Work Road Trip Notes

February 01, 2007

I'm posting this from a short work trip to North Carolina. I flew into Raleigh with Tyler (of sporadic haiku acclaim) and Ann, a sixty year old career woman whose energy and patience is double what we younger guys have.

While we were walking out of the Raleigh airport, she's moving along at a good clip, toting what appears to be seventy-five pounds of luggage. We got to an intersection, and she asked, "You guys want to take a short cut out of here?"

"But Ann, that says for wheelchairs only."

She slowed her pace, lost her good posture, and some sudden bit of magic made her out of breath as she approached the guard -- the man whose only job is to sit at that door and make sure no one who is not wheelchair bound gets to take the shortcut.

"Excuse me sir (gasp). Are (huff) the escalators down there (huff) working?"

"Yes ma'am, but would you like to take the elevator?"

"Oh yes, please. Can (gasp) these guys come with me?"


I guess when your only job is to sit by a door and open it every once in a while, you go ahead and take any chance for that one possible break in the routine that you can get.

Once past the shortcut door, we had to march through the zig zag line of people waiting to check into security. A TSA official stopped the line, opened the nylon line zig zag holder, and let us pass through to the elevators.

When the elevator door closed, Ann went back to her energetic self. "Shit, that's too far to walk for no good reason."

This really big outhouse serves the work population of a large building in an office park in Rocky Mount, NC.
I spent the afternoon in a meeting going line by line through some technical documentation. There were a couple of odd things about the location of our meeting. First, there was no indoor plumbing. Honest to God. The facilities were in a large clean mobile home type of out building, with boat type of commodes without water in the bowl. Second, it was right along a frequently used train tracks. After a while, I started interrupting the meeting with announcements about the trains. "There's the 4:45, right on schedule." Everyone else ignored me. "There's the 5:02, right on schedule." Ignored again. "There's the 5:22, right on schedule." Just before I made this announcement, I saw Tyler look up. He appeared the be the only one who anticipated my question. Another lady asked, "Do you have them all memorized?" "Yeah, I took a look over the train schedule during the drive over. There wasn't much else to do." I'm not sure if she believed me.

That night at dinner, we got seated at a long table against the wall at an Outback Steakhouse.

"Man, I love big booths," said Tyler as he slid in. But it didn't sound like "booths."

I wouldn't have laughed except that Ann started cackling. A random, "Man, I love big boobs," would be much funnier. I encourage you all to try to work that into conversation today.