The pen wasn’t worth anything, but Maddie pocketed it anyway. Maddie wanted to get as much out of her first convention experience as she possibly could, because her boss might not ever let her do this again. Madeline Morgan was 24 years old and she worked as a dietitian in Saint Luke’s, the local hospital. Everyone called her Maddie and she preferred that, except when she was young and her friends teased her about being Maddie the mad hatter’s daughter, after they read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This teasing gave her a thick skin and she developed into a person that did not get upset easily, or insulted and she was able to take criticism well, so it turned out to be a positive thing for her.
The hospital is actually named St Luke’s at The Villages, it is located in central Florida and this town features an active adult retirement community where almost everyone rides golf carts to get where they want to go. Maddie lived in Florida her whole life and she only left the state a few times to go visit her grandmother in New Jersey when she was young. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics & Nutrition from Keiser University in Orlando two years ago and this was her first job as a Clinical Dietitian. Her boss Elenore Wiggins the Chief Clinical Dietitian had planned on going to the Dietary convention in Chicago and she obtained approval from the department director to expense the trip from the department budget, but this wedding popped up that interfered with the convention dates.
Maddie was getting an expense paid admission to the convention, a free flight, room and $35 daily for a food allowance, she was in heaven. Maddie was single, and although she had a serious boyfriend, she was still weighing her options and she did have a crush on a cute doctor who worked in the hospital, but so did a lot of the other girls. Her plane landed in Chicago, she checked into her hotel and went straight off to the convention where she was interested in learning as much as she could absorb about the science of clinical nutrition. She read the brochure that her boss gave her and she was looking forward to the food demonstrations and tastings that show was having and if she ate enough free samples at the convention, then she could keep that $35 food allowance for herself.
Maddie was planning on taking advantage of as many convention freebies as she could and she saw a booth giving out flip flops branded with their logo of a nutrition shake on it and all the women were flocking to that booth to get out of their heels. Maddie made sure she got some and she said, “Wow, now that’s a great idea.” She picked up several USB memory sticks and she even got a USB car charger. She met some nice girls and sampled some great food, this was turning out to be a great trip for her. She got a box of assorted teabags, coupons for free pasta, eyeglass-cleaning cloths, shoulder bags, Bluetooth headphones, Luggage tags and Chip clips and now she was worrying if her bags would be too heavy for her return flight.
Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan.