and pay virtually without the need of a travel agent. Robots are now being used to deliver room service and finally pilots will be replaced with automated planes. The truth is that the future is already here. And I look forward to the day when I can travel with pure efficiency without the added attitude from individuals because robots will be automated to my specific needs and wants.

 

Born a Crime

Trevor Noah a South African comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central since September 2015. In Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations he sits down with her at the famed Apollo Theater in New York City to promote his best-selling book “Born a Crime”. In the interview, he discusses his childhood in South Africa, his mother who risked her life to raise him, and his unlikely path to becoming the host of “The Daily Show.” Trevor shares inspiring stories about overcoming extreme poverty under apartheid.

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The Glass Cliff


The glass ceiling is a metaphor was first coined by feminists in reference to barriers in the careers of high-achieving women. Now, that we’ve essentially shattered that believe there’s a new term on the rise. The glass cliff. A supposed phenomenon of women in leadership roles, such as executives in the corporate world and female political election candidates, being likelier than men to achieve leadership roles during periods of crisis or downturn, when the chance of failure is highest.

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Can flying make you sick?

In a recent article by Gizmodo, “How a Virus Spreads Through an Airplane Cabin” looks at the misconception that traveling b plane increased our chances of getting sick. What the latest research suggests is it really depends on where we sit.

Continue reading “Can flying make you sick?”