After a blissfully peaceful start to the week, I made the well-known, but eternally foolish, mistake of thinking to myself “I’m finally getting the hang of this”. Hence, it was only natural that my carefully colour-coded, neatly filed plans were thrown for a loop on Wednesday morning.
“So Elanor, are you happy to run Saddlebag Shuttles for the next few days?” (By which I mean you are are running Saddlebag Shuttles for the next few days).
WHAT!!!! Nope. Definitely not. Expect wildfires and stranded guests. Wait, how does managing a transfer company result in wildfires? I don’t know but it does.
Ah, the endless entertainment the voices in my head can provide.
Oh, wait. Wasn’t I supposed to be responding?
After the buffering symbol disappeared from over my head, I manage to stutter out something along the lines of okay but don’t blame me if I burn it to the ground.
This may seem like something of an overreaction, so let me clarify. Saddlebag Shuttles is an affiliate company to Horizon Horseback that books and runs transfers, normally for guests, at different lodges in the surrounding area and to and from O.R. Tambo Airport. It is run and managed by Rachel, whom I frankly aspire to be as awesome as. From her gloriously formatted spreadsheets to her embroidered blouses and the way that no matter how busy she is, she just floats around as cool as a cucumber, I have a huge amount of respect for her. Hence, attempting to even partially fill some of her role for a few days was an intimidating prospect.
One high intensity training session and a lot more jokes about fires (seriously you trust me with this???!!!) later and I was ready to go.
Needless to say, no fires were started in the course of my managerial stint. However, I am not sure my sanity has been left intact. From tasks I had no idea how to complete (I’m looking at you, car maintenance enquiries) to still being given Cycle Mashatu (back to being two words) and Horizon Horseback tasks to complete, saying the past few days have been a tad overwhelming would be an understatement. Heaped on top of this is the pressure of trying to find a job half a world away (if anyone needs a physics graduate, message me).
I am endeavouring to call it a learning experience and will no doubt regard it calmly once I’ve had a few days to recover from the icy cold shock of the deep end, but for now forgive my whining.
Besides, it hasn’t been all bad, I’ve finished the first stage of my pet project—developing a legible booking chart for Cycle Mashatu (#Excel #myonetruelove). There’s nothing like conditional formatting an entire spreadsheet to cheer oneself up in the morning. Now I just need to fill in a test month and circulate it amongst those who will be using the chart to garner a usability report.
I’ve also got to go out on a few more rides (we won’t talk about the disaster of me on Kalamazoo during polocrosse) which has been a lot of fun and good break from the office stress. I particularly enjoyed last night’s sundowners where all the rides, including the campers, met up (admittedly by accident, but shhh). It was a really lively crowd with lots of cross-group conversations and interactions happening and an activity I will definitely be suggesting happens more often in the future.