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Continuing Educational Credits And The Longest Sales Pitch In The History Of The World

As most of you know, I am currently employed in the commercial insurance industry. For those of you who are curious, this is what I do all day long. And, yes. I despise, loathe, abhor, down-right hate my job.

Part of my job requires that I obtain a certain amount of Continuing Education Credits annually in order to maintain my state license. I think CE Credits wouldn’t suck as much if I actually walked away having learned something. Regrettably, that was not the case when I attended the latest CE class: Advanced Property, Fire, & Smoke Damage Mitigation/Restoration.

Sound boring? Yeah, well. That’s because it is.

Besides the fact that I have nothing to wear to these type of functions and that I am really bad with directions, my day was bound to start off miserably. To add salt to the wound, my alarm DIDN’T go off at 6am, due to an unexpected power outage. Instead, I accidentally woke myself up at 7am. I was in a complete state of disorientation. And panic stricken. Ah yes, running One Hour behind schedule, simply a lovely way to begin one’s day. It was only by sheer miracle; I managed to suit up and get ready for my day in less than 37 minuets.

Speeding, rushing, and praying to the traffic gods to be forgiving as I barreled down the dreaded NJTPK I was forced to make some quick life or death decisions. Let’s just say, I didn’t know my car could do that. I had no idea my little green Hyundai was capable of handling the median at such high velocity. By the time I exited the NJTPK and gingerly skidded onto the New Jersey Parkway, it was 8:12am. I was supposed to be in my class at 8:30am. What’s a girl to do? She runs the EZPASS lane. Why? Because the lane for the toll booth was 17 miles long. And I didn’t have that kind of time.

Anyway, after getting LOST (big surprise) and after cutting off an 18-wheeler and after fishtailing into the parking lot of the Country Club, frightening any pedestrian in my path, I ‘Ace Ventura-ed’ myself into a parking space. Like A Glove. I arrived precisely at 8:25am. Whew.

As I walked up the concrete path towards the entrance, I was flooded with a familiar ‘haven’t I been here before?’ confused feeling. As it turns out, I had been there. A. Lot. My grandfather, Poppa Sye, was The Golf Champ for an entire decade known as the 70’s at the Colonia Golf Course Country Club. And this was the VERY Country Club where MANGA used to sneak the half and half containers to me when my mother wasn’t looking.

But I digress.

Back to the Continuing Education Credits: Advanced Property, Fire, & Smoke Damage Mitigation/Restoration, hosted by: Larry & Robert.

The class was treated to a rather dated video tutorial on Fire Damage. And, it was exactly like a bad after-school special. Groovy Green and Urine Yellow tile (complete with fake wood paneling) that lined the inside of the burning ‘Test House’ was the dead give away this movie came straight from 1974.

However, I did learn that Polyurethane sofas are highly flammable, and that China Dinnerware can withstand temperatures in excess of 14,000 degrees Fahrenheit. As someone who suffers ‘Arsonphobia’ I decided right then and there that my next couch would be made entirely of porcelain from Pfaltzgraff.

A solid thirty minuets went by, watching perpetual images filled with burning houses and photos of the destructive aftermath. That alone, was reasonable cause for me to become slightly paranoid. Traumatized, by these daunting slides plastered on the projection screen, reinforced my unexplainable fears. I began texting my family members, incessantly, to make sure that our house was okay. And notEngulfed in Flames’.

After the ‘break’ it was time for The Demonstrations.

“Clean-Up” was my favorite part. Larry and Robert did their best to make restoration after a fire sound exciting. Although, I am sure most people do not share my undying love for all things, all the time, sparkly.

Words like emulsify, porous, PHP levels, alkaline and acid got my attention. How to remove fire residue and fun with hazmat suits brought a smile to my face. My cleaning OCD was kicking into high gear and releasing all sorts of feel good endorphins. Solutions, disinfectants, debris removal, sanitization, deodorize, and neutralize are just a few of the adjectives that can get you into my bed. But when they mentioned “Cryogenic Cleaning” loaded with dry ice and kinetic energy, I just about came in my pants. In fact, I believe I actually climaxed when they talked about creating an “Ozone Chamber” of cleanliness.

As turned on and as excited as I was by the usage of these words, you can only imagine my utter disappointment with the real demonstrations.

Sadly for me, Larry and Robert did NOT do their best to make restoration after a fire look exciting.

The first disappointment arose after I expected a lot more from this machine. This gloomy excuse for a demonstration dragged on to include the de-smoking of wood, carpets, and sofa cushions. The sofa cushions were washed and scrubbed right in front of us yet they remained looking crispy, scorched and dirty.

I did not find that segment to be a particularly good argument for choosing ‘Restoration.’ (Especially when an insured recovering from a fire, has the option for the same object to be Replaced. As in – Brand New.)

Once they started passing around fiber samples, they lost my attention. Completely. My ears perked up a little when I thought I had heard the word ‘Burberry’ as in the name brand label. Alas, they were discussing ‘Berber’ as in the carpet manufacturer so I went back to ignoring them, and looking at the cute guy in the yellow polo seated directly across from me.

Things became progressively boring when they began to talk about their professional services for hire in the event one of our insured’s experiencing a fire. For Three Hours. I was trapped, listening to a three hour sales pitch about all of the reasons we should call their services for our clients.

I envied the co-worker sitting next to me happily surfing the Internet underneath the table, on his iPhone, while I foamed at the mouth like a rabid dog anticipating our release from this class.

By the time it was all over, I can honestly say, there was nothing these Fire Restoration Professionals did during any of the demonstrations that could not have been done, and DONE BETTER with a Dyson Ball Vacuum Cleaner and a little Fabreeze.

I would really like to Mr. Clean ‘Magic Erase’ those Three Hours from my life forever.

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  • Lee

    How is it these thinly disguised sales pitches get on the list as “continuing education” classes? Doesn’t it make you want to do some undercover work and find out whose palm is getting greased in state government to put these guys on the provider list?

    I always try to come up with hard questions for these morons to answer so that they are exposed for the frauds they are. Thankfully, I don’t have the certifications any longer that require me to attend these classes. I’m getting to old and crotchety to put up with frauds any more.

    But thank you for your account of your day. I started out my day with a good belly laugh. Have you thought about entering Last Comic Standing? I think you would do very well.

  • Wow… What a snoozefest. The fact you remembered this much is impressive.

  • CBG

    Sounds like you had a blast ! I can’t stand those seminars and safety meetings either. And after watching a dated video filmed on the set of
    “GOOD TIMES” (Ya Know like the ones on drunk driving in High School)
    I probably would have hung myself right then and there !!!

  • ROFL..you take boring and turn it into exciting. Is your book almost finished, I want to pre-order. If not, at least I have your blog to read.

    I’m right with you on this:

    My cleaning OCD was kicking into high gear and releasing all sorts of feel good endorphins. Solutions, disinfectants, debris removal, sanitization, deodorize, and neutralize are just a few of the adjectives that can get you into my bed. But when they mentioned “Cryogenic Cleaning” loaded with dry ice and kinetic energy, I just about came in my pants. In fact, I believe I actually climaxed when they talked about creating an “Ozone Chamber” of cleanliness.

    Uh, you will excuse me for a minute……

  • Meleah

    I have no idea. It was the longest three hours of my life.
    What A Waste.
    Last Comic Standing? Hell No….But it is a great show

    Total snooze fest!

    Oh God! Those after school specials were the worst!

    book is a long time from finished, but dont worry, I will let you know when it is. Seriously, I need. love.live for things that are super clean

  • Ok, I just finished wiping the tears from my eyes from the laughter…no…not laughing at you (you poor thing sitting through that snooze-zzzzzz-bore-fest) but laughter on the way you amusingly tell a your tales.

    For the alarm debacle to fishtailing, blowing the EZpass lane, to the links to the video wich cracked me up it’s a classic!

    I need a little amusement in my life and as I’ve already told you, I am certainly getting it here. It’s as if I say every morning “when will the next Meleah dose arrive?” and there it was for me today when I got into work.

    Your adventure sounds like many I’ve had (because I just have that kind of luck!) so I was right there with riddled w/ anxiety as I read it! *giggle*

  • Lucky for me, my job requires exactly nothing from me.

  • As if you (or any non-sleazy insurance agent) would ever tell a victim of a recent home fire “Give these clowns a call, they make your charred sofa look medium rare!!”

    …So let me get this straight: a turn-on for you is NOT talking dirty, but talking CLEAN? That needs to be put on a t-shirt.

    xxoo 🙂

  • Meleah

    I always post on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays – per this PSA announcement!
    Glad I made you laugh through this post. Ace Ventura-ing is really the only way to park a car! Oh and I saw you read the other links in this post !!! You Rule.
    xxoo xxoo

    you are sofa king lucky

    Hell yeah that needs to be on a T shirt. Cuz its TRUE. Do not talk dirty to me. Talk CLEANING baby!

  • There are hazards to reading your blog while at work, such as coming across this sentence….

    “But when they mentioned “Cryogenic Cleaning” loaded with dry ice and kinetic energy, I just about came in my pants.”

    ….and then having the phone ring and trying to answer a call professionally while it is blatantly obvious that I am in a fit of uncontrollable laughter!

  • The last Continuing Ed class I attended, luckily had a bar across the street. Perfect for picking up a salad at lunch, and downing a few to keep the afternoon interesting.

  • God I hate those kinds of classes. I used to have to take them when I was in real estate. Ugh!!

    Right on Poppa Sye!! He’s such a cutie. …and a stellar athlete to boot! Who knew!!

  • … I don’t think Poison would have gotten far with a “Talk cleaning to me” song title. I’ll pitch the idea to Yankovic anyway 🙂

  • I’m glad there wasn’t a noose nearby, you might have been tempted. What a crazy day and all for what? Wasted 3 hours. Sorry you had to go through that. Hope you had a nice cold beer afterwards.

  • Meleah

    I love to make you laugh!

    Thats what the class was missing! ALCOHOL

    Poppa Sye rules

    ha ha ha
    That would be a great Yankovic tune

    It was awful. Im just glad its over.

  • Everything in life seems to be a sugar-coated, well-versed tied-in-a-silver-bow SALES PITCH! Argghhhhhh.

  • I’m so glad I work for me. I’m a nice boss. I give myself a pat on the back and take the day off 😀

  • Arrrrgggg…..sounds erriely similar to the time-share presentation my blogmistress was trapped in for 3 hours while in Maui….the foaming at the mouth part & everything!!!!

  • Meleah

    Brenda Starr:
    Hello! Sucks ass!

    Can I come and work for you?

    Olga TTB:
    Ugh. Why? Why must these sales pitches be under a false exterior?

  • Jay

    Your cleaning OCD was kicking into high gear (etc) … ROFL! Look, honey, I need a maid, OK? My cleaning lady upped and left. Wanna come work for me? I LOATHE cleaning, and can provide you with all the solutions and machines your little heart desires. LOL!

    Love the Ace Ventura vid, too!

  • Hey did you just not walk out on this. I felt my life force draining as I thought about what you describe. I admire your sacrifice. At least you had some nice memories of Popa Sye from his days as a golfing machine.

  • Meleah

    ha ha ha. I would be a fantastic maid. I love bleach waay too much.

    I seriously loathe my job on days like these.

  • I know it was a drag for you but that is just about the funniest thing I ever heard. You had me totally hooked when you ‘Ace-Venturaed’ into the parking spot and then the ‘cryogenic cleaning’ – that is HILARIOUS. Thank you for such a good laugh. You have made my day!

  • Meleah

    Thank God. And WHEW! Someone else who thought this was funny. My lack of comments on this post was making me a little nervous that I had been a little too over the top or somehow offensive?

    Knowing that I made YOUR day makes me SMILE.

  • I HATE it when my alarm doesn’t go off. That whole pounding heart, terrified, and…wait. You drove on the MEDIAN? You’re such a wild woman! My hunkster has to attend continuing ed seminars for his license, so I’m very familiar with how boring they are — except his are for CPAs. Fire sounds a thrill a minute in comparison. And my brother in law actually does fire & flood restoration…Yep. A thrill a minute. For sure. When are you getting your porcelain sofa?

  • Meleah

    I am totally getting a porcelain sofa when I move out of my parents house!

    Oh My God. Your poor MoH has to deal with these too? Ugh! SOOOOO Boring.

    It really is all too upsetting when the alarm DOES NOT go off. Total heart attack to start the day.

    (and yes…I drove on the grass median. I was in a hurry! I am clearly certifiable.)

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