Monday, February 20, 2006

My Weekend...

*yawn* I'm back from my trip home.

It's amazing the difference your general attitude can make, isn't it? I always get so freaked out and stressed by traveling that, if I were someone travelling near me, I'd cross to the other side of the plane to escape.

A few weeks ago, I flew to Nashville to visit my best friend. I left work early, although not as early as I'd hoped, only to get stuck at the train tracks while FIVE different metra trains came by, adding 20 minutes to my time. Then I dropped off my coworker and stopped at home momentarily before heading to the airport, only to get trapped on the highway. Due to inclement weather, there were several traffic accidents. It took me longer to drive to the airport than it takes to fly to Nashville. I was convinced that I was going to miss the plane. I called the airline and the customer service rep told me that there was another, nearly empty plane in an hour and to just relax. Riiiight. Anywho, I made the flight, by the skin of my teeth. I was the last one to board, and I was still getting settled when the plane took off. Whew! But the stress of the trip affected my whole visit. It takes me a while to calm down once I've gotten all twitchy.

Somehow, that experience made me much more relaxed this trip, so even though I had many silly things go wrong, it didn't phase me. I left work early, although once again, not as early as I'd hoped, dropped my coworker off and got home only to find that they changed the outside locks. So I buzzed the guy with the keys, listened to how he'd been broken into the day before, grabbed my stuff, dropped the new key off with the petsitter, parked in the spiffy new economy deck, shuttled over to the airport, made it through security, waited through the delays and was off. [I like that new deck, and not just because I think it decreases my chances of running into 'the licker' again. One day I'll tell you about him. *shiver* Odd things just happen to me.]

Once in Cleveland, I wandered around until I discovered the shuttle to the rental cars. (You have to wait outside, so learn from me and dig your scarf and gloves out of your baggage before going out to wait for the shuttle, 'cause it really sucks doing it outside when it's 10 F and there's an icy wind howling around you.) After arriving at the building where the rental cars live, I waited in line FOREVER for the one person on duty to help the couple ahead of me.

Finally, it was my turn. The desk lady fiddled around and finally handed me the contract, told me to turn right at the bathroom sign and help myself to any Alero out there. I spent 20 minutes wandering around outside in that wind, trying to find even a single Alero. (What the hell do those things look like, anyway?!?) Finally, I went over to the booth and begged for help. The guy there didn't know what an Alero was either, but he said they didn't have any. He did put me in his toasty warm vehicle and drive me over to the mid-size section. After pondering my choices for a while (Malibu? PT Cruiser? Strange little mini-van thing?) I decided on a G6, loaded all my stuff in and then spent another several minutes fooling around trying to fix the seat. Just out of curiosity, how do you drive with the back reclined like that? Is that to make room for a tail? And why do you have to leave it like that? *growl* Finally, I just plumped up the lumbar support enough to hold me upright and called it a day.

As I was zipping down the highway (that little car could move!), it occurred to me that I didn't get upset about any of the little setbacks that, while perfectly expected in travel, still usually manage to make my teeth clench. Maybe I'm maturing? Nah. Must be something else.

At any rate, I had a very nice, although very quick, visit home and made it back here before it was too late.

I've been trying to stick it out here until I managed to get my six sigma green belt certification. I've passed the test, so all I need now is to finish the project and get it signed off. Unfortunately, it's becoming the never-ending project from hell, so I think waiting on it is a mistake. Me thinks it's time to polish up the resume and start actively trying to get home. Someone around there somewhere must be in the market for a slightly cynical engineer, right??

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