Cross Country Trip
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Sasha was doing a safety audit at their Vancouver production plant. It was just after lunch and her task was to enter all her findings in the check sheet. As she worked on that, she chatted through Gmail chat with a few of her colleagues from her home plant in southern Ontario. It was getting close to their home time and one of them informed her that there had just been a major issue in the plant. Seems a big piece of equipment was down due to a fault on a secondary piece of equipment.
Sasha tried to get more details but her friend had to leave to go pick up her kids from school. So she reached out to a few others she figured might still be at work. Nobody was answering. She focused on her task for a while and then heard a little “ding” from her computer so she checked and sure enough, it was one of the people from her plant, responding to her earlier questions about the issue at their plant. He gave her the details. It was a bad situation but, after being with the company for several years, she knew that some plants had identical equipment and that particular piece was a common one with the very plant she was auditing at.
Coincidently, one of the people from the plant was walking in so she asked if they still had that particular piece of equipment. The person informed her that while they had recently purchased and installed a different model, they still had the old one in their warehouse. Sasha told her friend at work that he should tell the maintenance manager to get in contact with the maintenance manager here in Vancouver.
The auditors finished their day of work and then went to have dinner. In the evening, Sasha got a phone call from her plant’s maintenance manager and one of the electrical supervisors. When they both said their hellos, hearing Tanner’s voice made her smile. He’d been hired as a supervisor a few years prior and she didn’t know much about him other than he had a really nice smile, a cute tushy and seemed like a very nice guy. Any interaction they’d had was always pleasant. There had been a bit of fun flirting between them during a course a few weeks back but nothing more than that. Bringing her back to reality, they asked if she could go back to the plant in Vancouver and verify a few things for them.
“Don’t you trust the people there?”
The manager answered “Actually, I don’t trust Dennis at all. If they took it out of service, there’s got to be something wrong with it and Dennis is too enthusiastic about sending it here. We’d like to use the facetime function to have you check a few things and have us see them for ourselves.”
So Sasha went back to the plant and met with the shift supervisor there who took her to the area of the warehouse where the item was stored. They opened up the crate and Sasha called her colleagues. They started the facetime thing and she pointed to everything they wanted to see. Then they asked “is the warehouse heated?”
“There are parts of this that cannot be left to freeze, ever.”
The shift foreman, who was still standing next to her, said “We know that. We don’t freeze here very often but we’ve always made sure that this baby is kept totally warm, even after we removed it from service. And by the way, there was nothing wrong with this unit. We changed it because we had to change other parts and needed more space for the other parts and the newer models are smaller and fit with the upgrade we were making.”
“Good to hear. Sorry about not trusting Dennis but I’ve worked with him before and we have bad history.”
Sasha spoke up “Guys, I’m coming home tomorrow. I can’t exactly carry this on the plane but we could get it to go cargo on the plane I’m on and I could drive it to the plant.”
“Thanks Sasha but the cargo hold isn’t heated. This can’t travel by normal cargo. It needs either specialized transportation or for someone to drive it here. And I think that’s going to be our option. Can we count on you to help with that?”
“You want me to drive this across the country?”
“Yes. Tell me, what kind of rental car are you driving? Will the crate fit in there?”
“I’m driving a Dodge Grand Caravan. Hate it with a passion but hey, it would be perfect for this. And funny thing is, it actually has Ontario plates! We might be doing the rental company a favour! But wait a minute, won’t that gizmo freeze when I leave it in the car overnight?”
“You won’t leave it in the car. We’ll send someone to drive with you. You’ll have to work together and carry the crate into your hotel room each and every night. Don’t worry, it’s not as heavy as it looks. Two of you can easily handle it. Then, you’ll need to warm up the car in the morning and ensure it’s totally warm before you put the crate back in. It’s our only option if we want to operate before summer. We need this, Sasha, can you help?”
“Of course! Who will you send?”
“We don’t know yet. We’ll let you know tomorrow. I take it I can count on you to talk to the rental company about driving the Caravan to Ontario? Thanks Sasha. Go get some silivri escort sleep!”
Sasha went to the airport to discuss with the rental company. They were indeed happy with them taking it back to Ontario for them and offered a nice low rate in addition to including the navigation system for free. When she was done with that, she went up to the airline counter and cancelled her flight home. Then, she went back to the hotel and, after learning they had a guest laundry room, washed all her clothes. After all, she’d only brought enough for four days, not for eight or nine!
The next day, Sasha was really busy with the audit. They even worked through lunch so they could get the report finalized. They were presenting to the plant management at 3 pm and had to have it finished. It was a mad dash to the finish line, leaving absolutely no time for her to check her emails or her phone. She figured that if anything was urgent, the phone would actually ring and it hadn’t. Someone had told her that one of her co-workers had arrived and was in the warehouse but that’s all she knew.
After the meeting, Sasha went back to the room they had been working in and proceeded to pack up her things. Within two minutes, the local electrical supervisor arrived with Tanner.
“Hey Sasha! How are you?”
Oh she was good all right! Seeing his nice smile and snug pants made all the rush of the day evaporate.
“I’m good, Tanner, and you?”
“Good, good. Are you ready to go?”
“I am. Should I bring the van to the same place I went to last night?”
The local electrical supervisor said “To the warehouse, door three, yes. We’ll open the door so you can back in, okay?”
“Sure. I’ll see you there in a few minutes. And I’ll warm up the van.”
Sasha made her way to the parking lot. She put her work bag in the back and started up the vehicle. She put the heat on to its maximum setting. It would take a while to really warm it up. Good thing it wasn’t too cold outside. She made her way to the warehouse and slowly backed into the open door. She wasn’t going to leave the vehicle on in a building so she turned it off. They opened the back doors and folded the back seats to make room for the crate. Then, they put the crate inside. The manager had been right, it wasn’t as heavy as it looked but it wasn’t light either. They would need to make sure they took rooms on the first floor wherever they stopped.
Tanner offered to drive but Sasha declined “Tanner, with the time difference, it’s like almost 8 pm for you. If we’re going to make it to Kamloops tonight, I’ll drive. You can drive tomorrow.”
So they left the plant with their precious cargo and got caught in some traffic to get out of Vancouver but then had clear roads all the way to Kamloops. Along the way, they talked about work, about the safety audit and various other topics. They were nearing Kamloops when Sasha noticed that Tanner was sitting with his hands on his family jewels. She’d noticed that several guys had that habit and figured it was her chance to ask.
“May I ask you something?”
“You’re not the only guy I’ve seen do that so I’m asking in general. Why do guys, when they’re sitting, often put their hands on their family jewels?”
Tanner had immediately looked down at his crotch and then lifted his hands away. Sasha laughed and then asked “Seriously, why? Are you worried they’re going to run away? Are they cold? What’s the deal there?”
“Run away? No! Of course not!”
He was flustered. She hadn’t meant to make him so flustered.
“Tanner, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I was just teasing and asking a general question. You don’t need to answer. I was just joking.”
He remained quiet. So did Sasha, at least for a while. Then, awkwardly, she said “We’re about to get to where there are a bunch of hotels and motels, let’s take this next exit here.”
They found a place, obtained two rooms and carefully moved the crate into Tanner’s room. Then, they had a quick bite to eat, mostly in silence, and retired for the night. Sasha felt bad that her silly question had pretty much ruined the evening. She was hoping that by morning, they could start over and have a fun time and for sure, she’d stick to neutral subjects and keep her twisted sense of humour in check.
The next morning, they met as agreed at the breakfast buffet at 6:30 am. Tanner greeted her with a smile and a cheerful “Good morning!”
After she replied in like, he asked if she’d had a good night’s sleep. Sasha was relieved that he seemed to have forgiven her for her unfortunate question the night before. They watched the news on the television while they ate, making comments about the reports now and then. As they left the kitchen area, Sasha said “I’ll go and warm up the van and then go knock on your door to get the crate, okay?”
“You still don’t trust me to drive?”
“Oh, sure I do! Absolutely! I left the seat all the way forward şirinevler escort last night. I don’t think it would be too comfortable for you to try to get in. So I’ll just go warm it up and push the seat back a bit. After that, it’s all yours until you want me to take over.”
“Okay. See you in a bit then!”
They got on the road and headed east. They made small talk for a while and then stopped talking so they could admire the surroundings. When they made it through Three Valley Gap, Sasha pointed to the Chateau and said “Wow. I’d love to stay there one day. Looks cool.”
“Yeah, it does, doesn’t it?”
For a while, they talked about places they had visited and it was super comfortable conversation. They made it to Revelstoke and decided to stop for lunch. After lunch was done and they got back to the van, Tanner handed her the keys and said “Your turn to drive.”
Sasha was surprised and stated so. He said “Well, this is so beautiful, I’d like to look around for a while, is that okay?”
“Sure! I heard two truckers say they haven’t seen the snow that high at Roger’s Pass in years. Not sure how far that is but it should be impressive.”
They got back to the van and found that it had not cooled down too much. Sasha pulled the seat up and got comfortable. They started driving and kept pointing left and right for the other to look at the sights.
They made it to Roger’s Pass and opted to stop at the summit to look around and to stretch their legs a bit. The snow was indeed very high and in places, higher than their heads so they took a few selfies. Then, they threw a little snow at each other playfully and eventually, Tanner pulled her into his arms and kissed her. She responded but the kiss didn’t last long and he pulled away, embarrassed. They were both quiet for a while and started walking around. As they looked around, Tanner said “Been thinking about what you asked last night.”
Not making the connection, Sasha asked “What did I ask?”
“About why I keep my hands on my crotch.”
“Oh, Tanner, I really was just joking. I don’t need an answer.”
“But you’re right, I do keep my hands there a lot. Of course, I don’t think they’re going to run away, they’re kind of attached and no, they’re not cold but they are somewhat lonely and that’s why my hands are there. Also, it’s just a habit, it’s where my hands seem to fall naturally, you know?”
Sasha didn’t know what to say. Tanner spoke “You’re kind of stunned, aren’t you?”
“Well, I’m now thinking that it’s kind of like when some women cross their arms and it looks like they’re holding their boobs.”
“I’m going to have to look for that. I’ve never noticed.”
He seemed kind of disappointed. Sasha faced him. “I’ve never had a guy tell me his family jewels are lonely before. I’m not sure how to interpret that.”
“You don’t have to interpret it. I was just answering your question.”
Sasha smiled “You know, you could almost use that as a pick up line.”
“Would it work?”
There was something in his eyes, a gleam of sorts. Was he flirting with her?
He didn’t give her time to answer and said “Maybe we should get back to driving. I’ll keep my jewels company and you can ask again. Then we can see if it would work, okay?”
There was no way not to laugh with that. They made their way back to the van and got going again. It took a little while but Tanner did eventually put his hands back on his crotch. But instead of asking the question he expected, Sasha asked “Aren’t you married?”
“Then how come your jewels are lonely?”
“They just haven’t been played with in a long time.”
“What’s getting in the way?”
“I’m not sure but my wife just hasn’t been very interested in the last year or so.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to dump this on you. And I’m sorry I kissed you back there. Not sure what came over me.”
“Oh, please don’t apologize for that kiss, I loved it. And as for the confidences, don’t worry, I’m okay with that too. It helps to understand and I did ask some pretty personal questions there. I’m sorry you’re going through this. Have you asked her about it?”
“Kind of. She’s just brushed me off every time I’ve tried. And it’s been a really long time.”
“Do you think she might have someone else?”
“It’s crossed my mind.”
“Have you asked her that directly?”
“No. Think I should?”
“Are you ready for the answer?”
“If you want to save your marriage, you might want to try couples therapy. Our company offers free consultations with the employee assistance program.”
“I’m not sure I really want that anymore.”
“Then maybe you should ask her the question directly. And then have a good conversation without fighting.”
“I’ll consider that.”
They rode in silence for a while and then resumed talking about the scenery. They made şişli escort good time and opted to have dinner in Calgary. After dinner, they drove some more and made it to Medicine Hat where they stopped for the night.
The next day, Tanner took the wheel and drove the morning. The road was a lot flatter than the previous day, that’s for sure. They talked about where they grew up and their families. They’d had similar childhoods in many ways and their families seemed to share the same values and upbringing styles. They stopped in Regina for lunch. Before getting back behind the wheel they stood outside for a bit, stretching their legs. Tanner got serious and said “I called my wife last night and asked her.”
“You were right. She does have someone else.”
“How do you feel about that?”
“Would it make me a bad person if I was relieved about it?”
“I don’t think so. Why would it make you a bad person?”
“Because it sounds like I don’t care? Because I didn’t try harder?”
“That’s not for me to judge. In fact, it’s not for anyone else but you to judge.”
“You seem so open minded about things.”
“I am. I’m very much a live and let live person. And when others are different from me, I try to understand why and where they’re coming from. Doesn’t mean I always agree but I at least try to understand.”
“That’s amazing. Hope I can learn to be more that way. Shall we get going?”
And so they got back into the van and got going again. Tanner got her to talk about all kinds of things and he shared some stories too. They had dinner in Winnipeg and then stopped in Kenora for the night. Once they had checked in and gotten the crate into Tanner’s room, he stopped her from leaving.
He asked “May I kiss you again?”
Nodding, Sasha said “You don’t need to ask.”
He kissed her, gently and sweetly. His kissing was amazing. Sasha’s knees felt weak. But then his phone rang and he broke the kiss. He went to answer and when it was obvious that it was his wife, Sasha waved and slipped out of the room.
The next day, they found that it was much colder outside than it had been. There was also talk of snow on the eastern shores of Lake Superior and that would slow them down. Once again, they talked about this and that but avoided talking about their kiss.
It was just before lunch that Tanner said “When my wife called last night, I was miffed that she interrupted. But then, I realized that it was a good thing after all.”
Sasha’s heart sank. He was happy that they had been interrupted. Had they worked things out? She really wanted to ask but then figured that it was best to let him share at his own pace, not hers. And then again, her reaction surprised her. Could she be getting attached to him so soon? Was she letting her hormones do the thinking for her?
After a few moments, he added “She’s thought about it and wants us to separate but stay on good terms. She doesn’t want us to fight and destroy each other. We had a really good talk and without fighting.”
“That’s good. It benefits everyone in the long run.”
“Talking from experience?”
“Yup! I’m on good terms with my exes. Just because we weren’t right for each other long term doesn’t mean either of us is bad and having that approach really makes things easier. And to be honest, I feel better about myself knowing that I didn’t say mean things, you know?”
“I get it. Guess it’s a good approach. Especially since one of your exes works at our plant.”
“Exactly. He’s getting married this spring. Did you know that?”
“No, I didn’t. You okay with that?”
“Absolutely! I even said that to him and his fiancée when I ran into them at a restaurant last month but she’s more than a little skeptical. But that’s her problem, not mine.”
Tanner was silent for a long while. Then he asked “May I ask you something?”
“Of course! You don’t need to ask permission to ask questions, just go for it!”
“His nickname… Your ex. You’ve heard about it, right?”
“Gomer? He got that because he could imitate Gomer Pyle perfectly as a kid.”
“No, the other nickname.”
Her ex used the nickname “Big Ten Inch” in a lot of screen names for games and hockey or football pools.
“Yeah, oh.” He hesitated and then asked “Is he really?”
Although Sasha knew darn well it was what her ex wanted everyone to believe, it wasn’t true and she wasn’t going to lie about it.
“Oh my God, no! That’s just the size of his ego!”
“He is quite tall so it’s possible that things are proportional.”
“He wishes! He might be very tall but in that respect, he’s totally average. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with average! But in his case, he feels things should have been proportional and he should have had the big ten inch cock and he didn’t so he’s created his own frustrations and he uses that self-given nickname to intimidate people.”
“Oh that he does.”
“Yeah, he’s a bit of a bully at times.”
“So, why were you with him?”
“Because I mistook his false bravado for actual self-confidence. And it’s not until he belittled me to feel bigger himself that I fully realized that. So I left.”
“Did you know that he’s told people that you haven’t dated anyone else since him because he’s ruined you for all other men?”
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