Along for the ride:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Wake-Up Calls

The Artistic One is in France. It took the usual amount of stress and exasperation to get him there. Did anyone hear about the "new" rules? Apparently, the U.S. are a bit picky about documentation:)
TAO planned his trip and  purchased his ticket (without discussing it with me first), from a French travel agent we've known for years. Subsequent emails from Air France, warning that certain forms had to be filled out prior to departure, were shrugged off as unnecessary and "taken care of" by the French Agent.
One day prior to departure I forced TAO to open the most recent email and scroll down to actually read the request.
It's funny to think back to the days when our green-cards were so crucial, although TAO did manage to lose his at Charles de Gaulle Airport once, in a little "ADVENTURE!" I posted about at the time.
We now have dual citizenship and two passports to look after. TAO had decided that, as he was going to France, he would only require his French passport. He had to be reminded that there would, presumably, be a return trip and that U.S. Customs might not let him back in purely based on his word that he belong here.
Amidst the flurry of departure plans, I've been trying for the last couple of weeks to get some pricing from French suppliers, for custom orders for our clients. Factor in holidays for May 1st, Labor Day and May 8th, Armistice Day and the French habit of creating a "Pont" or bridge to the nearest weekend. A Tuesday holiday becomes Friday-thru-Tuesday and you lose the rest of the week in the "getting ready to leave" and  then the "getting over the fatigue" of so much forced recreation time. Toss in bonus distractions for election fever and I really haven't been able to get any answers for over two weeks. Is this country in need of business or not?
I've lost one client and have been grateful that another has pushed back our meeting a few times due to his business commitments. I was up at 1 am twice this week to match time-zones at the beginning of the French work day. Back to bed for a few more hours and then eyes-wide-open with the dawn and checking email to see if I had my answers. The planets aligned for me with my client asking for one more reschedule and the quote arriving in my in-box Friday morning.
I try not to give up my weekends to work but I was happy to have an 11:30 am appointment this morning with someone who has a proven record of not being a waste of a good Saturday.  This morning his housekeeper answered the door and said he was still in bed, as he'd returned home late the night before. I offered to come back but there was movement from the top of the stairs and we went ahead with our meeting; client tousle headed, in PJ's and clutching his coffee cup but gracious and asking good questions. He also produced his check book and ordered the stone that will be custom cut in France, before they go on vacation for the summer, we hope.
I held a private celebration, in a shoe store, on the way home....Because I'm worth it!


  1. Ah, ooof, so a case of all's well that ends well... As for life in France and holidays and elections and desire to do business, or not, it's amazing how things muddle along here, yet still somehow continue to move forward. And you forgot to mention the "jeudi de l'ascension", which is the next holiday this month on the calendar ! Three in one month, all on normal workdays... And of course, anyone who has to go to work on those holiday dates gets paid at double the normal hourly rate, even management... ! What a country !

    Happy travels to TAO, and enjoy your new shoes, and your free time...

  2. A lot to go through, especially in a time when everyone should be working to expedite jobs and working opportunities.

  3. Um...I'm a shoe the obvious question is....what kind of shoes did you get?

  4. Hi Owen, don't get me started, and I used to be a worker over there too you know. I'm now trying to decide which of your books to get for TAO. Will he see the cemetery one as a hint about his age? I'll be discussing my decision with a pair of pliers later this week.

    Stephen, Ya think? I lost a week with an idiot who suddenly remembered she had an export department I should be dealing with, in another town. I had to start from scratch.

  5. Maria, just for you, I posted a photo, although it doesn't do them justice. Moroccan Blue is the color. I've been desperate for everyday summer shoes but I chose to pay bills instead. Until Now!

  6. There was a rather disturbing story I know of where a Danish citizen got stuck between the US and Canadian border for several months in some kind of passport dispute. Hope TAO holds on to all the proper documents for the entire journey.

    Do you have duplicate copies?

    Meantime, hold on to your sanity with the business end of things. Sounds too complicated for me, but you seem to have a handle on it. Bless all the understanding clients!

  7. Husband ( mine , that is ) has just come back from France and is now wandering about looking for his wallet ... keys ... a good book he's in the middle of and the glasses to read the rest of it with .
    So far he's found some fig jam and a French neighbour's patè , so we're doing well .
    I don't think he took his ID card ....

  8. Jean, of course I have copies. (passports, drivers license, car registration, credit card numbers, etc). The real dilemma would be deciding whether to answer his calls for help, or not:)

    S&S, there are reasons we keep them around, it's just hard remembering what they are, sometimes:) (Europe is not quite the hassle US Immigration can be).

  9. Well, I'm glad I caught this as it seems I will need more than a passport in France...Enjoy your shoes!

  10. ooh lots going on...but get those new shoes off the table.....I was always told it was bad luck!!!

  11. I'll be putting a little word in the Pope's ear about you, although if you're going to get anywhere down the sainthood path, you might have to give up sexy shoes.

  12. e, you'd be fine with just your passport. TAO's issue is that the airlines wouldn't be keen to let him board for the return trip, in case he was rejected (if he didn't have his US passport with him). The airlines pay hefty fines and have to return passengers to origin if they get it wrong.

    Young Heart, sounds as though someone was trying to spoil your fun and stop you dancing on the table.

    Deborah, who's to say what kind of shoes the Pope has on under that dress?