Misadventure from Tuesday

On Wednesday, I had my job interview with UW-Parkside. But it was quite a misadventure to get there on Tuesday.

In some sense, the misadventure from Tuesday paralleled my “Worst Day in Undergraduate Years” with a few of the following parallels:

  • Backtracking
  • Lost item(s)
  • Flying “solo”
  • Transportation problems

So, here is my story. The present tense, when used, refers to my thoughts at the time.

I had taken the day off from the office on Tuesday (although, technically, there’s no requirement for me to be in the office at this point, particularly since my Stout contract expired). After an uneventful day of preparing my research talk, running a few errands on bike, and then taking the Forbidden Actions, I drove to pick up my suit and overcoat from the dry cleaner.

But, as I was preparing to pay, I realized, ‘I have to go back home! I left my good shoes in my backpack!’ That is fine, as the dry cleaner was not far from my apartment. So I returned home, picked up the shoes,  put away the overcoat, and began to drive again. However, about two miles after I left the house, I panicked: ‘My padfolio with my teaching demo notes is on the kitchen table!’ So, I backtracked again, and THIS time I now have everything I need. Suit and padfolio are in the messenger bag, computer and jump drive and journal are in the computer bag.

I retraced the steps I was going to take, along WIS-29 toward County Trunk Highway N, and as I approached Kyote’s Den, a torrential rain appeared, and I scrubbed speed in order to safely drive. The rain mostly abated by the time I got to N, and throughout the rest of the trip along N, Q, 94, and 35E, there were merely sprinkles. The traffic flowed fine on 94, but there was a jam on 35E. Once I got to Exit 103 (4 miles later), it was smooth sailing to Terminal 2’s parking garage.

I parked in the Orange Garage, and walked to the METRO station, taking it one stop to Terminal 1. Going up some escalators and taking a tram, I got to the area near baggage claim, and ascended a few more escalators. There was no need to check bags or pick up a boarding pass, so I went to the South Security Gates. But, they directed me North, as there was supposedly a shorter wait. Oh well! At least I get some extra steps!

I anticipated having to strip my shoes, unbag my computer, etc. But they told me to leave it all on. Go figure! Selective screening or something? After I passed security, I walked across the mall to Concourse D, and did not get to use a moving walkway or tram. I’m now waiting at Gate D2, and the plane was in the gate, despite the flight not being for another 80-ish minutes.

During the meantime, I opened my computer, and since it was on my lap rather than a desk, I chose to use this as a chance to recover the Spring 2008 journal, which is currently a text file that has weird formatting. Strangely enough, the fact it is a plaintext file makes it easy to convert into a .tex file, other than the fact that there will be a lot of deletions and texifying. There’s probably a better automated way to do it, but I’d rather look it over and do it myself, particularly since there’s so much junk code in it.

It was about 30 minutes before the flight was slated to take off, and the desk person said that the plane was having electrical issues that they were trying to fix. So, we continued to wait. And wait. And wait. And wait.

The clock struck 17:50, and the plane’s original departure time was 17:40. The crew deemed the plane to not be flying-fit. They would attempt to find another plane for us to use.

Thankfully, this happened within a few minutes, but the gate change was to F16… on the OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE AIRPORT! The new departure time was slated for 18:55. I walked briskly across to the gate, and plenty of people were waiting there. In retrospect, I should have picked up some food at a vendor along the way, but I didn’t have the foresight for the later events.

We eventually boarded, and I was in Zone 3, which basically meant that I was the last passenger to board the plane. Nevertheless,  I got a window seat on the two-seat column of the plane’s layout. The anticipated flight time was 65 minutes, because there was going to be a slight diversion due to weather. The flight took off, finally, at 19:20.

On the plane flight, I journaled about the last couple of days, figuring that would be a good thing to do on the flight rather than take out my computer for a brief period. After that, I did the Kenken puzzle in the Sky magazine, and fairly easily figured it out. And the crossword had some forward progress, but certainly not a complete solution. The actual flight time ended up being about 69 minutes, instead of 65, so I got to buzz them. The approach to Milwaukee was weird, as we overshot the airport, flew over Lake Michigan briefly, and then returned to approach the airport from the east. Is that standard operating procedure?

We landed, and after I exited the plane, walked the long D-corridor in my flip-flops, balancing my two bags on my shoulder, and proceeded to the GO Riteway desk to get my shuttle toward UW-Parkside. The time was about 20:40 when I got to the desk.

Well, it was another 50-plus minutes before I got my shuttle. During the downtime, I played on my phone, read the Sky magazine halfheartedly, and journaled a few more bullets. At 21:39, the receptionist called my name, and I headed out to the propane-fueled shuttle (which was a 15-passenger caravan. Necessary for a single person?). The drive to Parkside was somewhat uneventful, but I vented to the driver in my non-confrontational, matter-of-fact tone about how my day had gone, and the fact that I hadn’t eaten since lunch time (about 12:30).

We arrived at Parkside around 22:15, and I entered the vestibule of the Pike River Suites. A placard on the door said, “Call the RA at [redacted]” which my itinerary mentioned as well. Calling her, she directed me to the office, which involved a bunch of wrong turns and “I still can’t see you.” Eventually, I found her waving across a field, and there was quite some amount of time wasted trying to find my reservation before we mutually remembered, “I’m in the guest suite!”

So, we got into the guest suite at 22:50, and she would bring a key for me so that I would not need to worry about carrying bags to the interview tomorrow. In the meantime, I changed into night clothes, and was preparing to journal… except for the fact that my current gold journal was nowhere to be found! I must have dropped it near the GO Riteway desk, so I called the airport and the GO Riteway number. Nobody had claimed anything. DANG! That loses about three-and-a-half-weeks of entries.

Man, I’m frazzled and hungry, yet suffering from hunger-induced anorexia, right now. The best thing would be to just go to sleep, and perhaps the interview tomorrow will have the same calming effect as the בר מצווה (bar mitzvah) that I attended nine years ago.

===========================================

היום אחד וארבעים יום-שהם חמישה שבועות ושישה ימים לעומר

Host Time: Next right!

Columbus?: 27 days.

Twenty-Nine: 30 days.

The Next Major Adventure: 57- days.

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