That's not a word I throw around lightly - I am absolutely beside myself with happiness right now! My new job is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Today was my 2nd day of training in Memphis. I wanted to blog the first night I got here, but we didn't get in until about 11:30, and went right to bed. Unfortunately, we were rudely awoken about 1:00 am by a piercing fire alarm. We thought it was just ours, then realized it was the whole hotel. We slowly evacuated our room and went outside and found 3 fire trucks. After waiting about 10 minutes, they called the all clear and said it was someone on the 3rd floor that burned popcorn. We seriously considered finding that person and doing them harm. We then went back to bed and got up promptly at 6:15am.
Monday we went to the ad office here that does the advertising for 21 Ashley Furniture Stores total, all in the Covington family. I met everyone, and they are absolutely the nicest people in the world. I love them all. I knew they were my people when at 9:30 in the morning they began discussing what we were eating for lunch, and at 11:00 they decided we needed to leave soon to eat (just like home, Heather and Kelly!) because everyone was starving. I knew I would fit right in. We went to Patrick's, a local hole-in-the-wall-amazing-cheeseburger-and-mac cheese place (so much for my diet). I got to work on schedules, I got to sit in on an ACTUAL script revision and writing for ACTUAL tv commercials (I know, I'm easily excited, but this was easily the highlight of my day!). I learned how to make a quarterly advertising calendar, and made my own budget for 2nd quarter ads. We then went to Benton Grill, another local hole-in-the-wall place, where they serve an amazing "basket of fried heaven" meal, that one in our group was WAY too excited to get! Then Heather (my new friend and co-worker, the Director of Merchandising for our 4 Ashley stores) and I came back to our room and discovered the Bachelor was on, so of course we had to watch it. We laughed so hard at those girls and had so much fun, then discovered neither of us had watched the first two episodes, so we grabbed the iPad, propped it on a chair, and proceeded to watch approximately 5 hours of the Bachelor (until midnight, I might add) and finally went to bed.
Today I went back to the office and worked with an awesome girl named Mandy who taught me SO much about advertising, media buying, production, placement, promotion...I could go on and on, she is amazing. When Andrew dropped me off at 8:30 he of course had to let everyone know we were all meeting at noon at his favorite restaurant here, called Leonard's (he also organizes his day around lunch, and I love that). All 15 of us went to Leonard's, which is - you guessed it - a local hole-in-the-wall restaurant (that's been on the Food Network!) that is famous for it's ribs and catfish. I went in a little skeptical when I saw it, but let me tell you - it was the best food I've EVER had in my life! Ribs, catfish, potato salad, baked beans, fried okra, chocolate cake...(there goes my diet again) and I wanted to move in and live there. Tonight I wasn't really hungry, so I just got something at Wendy's (that, and my friend Heather went back to Springfield tonight, so I'm alone now!)
I know this was lengthy, but I wanted to write it so I will always have the names of the restaurants, and always be able to relive my first days at this job. Andrew, his wife Tammy and son Cash, David, Jarrett (sp?), Heather, Kim, Mandy, Katie, Lauren, Chad and of course Arnie - are some of the most amazing, hospitable, welcoming, helpful, caring people I've ever met. It is such a change to be treated this way by my superiors, I truly am so thankful that God has very much blessed me with this opportunity. I can't imagine anything better. I will write again before I leave Friday!