Saturday, February 26, 2011

Not my ideal Saturday.

I've missed quite a bit of work lately, so I was forced to go in to work today, a Saturday, to make up some of my missed hours, in an effort to save as much of my vacation time as I could.  A pain in the ass, but no real biggie.  I planned on making up as much time as possible, until the cabin fever set in and I had to get out.

I worked five hours and decided that was more than sufficient for a Saturday.  I was hungry and wanted to get home for my daily dose of 30 Rock reruns on Netflix Instant.  So I clocked out and made the trek to my car.

I park in a muddy lot a few minutes from my office because it's the cheapest option.  On weekends, hardly anyone parks there.  Today was no exception.  As I neared the lot, it was obvious I was the only car in the lot.  I was glad it was still light out.  I walked a little faster.  And then...I saw it.

It being a pesky downed wire that stretched ALL THE WAY across the only entrance and exit to my parking lot.

The sun was setting fast and it was getting colder already.  I called 911 and told them about the wire, but the dispatcher was less than helpful because I could tell her the road I was on and the name of the parking lot, but I couldn't provide her with an exact street address.  "Tell me a cross street."  She said.  There weren't any.  "Tell me the number of the nearest building."  I looked up and down the road.  It would take me 15 minutes, at least, to walk to the nearest building.  I was a bit stranded.  "We'll try to find you."  She said finally and hung up, annoyed.

She wasn't the one freezing her ass off.  The temperature had read 40 degrees when I drove past this morning, but the fact that my fingers were turning bright red tipped me off to the fact it was no longer even close to that warm.

I stood there helplessly for a while in the cold, watching the sun set.  Some people walked by me and headed towards the parking lot.  "Be careful,"  I told them, indicating the wire.  "There's a downed wire.  I don't know if it's live."

They smiled and stepped right over it, not even hesitating for a moment.  It was only when I realized that they were heading under the bridge, and after watching the female collapse in the snow and lay there for a while, that I realized they were probably high and hadn't even understood what I was saying.

I figured if a crackhead could step over the wire and be okay, maybe I could, too.  But I wasn't wearing sneakers (rubber keeps you grounded, right?) and I had my cell phone in one hand and my keys in the other.  I held my breath and stepped over.

I found myself on the other side of the wire, still alive.  Awesome.

I got into my car and cranked up the heat.  A Prairie Home Companion was coming on the radio, which was good news, but I was starving.  Bad news.  I still couldn't get out of the parking lot, mainly because I still wasn't sure if the wire was live, or if my car was "grounded" because of it's tires.  Not to mention, the wire wasn't touching the ground, just hanging slightly above it.  What if I tried to go over it and got stuck somehow?  Wrecked my car?  My Worst-Case-Scenario mind was running on all cylinders.

After an hour, the police finally found me based on my craptastic directions.  But they didn't dare cross the wires to come talk to me, and I didn't want to get out of my car.  So I sat there and watched them stand around and chat for what seemed for far too long.  Soooo hungry.  NPR wasn't succeeding in taking my mind off of my stomach.  I was getting angry, too.  This was not how I wanted to spend my Saturday! And I was burning all of my gasoline just trying to keep warm.

Finally, a big, helpful-looking yellow truck showed up.  Now thing were finally going to start happening.  A man stepped out, suited up in big gloves and snipped some wires apart so that he could safely move the pole and the wire out of my path  I was free!  I thanked them both and was on my way.

I am hoping for a nice, calm, productive Sunday to make up for the pain-in-my-ass Saturday!

EDIT:  Seriously though.  I can get a GPS on my phone, I can pay for Starbucks with my phone--why can't 911 triangulate my location?  It's the year 2011.  Come on now.

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