Back at work on Monday morning (21 February), I welcomed a new crewmate to the Ellisville branch. Jesse, our new Vehicle Service Agent (VSA), reported for work. He is new to the firm, and I showed him where everything is in the wash bay, how to clean and park the vehicles in an efficient manner, and where all the repair locations in our area were located. I think he will do very nicely in the job. Having a second vehicle prep sure would help us out in some peak times during the week.
I spent that night after work at my model workbench, finishing up my two model contest entries: a 1:32 scale 1963 Studebaker Avanti, and a 1:72 scale ZiL-157 fuel truck. The next night, I took them to the IPMS/Gateway (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/) meeting at Calvary Presbyterian Church (http://calvarypresbyterianchurch.org/). My models were among many entries in the Out of the Box Contest, the first of four to determine Modeler of the Year. Neither was judged good enough to place in their respective categories, but each entry earned me two points towards Modeler of the Year: One for entering, and one for the contest's Special Category (Out of the Box). The next contest is in May. Our meeting also featured a demo on basic modeling techniques. There were five first-time meeting attendees, and I (in my capacity as Vice President) gave each a sanding stick as a thank-you gift for coming.
After a full day of work yesterday (22 February), I changed from my normal work clothes into a suit and tie, then made my way to The Country Club of St. Albans (http://www.ccstalbans.com/). The clubhouse hosted a lecture and dinner program, La Culture Francaise. The speaker, a French linguist, spoke about the French region of Brittany and its distinct culture and language, with assistance from her PowerPoint presentation, a doll of a Breton woman in native costume, and books and postcards from the region. Following the lecture, the crowd of about 12 people sat down to a three-course French dinner. I chatted over dinner with several attendees, including a magazine publisher. He asked me to send me some work samples in the coming days. It was all a very nice evening.
My off day today was quiet at home, but it started on the road. I left the house early this morning to drive to Cape Girardeau, Missouri. After getting some doughnuts from a Dunkin' Donuts (https://www.dunkindonuts.com/dunkindonuts/en.html) in town, I drove to the Enterprise Rent-A-Car (https://www.enterprise.com/en/home.html) branch. There, I gave the doughnuts to Liz, the branch manager who previously managed the Ellisville location. She was very happy to see me and to accept the doughnuts, and she introduced me to the staff. Liz and I chatted for a few minutes, getting caught up on things, before I left to drive back to St. Louis. It's always great renewing acquaintances with people you worked with, as they can come in handy down the road.