Mama Never Said Shit About Days Like This

Just one of them days.

The last couple of days have been a whirlwind.  As of 9:00 AM yesterday, I was scheduled to leave this afternoon to head down to New Orleans for two weeks of fun and games on a methane reformer.  Then, I was set to get home on August 6th, and then take off for Tusimice, Czech Republic on August 11th.  But, as is always the case at The Company to be Named Later, the only constant is change.

At 9:05 yesterday morning I received an email telling me that there was a pretty bad fire at the power plant in Tusimice, and as a result, our work there will be delayed about 4 months.  Normally, this would’ve been some good news.  A little respite from the the ridiculous amount work I’ve put in over the last several weeks (or five years, depending on how you look at it).  But, Ms. Müller, unbelievably enough, was planning on making the 6 hour trek to Prague to come spend some time with me on that job.  So, the power plant aside, I was looking forward to that little trip.

Then, at 10:00 AM, I got a text from my coworker Kevin telling me that I probably wouldn’t need to be in New Orleans until Friday.  Now this was legitimately good news.  It’d been a mere seven days since my seven week stint in Germany, and two extra days to catch my breath sounded delightful.  But, some shit broke in Kansas.

Shit broke right here to be more exact. Wonderful La Cygne, Kansas.

Good news just became some pretty bad news.  I still have to be in New Orleans on Friday, but now I get to check out breathtaking La Cygne, Kansas in the mean time. So rather than waking up at 9:00 AM this morning to finish up packing and get gone to New Orleans, I had to wake up at 5:00 AM to be at the airport at 6:00 for my flight to KC.  Fuck.  So I stayed up far later than one should if one has an early flight the next morning just to finish up the laundry and packing, grabbed 4 hours of the sleep on the couch, and then it was today.

And today was just one of those days.  Started off well.  I left my backpack, my entire fucking backpack, with my GPS, camera, book, cell phone charger, and other assorted crap that I need, sitting in my apartment.  Short trip, I figured, I’ll be fine.  I’ll just pay for a navigation system in the rental car.  Nope.  Hertz, despite having easily 50 cars in the lot, had only one with their mediocre at best Neverlost navigation system.  A Mercedes in their ridiculously priced prestige collection.  So, it was the shitty free Hertz map for me.

I struggled mightily, but I found my hotel.  By this time it was about 12:30PM local, and the girl at the hotel refused, despite my Diamond Elite Status, to check me in until 2:00.  Fine, whatever.  So I changed into my power plant clothes in the hotel lobby bathroom, and used their “business center” to print out the Google map directions to the power plant, 45 minutes away. Finally, after one helluva seven-hour commute, and a stop at the gas station for as much water and Gatorade as I could carry, I arrived to work just before 2:00.

The work this job consisted of replacing a faulty lasery-measury-thingy.  No big deal, I’ve got all the equipment that I need, about a 2 hour job, should be pretty straightforward.  What I didn’t know was this:

172.8 F, 78.3 C… I mean this is above and beyond. I’m pretty sure going to work today shaved a few weeks off of my life.

That right there clocks in as the 3rd-hottest place I’ve ever been asked to work.  The aforementioned equipment, not to mention my body, doesn’t work too well in that kind of heat.  And to make things just a little more enjoyable, it was better than 100 degrees outside today.  That meant my usual pop out on the roof to cool off thing wasn’t horribly effective.  Long story short, after 6 brutal hours of cooking myself medium-rare, I was finally in the car on the way back to the hotel.

The view from my office. Even out here it was well over 100…

Now, after my little 14-hour day, here I sit at the fucking Hooter’s in Overland Park, Kansas (and I promise you, I’d rather eat at Denny’s than have a set of fake tits with daddy issues bring me mediocre chicken wings, but I can see this place from the hotel, and I didn’t much feel like getting lost for the third time today).  And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t exercising fantasies of telling virtually everyone back the office to go fuck themselves, and cashing in my quit-this-job fund in for a year or two in Europe.

I’m not sure exactly hot it was out there today, but it was still 96 (35.5C) at 8:30 pm while I was driving home…

But tomorrow, after putting in another 6 hours at the plant, I’ll get on my flight home, which ought to have me to my apartment 14 hours before I have to be back at the airport for my flight to New Orleans.

Mamma never shit about days like this.  Here’s to tomorrow.

-B. Littleton


Filed under The Road, The Work

2 responses to “Mama Never Said Shit About Days Like This

  1. The shittiest days result in the best stories. Love your blog. Sorry you got baked…and not in the good way.

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