Thursday, February 6, 2014

Be careful what you wish for.

Feb. 6.
This blog has taken me forever to write. It's actually more like a diary entry. It's been a very stressful week driving to a new location. Driving 30 miles at 5 a.m. through a blizzard. My computer has been incredibly slow. Writing on it was a chore. The bulk of this, and I do stress the word "bulk" as it long, for which I apologize, was written during the course of this week on a little Asus laptop.  It really should be 3 or 4 entries. It seems that I have overcome my computer problems. I hope.  Let the bulk begin.

So I ran into my former boss and friend one morning at work a few weeks ago. I was working the overnight shift doing inventory. I hear a familiar voice and turn around to see my former boss Scott. He had finished his inventory and had to attend a meeting at my store because we have a conference room. I have worked with Scott in various locations more than half my 43 years with the company. The last time was between the years 2000 and 2011. We both whined about our jobs in our particular stores. I am in a city store just a stones throw from Boston. He is in the western suburbs in the wealthy "village" of Chestnut Hill.  A wealthy suburb with a difficult and demanding clientele. We talked about the old days and Scott complained about his "brain dead" crew and how he would like me to come back and work for him. Now the location ne is not all that far away from where I live, about 12 miles. It's one of the few locations in the Boston area that I have not worked in. I agreed that it would be great to work with him again. Well guess what? I dropped a few well placed hints with a few people in high places and this passed Friday I was called to the office and informed I had been transferred to Chestnut Hill, officially classified as a village with parts of it in Boston, Brookline and Newton (home of the Fig Newton) .

Now I had no clue as to how to get there. After Map Questing the location I found the most direct route was through Boston. Now as I have said many times how I love the city of Boston and all it has to offer but getting around the city if you don't know all the streets can be a nightmare. Streets based on 300 to almost 400 year old cow paths combined with all the continuous construction can make it a nightmare. So to make a long story longer, I plugged all the pertinent information into my GPS and off we went. At first it seemed pretty simple. Drive passed the store we worked in in the 80's, very close to Fenway Park, continue straight until we pass several hospitals, bear right onto Rt. 9. Follow it until you reach the store. Seemed simple enough. Only about 12 miles. Well it wasn't. Since I worked there the "Big Dig" has happened. They took down an elevated roadway, a tunnel was built under the city, and a bridge was erected along with numerous ramps and exits that I have never used. Well we (Arlene and I) took the grand tour. We drove around and around, going through parts of town I have never been to.
Well we eventually got there. This is, supposedly, the store of the future. You grab a shopping cart and push toward an escalator specially built to take the cart up to the second floor and you get on another escalator and meet your cart at the top. The same is true when you leave. You put your cart on it's escalator, you get on the people escalator next to it and you meet at the bottom. Why is the market on the second floor? Because part of the parking lot is under the store. Why? I'm not sure. By the way on our confusing way home we passed what turned out to be the scene of a murder. This little side street in Cambridge was blocked with police cars and yellow crime scene tape. The story was on the late news.  
Alright that was Sunday. I'm now writing this on Monday evening at about 11 p.m. I have worked my first day there. I found that there were several ways to get there. The most direct route, through Boston, was not an option. Too nerve racking. There were several other options involved driving roads that I have never been on. I ended up taking a route that takes me in the opposite direction at first then loops around the city and connects to the road that the store is on. All the roads are highways and tack an extra 20 miles to my trip and yet the time is nearly the same and it's all highway driving. Of course the time you travel is crucial. As always my schedule is all over the map. Monday was 8:30a.m. to 5:00p.m., Tuesday 11:30 to 8:00p.m., Wednesday 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and so on. Tonight's drive was not great because it was snowing but I'd rather take 3 major highways and end up a half mile from my house than wind my way through the city. I've worked in town before and have spent 45 minutes to an hour driving 6 miles at rush hour.

Tuesday evening 9:30. I got home about a half hour ago, ate the rest of the pasta primavera I made last night and am now in bed writing this. Today we had the usual snow panic buying everything in sight.

Wednesday. Up at 4 a.m. Another snowstorm, predicted to start around dawn around here. Halfway through my drive the snow started. The day was slow businesswise as everybody was home drinking their milk, eating sandwiches, and whatever else they bought in mass panic over snowmagedon. The drive home was ponderous. At several points in my journey this 4 lane highway slowed to a stop as we were all behind what they call a "conga line" of plows.
Needless to say I was dog tired when I arrived home after an hour and a half drive.

Thursday. I managed to stay up till about 12:30 and slept until almost 8 this morning. Much better than my average 5 hours. I have things to do today but you know what? I'm spending it lounging around doing nothing except writing this, eating, playing the guitar and having a beer or two, if I had any. But I' not going anywhere. I have another 6 a.m. start tomorrow.

I've gone on long enough. I've got a lot of serious nothing to do.

I'm outta here.  



  1. I love that word 'snowmagedon' and I am going to swipe it. The weather here is beyond miserable and I can't wait for spring.
    Do you like your new job? Of course if it would quit snowing it would make your commute so much easier.
    You have permission to do nothing today, that is what I have been doing. I did make some homemade soup and I have eaten about 1/2 gallon of cherry vanilla ice cream the last few days.
    I am not sure what pasta primavera is but I will google it and find out. Be safe driving.

  2. That seems like quite a trip, but I'm sure it will be much better when this snow is finally gone. Interesting concept of a store on the second floor. Also the meeting of your carts.

  3. I am happy for you Paul. Your dropping hints were heard. I have seen a conga line and it's no fun. Don't work too hard at nothin. I like the term snowmagetten. Take care!!

  4. Isn't it almost time to retire from all of the madness?!!! 43 years with the same company deserves a reward! Spring will be here and we all will take a deep breath and relax a bit. Hangin' with ya!

  5. Gosh That journey sounds like quite a trip for you. Phew! The weather here has been bad miserable and beyond. Hope you enjoyed your me time , nothing quite like it.
    Take Care .

  6. Oh man...I would absolutely have hated even in the best of circumstances to make that trip each day and in goodness no. As you said so rightly, be careful what you wish for. You may get it.

  7. Bad enough new job but commute in SNOWMAGEDON is just the pits. I do hope you get some normalcy whatever that is in your schedule. Take care of those crazy drivers out there and stay warm and well.