Getting To Work
Science fiction has it all figured out. Just energize the transporter beam and you magically appear at your desk, workbench, shop, cubicle, store, office or wherever you work. Poof you’re there. No driving, no buses, no parking, no dinged doors… But until such time as those beamers become commonplace we still need to trudge to work daily.
Some funny, scary, strange or otherwise offbeat stories of the adventure of getting to work can be told by everyone. There are those among us who need to rise from a warm peaceful slumber at oh dark hundred, or 3 a.m. for those who do not know when oh dark hundred usually is. These poor souls have first gone to bed by 8 or 9 p.m. to get enough shut eye to rise at that “before the rooster crows” time. Going to be early usually sounds so inviting to me. I can read until my peepers slam shut and the next thing I know it is time to do it all over again. To be forced to retire at 8 p.m. to get up at 3 a.m. leaves much to be desired. But it is a daily event in some households.
There have got to be some interesting stories behind the goings and comings of us worker bees. And it just so happens that I came across one recently.
First, you know the U.S. Post office has a slogan that goes something like this, “Neither rain nor sleet nor gloom of night will keep the postman from his appointed rounds.” Well apparently the mining industry did not get that memo. There was, as is common place in our neck of the woods, a large, well huge piece of equipment being transported down our rural roads recently. No big deal really, kind of exciting to tourists passing through. However a post office employee, scheduled to open the post office, who travels a mere 100 plus miles to work who had gotten up at oh dark hundred, got caught in the wait for it to pass line of cars. Trying to explain to the officer of her need for speed was not getting her anywhere. Since our sparseness gives way to lack of phone signal there she was waving her phone in the air trying to get a signal to make someone aware of her predicament. Yes she did get through and the mail did go on its way. But the thing that I find interesting is this. When I was learning about driving there was a part in the driving hand book that had a diagram of a four way stop. At the stop was placed a police car with flashing red lights on, an ambulance with flashing red lights on, a fire truck with flashing red lights on and a cute little white mail truck with red and blue lines painted on the sides and a little yellow light on top. The question put forth to us eager beaver wanna be drivers was this; If all four of these vehicles come to the four way stop at the exact same time, who goes first? The ambulance which may have a life or death emergency in the back? The fire truck going to a fully engulfed house on fire? The police who may be on the way to a robbery? Or the little mail truck? Well we all knew it was the mail truck, because the mail always gets through.
Again, apparently gold outweighs the mail. Get it “outweighs!” Because gold is so heavy. Oh if I have to explain it it loses something. Well, it was funny at the time.
The point to this is that there are daily, hundreds, even thousands of us out there trying to get from here to there. In a hurry, zipping like grasshoppers do in front of you when you walk through a grassy field in late summer. Let’s remember who is in charge of our time. We are. Yes we need to get to work on time, do our jobs well and safe. But hey, don’t lose sight of the prize of knowing that even though sometimes a truck transporting a gigantic yellow dump truck capable of hauling 500 tons gets in our way, this too shall pass. And that card with five bucks tucked inside that your aunt sends you for your birthday will still arrive on time because—the mail truck always goes first, well 99 percent of the time.
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and opinions with her at firstname.lastname@example.org