Monday, August 08, 2005


Look For The Union Label. Part Two.

Part One started here. This all comes from notes about my experiences written during boring meetings I didn't pay attention to. So just bear with me when the timeline gets a little jumpy.

So I find the parking garage at what we'll call Site A. They've instructed us to use the thirty minute loading zone parking spaces there. So I find one, park, and look for the sign in area. And it's already hot and humid and I'm miserable. But I see a long table with some umbrellas and the appropriate logo, and I go on up. It's about 9:10, but maybe I can check in early. I mean, I totally hate standing in lines.

Me: Is this the check in place for the union?
First Lady: Sure, what's your name?
(And I'm thinking "Score!" This lady is cool.)
Me: My name.
First Lady: Hmmmm. I don't see it here. Do you have your letter?
(And now I'm thinking "If this somehow I'm not registered this will totally suck.")
Me: Errrr. . . I think it's in the car . . .
Second Lady: Wait let me check this other list. Oh yes, here you are. You're down at Site B.

And Second Lady gave me some "kinda sorta go that way" instructions, but conveniently located "You Are Here" directories and my own finely honed by Cub Scouts (I was a bobcat!) sense of direction got me down to Site B. It's a bit of a walk, over hills and down stairs in the sun. I was hot, and not the sexy kind. Surely I jest, you're thinking. Yeah, just bury your face in my sweaty pits and you'll see what I mean. Oh yeah, right there . . . just like that . . . but I digress. In the vicinity of Site B, I see a sort of room check in area for conferences, but no sign of check-in for the actual conference.

Now my half-hour is running low in the loading zone at Site A (which if you've been paying attention, is now all uphill from Site B), maybe we're hitting 9:30 by now. So I go to the desk. Room check-in will start at 10AM, and conference check-in an hour later. But I figure I'll take a chance, and go on to conference check-in. The lady at Site A seemed accommodating, and maybe I can sneak over the thirty minute limit if it'll get me checked in early. Well yes, the new lady sees my name, but no, I can't check in until 11AM. Fine, whatever. So to kill some time, I go back up to my car, you know, to get it out of the loading zone and to see if I can cruise around and find a closer parking lot to the rooms at Site B where I'll be staying. I mean, I don't even want to walk that distance again, let alone drag my luggage at the same time. So I make it up the trail of tears like trek back to my car. Now I'm twice as hot, and not because I have a sexy identical twin. Which would be sweet because if I had a sexy identical twin, by definition I would be sexy too (I swear I am so Fate's bitch). I get to my car just in time to crank the sweet, life giving A/C on full blast. And my Mountain Dew is still cold. Mmmmmmm. More sweet life. I won't die after all.

So I drive around the loop, and I do see a closer lot, but none of the signs indicate loading zones of however many minutes. Maybe I can figure something out, but for now it's almost 10AM, so it's back up to Site A parking, and back down the hill to Site B for room check in. Ooops, before I got out of the Site B parking lot, I backed into one of those little barrier poles. How could I be so stupid, you may be wondering. Well rather than a pole maybe four feet high, something that's, you know, ACTUALLY VISIBLE OFER THE BACK END OF THE CAR, this thing is so rinky dink you can't even see it. Nope, this pole was nice and short and invisible. Which, oddly enough, is not the first time I've heard that sort of reference to a certain pole. Now I'm not saying I'm a perfect driver, and maybe my neck was a little stiff or whatever, but what I am saying is that even if I got on my knees on the seat and faced directly backward looking over the trunk of the car, this pole would still be too low to see. What's up with that? Fortunately for me, my 5mph bumper just bounced back into shape and everything was fine.

Now I'm back at the first lot, A/C the whole way, Mountain Dew replenished fluids, and it's over hill and dale again in the stupid heat. I get the room, and the girl gives the ok to park real quick in the Site B lot to offload the luggage. But before I walk back up to my car, I want to check the room. You know, be prepared and all. I walk up these steps, and it's all concrete and bricks all the way up to the front door of the building I'll be staying in. It's all card readers now, because regular metal keys that work every time and are dependable are just so old fashioned, don't you know, old boy? If your ears are tuned for sarcasm, you'll already know that my card was all squirrely in the card reader. And I'm in the sun, bricks on three sides, it's like a solar oven or something, and I'm running this card up and down over and under, this way and that, and it just is not working. And I know something is happening, because if I run it the wrong way, the reread card light comes on. But running it the right way means exactly nothing happens. I finally sneak in on someone else's exit.

Now that I'm inside, I jam on that elevator button. No way I'm walking up three flights of stairs. And here's a question I have for these jerks. Rather than invest in balky front door key technology that sucks, why not invest in elevator technology that is somewhat more efficient than what you might find in a 1930's tenement? I mean, it almost would have been faster for me to drag myself up the three flights of stairs with my lips than to take this elevator. And the foyer is warm, the elevator is warm, the hallway is warm, no sign of A/C in any of them. If my room feels like this, I don't know what I'll do. If I want to live without A/C, I could just stay home, where it won't be fixed til Wednesday. At best, they probably have the A/C tunred off and I'll have to crank it up once I get in. If the card works, that is.

It does work, and it works perfectly. The light goes green, and I have several seconds to open the door. It's not like a race or anything. And that door opens. Let me tell you, it wasn't warm in there. It wasn't hot. It wasn't even cool. It was like a freaking meat locker in there. For all I knew, they were storing dead bodies in there under the beds. I wasn't going to look. Oh baby it was so glorious. I swear, if I could have reached it I would have humped that ceiling mounted A/C vent. I was twirling like in The Sound Of Music. Oh happy day! Later, I would learn two things. One, everyone who knows better uses the side door to the building, where the card works every time, and two, meat locker is fine during the day, but perhaps not so fine at bedtime when it's sixty degrees and you're huddling under a blanket. (I wrote that at breakfast Monday just a few minutes ago, and after a ten minute walk uphill, already warm and very humid, I'm vowing never to question the meat locker again! But did I remember to turn it back on before I left?)

After a few minutes of chilled air Nirvana, i do all the shuffling to get the luggage, get checked into the conference, get my folder, get my tote bag, get my hang around the neck name badge, get my parking sticker, get all parked nice and legal, and get back to my room. I've got enough time for a two hour nap before the Sunday afternoon meeting. I plug in the alarm clock and get it set. I set my cell phone alarm. I even call Miss Tori to have her call me just in case the other alarms don't do it for me. I have been known to sleep through alarms before. We'll get to the first meeting next time, but now let's have our political/anti-Arnold moment of the day.

During some speech, one of the state people says: "We're going to be adding a political track next year, to prepare for 2006. That is, if they even have elections." Big laughs, because you know, all Republicans want is to shut down elections and rule with an iron fist, unlike the tolerant lefties. And there's a tolerant lefty quote in here somewhere; we'll get to it.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?