Friday, December 09, 2005

Comedy of errors, snowstorm-style

Well, it has been an interesting day here in the Windy City...

Good news - the official "offer letter" came from my new employers-to-be today. Orientation will be Monday through Wednesday - although in order to make it out to Lincolnshire, IL (where the corporate HQ's are) I'll have to be up by 4:30 AM, on the road by 5:30 AM to be downtown at Union Station by 6:15, to catch a 6:30 a.m. to Lincolnshire, to get there by 8:30. (I can just hear Stevie Wonder singin' Livin' just enough...just enough for the cit-aye...) But a boy's gotta do what a boy's gotta do...

For some reason, digestive challenges kept me getting up repeatedly through Wednesday night and into Thursday morning. Despite getting up earlier than usual, I still managed to be running out the door late. But I was encouraged, because I was going to be seeing my friend Eric from Kansas for dinner Thursday night - a long-awaited reunion. So that eased my frustration at getting to work late.

A series of technical FUBARs made the day at work a challenge - leaving me with half-a-dozen things half done, and only one completely resolved. I definitely opened more cans of worms than I managed to seal up. Of course, that's the nature of the work, too - but it was frustrating, nonetheless.

It was when someone walked back in from getting coffee that they said, "Look at the snow!" And snow it did - making the Chicago riverside walk look like quite the winter wonderland. I have to admit, it was pretty - snow falling pretty much straight down, in a relatively windless and warm day (well, 28F/-2C - warm for a Chicago day in December!). Not exactly a Kincaide painting, but close...

Of course, it completely scrambled Eric's travel - he got to take off from KC to St. Louis, then they delayed him 2-1/2 hours in STL, and then he finally did take off from STL to Chicago. Of course, no one could have known that Southwest flight 1248 from Baltimore would land in Chicago about a half-hour before Eric's flight, sliding off the runway, crashing through the barrier wall around Midway Airport and ending up in the intersection of 55th St. and Central Ave. (you'll have to do a free registration to read the article). Needless to say, they closed the airport, and that, as they say, was that.

So Eric's plane went back to St. Louis, and I started a two-hour trek from the office to the apartment in Pullman. I managed to connect by phone with several folks along the way - sponsees, friends - so it wasn't lost time. But the 6 blocks from the train to the apartment were long, slipperly, snowy, crappy blocks - so I was more than ready to get into the apartment and get dry...when I got to the door of the apartment building and realized that I had somehow left my house-key-ring at the office.

If there is anything more embarrassing than being locked out of your own apartment, and having to wake your landlord up to let you in dead sober, I can't think what the hell it might be. I blistered the air with more than a few oaths that you will never find in the pages of Scripture, you can be sure.

Of course, I had a spare set of keys - it's just what you do when you're a forgetful guy like me. But the night before I had dropped my wallet onto the bedroom floor, and a whole bunch of stuff fell out of it. I just threw it all on the desk, planning to sort it all out the next morning. (So much for good intentions...)

At any rate, my landlord is a much more gracious guy guy than I am, and gave me a loaner set of keys, and all has ended well. My pants are hanging by the furnace to dry out, and I have a cup of hot herbal tea with which to finish the day off. Eric's flight from St. Louis to KC should be arriving right about now, and I trust that he will be home safe soon.

So despite all that, I'm home safe, unbruised (except my ego), undented, and I'm going to get to bed and give it another shot tomorrow! (Or actually later on today...)


Michael said...

My commute -- which sometimes can be as short as 30 minutes -- was an hour and a quarter yesterday. When I got off the train at the Dan Ryan and Garfield, six of us ran across six slushy lanes of traffic to watch a bus pull away from the stop when we were within twenty feet of it. So we waited in the snowfall (and it is alway windy on that unprotected overpass) for about ten minutes and finally an express bus pulled up. Just to announce he was only going part of the way. So I waited another ten minutes for a regular 55 to finally show up. Meanwhile, a lovely young black woman who is always there that time of day offered me free Bible lessons in my home from the Jehovah's Wintesses. (No, but thanks for asking. I was tempted to ask her to preach to me just to occupy the time for both of us.)I made it home, though, finally, to a warm apartment, to find my Partner ironing my shirts and making dinner. We watched a bad movie and went to bed where we fought over the covers.

So, as our friend from Andersonville would say to me, "Did you drink or drug today? Then what's your problem?"

Probably not being grateful sooner that a bus was coming, that I would be out of the snow, that there was food and a companion at the other end of the commute. That I had a job to commute from. And even that the worst movies are more fun when shared with someone you love. And fighting for the covers with someone you love is a great git.

Poor Mad Peter said...

Yep. Another day. May it go well, my man.