Its a mad mad world

This has been one heck of a week at work. Each day, I had at least one new fire to go inspect. My entire team was in the field and we were pulling from other departments just to show a presence at each job site. The affected homes were hours apart instead of a few miles, and I spent my week on the road as I personally respond to each new claim. As a result, heading into this morning, I had a lot of catching up to do just to keep things from falling completely apart.

I was in early and started my Friday by knocking out about half of my to do list and was looking forward to a productive afternoon that might give me a whole weekend away from my desk Then the phone rang. Another smoke damaged home. In Dayton. 90 minutes away. I sighed, set an afternoon appointment, and looked helplessly at the tasks I would have to leave for another day.

Before my journey out 70 west, I had to make a stop at a local Mall. The Polaris Fashion place is your typical city mall, but I had not been there in over a year. I am not a mall kind of guy, and I certainly am not a fan of the mad rush of Christmas season. But ,my client works inside the mall, and he needed the file I had for him before tomorrow. Since my newly planned road trip would most likely take the entire afternoon, I pointed the Mammoth-mobile towards the shopping mecca and arrived smack dab in the middle of lunch hour.

On a sunny July day, I can make it from the I-270/71 interchange to the Polaris exit in about 2 minutes. Hang a left onto the parkway, go three lights, turn right and your are in the parking lot. 10 minutes tops. However, on this Friday the 13th, in the heart of Christmas shopping season, the jaunt to the Polaris exit took 40 minutes. To go 2 miles. It was like everyone in Columbus decided they needed to be in that area all at the same time. After an hour in traffic and another 15 minutes looking for a parking spot, I strolled into the two story mall at about 12:15. And instantly I remembered why I stay away.

Anyone ever go to a metal concert? If so, then you are well aware of what a mosh pit is. If not, look it up. There is an awesome description on Wiki Answers . I will wait.......ok, got it? Cool.

Now, imagine that with strollers. And senior citizens. And a million people with a million different stories from a million separate walks of lives all going for the same IPAD. It was nuts. I was swept up in the mob and spit out the other side. I made the drop, then dived back into the sea of people and tried to find the exit. As I walked out the door an old woman glared at me as if to say "Rookie, don't ever come back". I will heed that advice. The things I do for customer service. Oy vey.

After fighting traffic out of the mall parking lot, I headed towards my afternoon appointment. The road trip I had been dreading all day. But you know what? I like to drive. And the hour and a half out and back in the car, listening to my music was just the break I needed from this mad mad world.

Tomorrow I am up early to drop the oldest off at school at 5:45 am to catch the wrestling bus. Then at 8 I will meet my Dad at his hotel. He and I will go see John-Michael wrestle in Pickerington. But that is not the only reason he is in town. He, my sister, and her family, are in town for a get together at my house tomorrow afternoon. It is sure to be a great time as my brother and his kids will be joining us as we celebrate December and January birthdays and have our holiday party all at once.

Of course after my booked Saturday calendar comes to a close, I will be in the office Sunday morning trying to once again get caught up before the next wave hits. But I am not complaining. Overworked is better than no work at all. Besides, I am that fire guy, for now. So this is what it takes.

Day # 284, so looking forward to seeing my family tomorrow. Having them all in my home is just another example of how it is good to be me!



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