A suspicious feast

My husband was a US Navy submariner for 6 years. He says that the submariners eat the best out of anyone in the Navy. It’s the only thing good about their life. They eat well for mental health.

We arrived at Auto Damage Basic yesterday. We stay at the National Convention Center (NCC) in Leesburg, VA, and train somewhere a few miles away. Our rooms are spartan shoeboxes with single-pane windows dressed in curtains from a foregone era, but the food here is spectacular. So is the organic argon shampoo.

Without violating the non-disclosure I signed, let it rest that the first two weeks in San Diego were intense. It started with 2 days of GEICO 101, which served as an introduction to the company and its policies, benefits, and culture. What followed was 8 days of Auto Damage Preschool, a basic introduction to the material we need to master. We memorized nearly 60 detailed diagrams and over 300 car parts, regurgitated pages from our manual verbatim, and had to maintain an 85% average on every daily exam. Or you’re fired. I now know more about cars than your dad or your uncle.

And we’re just getting started.

Phase 2 is supposed to be even more intense, meant to make Phase 1 look like a light appetizer to a heavy full-course meal. I suspect that’s why the cafeteria provides things like chia seeds, an olive bar, and fresh vegetables, roasted, raw and grilled. Last night I ate the entire rainbow, including red quinoa pilaf topped with walnuts. This morning I ate 4 different kinds of fruit and a waiter cleaned my dishes and refilled my tea.

Training starts tomorrow. But today we feast.

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