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  • Writer's pictureJill Farren

I Pick You!

Did I tell you I started my 9th job in 5 years?

I have been searching for “the right fit”, “the what I had before”, “my ship”…anything that will give me a sense of pride and production at the end of my workday.

November I said YES to “The One”, I am sure it covers everything I want this time. An Italian Skincare brand and a distribution company from Montreal that is giving me carte blanch to unveil in Ontario. Oh how I waited for this.

Itinerary reads:

November 27th: Flight 6:00 am

Arrive in Montreal office: 8:00 am

Hotel: Holiday Inn Downtown

2:00 am my alarm sounds and today there is no snooze for another 10 mins. A dress to impress day and a cab waiting outside for me and my luggage. How does one dress for below -15 weather and still look trendy? I think I read once that it’s all in the attitude…

It’s going to be a long day my mind keeps telling me but I’m not listening, I’m on fire, starting something new, I have ENERGY TO BURN.

The wind is howling and my cab ride was easy to find just outside of arrivals,“I’m Pierre”, “Welcome”.

“Hey Pierre”, “I’m Jill”, he grabbed my suitcase on wheels and threw it in the trunk, as a Frenchman living up to his chivalry he opened the door to the back seat.

“I’m going to 3345 Route en louve, do you take visa?” Apparently he takes anything I have to offer.

Gosh we’ve passed 7, 8 ,9 Timmy’s, I need a Timmy’s, I’m already an hour late and my starting out on the right foot could be compromised if I stride in with a large Tim Hortons double, double.

The cabbie slows to a final stop and announces we are here. Industrial row offices, hmmm not what I expected.

“Oh Pierre on visa but your tip in cash, just write me a receipt for $30.00.”

“Thank you, merci, I will get your luggage.” He opened my door and the cold wind felt like a slap across the face. My leather gloves are fitting for this temperature not to mention a professional touch to the rest of my winter ensemble. “Au revoir and um Merci Pierre.” And he was gone.

The snow was shoveled enough to not have to lift my suitcase the short distance to the office door, the handle to open looked somewhat confusing with a top button, a pull down latch and a knob underneath. With one hand I pushed down on the latch and with the other hand turned the knob. Switched hands and tried again shaking the knob. I heard someone yelling “turn and pull top latch, it sticks”

“I AM”

I try again, using more muscle power to push. The latch moved quickly this time and felt like it bit my finger. I tried quickly to pull back and couldn’t break free, the latch remained lowered in a tight grip on the end of my index fingered glove. When I stepped into the office finally with everything but my glove I saw 6 people awaiting my arrival….”well hi everyone, my glove is stuck on the door outside”. “Welcome Jill, don’t worry we will get Nick to save your glove”.

“Est-ce celui qui est tombe”?

“Yes Jill is the one that fell”

That was Helen-Marie she is the owner of the company, evident that she perhaps shared my unfortunate accident the week prior when introducing me to my new accounts in my hometown. Could that have been a red flag?

It was not a fancy office, very grey with a large portrait of her Father with a traditional gold frame and highlighted with an art light, I found out later he started the company 30 years ago and passed down to his daughter Helen-Marie. I was ushered upstairs and into a beautiful training room with a bed in the center and a circle of table desks with most of the seats filled.

“Welcome Jill, come sit down and join us” Uh ok. I thought I was flying solo here.

“We have 30 spa owners and their estheticians here for training and you will take part in this as well”.

I look around and although I am a young 53, I am without a doubt the oldest chic here, what a young group. Ariene is the trainer and she has a strong French accent, almost difficult to understand. I am intent to seriously focus. I found a seat on the end of a 12 seated table and quietly took my notebook and pen out of my black messenger bag to take notes and title a page with QUESTIONS!! for after. This will be great….I feel settled and less on edge now.

Ariene explained as she walked around the room, “today is all about cellulite, we will do a demonstration of a cellulite treatment on a dimpled, aging skin.”

OH this is going to be good I thought. I have not ever seen this type of treatment. All ready to take notes, I notice Ariene is walking around speaking French to individuals and some banter and laughing with a few heads shaking no…

She stops directly in front of me and accusingly tells me I have cellulite and I will be her model. OY! I should have known she would choose me, I’m the oldest person here. Not only that but as the old saying goes WHAT YOU FEAR, YOU DRAW NEAR! Great, another surprise. I like to think of myself as a participator and usually jump at the chance to help but I’m feeling like I’m getting ready for surgery with an audience.

Ariene hands me a short wrap around and tells me to take everything off but my panties, good god thankfully I wore panties today. On my way back into the very busy and somewhat chilly room I make my way to the bed in the middle and attempt to hop on it without losing my crap, I mean wrap. My legs are hairy and my moisturizer was absorbed long before my arrival leaving a very dry appearance. I’m sure they will moisturize me after the lecture. This was a great training for the group, as Ariene is right, I do have cellulite and they are learning the pinch/drain method and were writing in their notebooks as fast as they could. Did I say pinch/drain method?? Yes I sure did, although I didn’t get a chance to take notes, I did have every dimple on my legs pinched and punched then pushed to my ankles. I felt like my lower half was put through an old hand fed washing machine.

While my massage was taking place many of the trainees got up from their chairs to have a better look, the table was surrounded with people all talking in their native tongue – nothing I understood. I could imagine what they might have been saying,

Wow look at all that cellulite


She didn’t even bother to shave her legs “mon dieu”


She’s a good sport….but no what they were saying was …. Puis-je toucher? = “Can I touch it?”

And puis-je en faire un? = Can I do one?”

The answer must have been help yourself because I had somebody trying to get rid of a dimple like they were trying to pop a pimple on a sore face and another running her hand up and back down my leg…dignity anyone?

After the torture, all I could think to say was…Thank you so much, I really needed that!


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