Friday, January 18, 2008


Yesterday, although starting out poorly with little sleep, turned strong in the first half, with a very successful meeting and surprise invitation to lunch by one of the executives I've been trying to develop a better working relationship with. Then, back to my borrowed office, where I tried to get some other work done, only to get bombarded by last minute requests for emergency projects - from all sides. A little bit of hysteria crept into me. I had to hustle out of the office, through the suddenly falling snow, back to the train station where the departure board was littered with notices of cancellations.


But, oddly, not my train, which remained boldly "On Time" up until its departure. (Apparently ours wasn't coming from far enough away to feel the affect of bad weather; even the Acela from DC to NYC was canceled though.) They let anyone holding any ticket on our train (in these security-cautious days, an Amtrak no-no), warned everyone of crowded cars and limited seats, and yet I got on, and had my own two-seater like many around me. False panic.

Of course then, scurrying to finish answering urgent-project emails on my Treo, I received a message that my mailbox was overfull and I could not receive or send until I signed on with my desktop computer and cleaned out my inbox. Why was it full? Because of the huge files sent to me regarding the project that I no longer could communicate with anyone about.

It should have been a welcome reprise, a forced moment of peace on a rolling train (I love trains), free to read or write or snooze. Remember? Back when we couldn't answer email or dial into conference calls or work on spreadsheets on our laptops when we were in transit between cities? Back when the notion of a "quiet car" would only be interpreted as no screaming babies or loud groups of teenagers?

The train was only 10 minutes late getting in. At 9 pm, I was back at my desk at home, work laptop perched on top of my closed home laptop, deleting old files and watching my inbox swell with new ones. Two people, seeing me alone, started IM chatting with me. A club of late night workers, one whose more permanent invitation I intend to politely deny.

But the "sleeping pill" worked better last night. I took it at about 10 and slept pretty soundly until 5:30. Not so bad. There is a "winter weather advisory" right now, and though it appears to be just rain here, the suburbs where my co-workers commute from are harder hit and so the office will be empty, not that it isn't on a Friday.


Blogger Kevin said...

Wow, it sounds like you got lucky on that train. We have a winter advisory over here as well. It's funny, because just a few weeks ago all of the snow melted, but it's back with full force now.

Go Figure.

6:42 PM  

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