March 9, 2007: Another Long Day in the Office

When I finally got home last night after nine thirty my one piece of mail was a birthday card sent from Leicester that was stamped by the post office on February 20th.  That would be sixteen days ago for a standard, ordinary first class letter to go from New York to 1180 Raymond in Newark, New Jersey.  We have no way to know where the delay in the process is but it is hard to believe that the entire city of Newark receives mail two weeks slower than the rest of the country.  Anywhere else I can get a first class letter around in one to two days.  We are suspicious that the delays are inside of the building.  For some reason our mail boxes are not yet available to us so.  We were expecting them in November so we don’t know what is wrong there.

Last night was a really long night.  I ended up not being able to leave the office until after eight.  Then instead of getting to go home I had to drive up to Bloomfield and meet Dominica at Essex BMW so that we could drop off her car.  That wouldn’t have been too bad but Min got lost of the way there due to a bad map and we spent about half an hour trying to figure out where she was and how to get her to the dealership.  So we lost a chunk of the night there.

The good news for the evening was that Oreo checked out well at the vet and that they did not feel that there was anything really wrong with him. Just a sore leg – probably bruised and just barely swollen.  Nothing to worry about.  They gave him some anti-inflamatory medicine and sent him on his way.  We have been worried about his leg so that made us feel a lot better.  We were also happy to learn that the vet that we took him too also has a Boston Terrier of her own and got hers from a shelter as well.

We finally got home to 1180 and Dominica heated up some frozen pizza that she had picked up at the grocery store during her lunch break today and we ate quickly.  I did not get to go to bed like I wanted to but had to stay up until around midnight working on the server that is destined to be going to Scranton right away.  I had a base amount of work that had to be done on it before it will be ready to go and I have to assume that I am not going to get any time to work on it today.  So I was very exhausted by the time that I headed off to bed.

I was barely able to wake up with the alarm went off at a quarter to six this morning.  It was tough dragging myself out of bed and into the shower.  But there is no time to spare this morning.  Way too much needs to be done right away.  When I was first making plans for today the day was going to be really relaxing.  I was going to simply go casually into Manhattan around nine or so and have a nice lazy afternoon and be home before the regular Friday evening work.  But now I have to get to the DMV before the meeting and the whole day is totally crazy.

I was out the door before eight this morning and walked down to Newark’s Penn Station by just after eight.  This is my first time trying the New York – New Jersey Port Authority PATH train.  It wasn’t bad figuring out how the process works but knowing that you can only get the tickets on the platform is the real trick.  You have to actually get onto the platform then there is a ticket machine right there for you.  Once you do that it is really simple.

I rode the crowded PATH into the World Trade Center.  I had no idea that they had put another train station down inside of the pit beneath where the WTC once stood.  It was a little weird.  I haven’t actually been right to “Ground Zero” – I hate that term – since December, 2001 when it was all still quite a mess.  Now it is all construction there.

I exited the train station and decided that I just felt like walking.  That is one thing that I really love about Manhattan – you can just walk anywhere.  It is almost as fast as taking the metro half of the time.  I walked from the WTC Train Station all of the way down to the southern tip of the island and then back up Greenwich so that I could get to the New York State DMV office at 11 Greenwich.  Everyone told me how awful the DMV was going to be in Manhattan but actually it was great.  Everyone was friendly and even though there were a lot of people there the whole thing went quite quickly.  I was impressed.

I took the subway up from there to Canal Street but really I think that I would have been much better off just walking the whole way.  Getting down into the subway, riding it and getting back out takes way too long and isn’t all that practical.  It costs $2, waste a lot of time and you don’t get any exercise.  You have to go pretty far to really make it worth it.

I came up on Canal and walked through Chinatown over to Greenwich again and down to the office where I had my morning meeting.  The timing was perfect.  I was there just in time to make the meeting and be the first one there and be able to be quite casual about the whole thing without having to rush at any point.

After the morning meeting the team that was hosting me and I went out to lunch at a little Italian place near the office.  I had cheese ravioli that was completely amazing.  I think that it might have been the best ravioli that I have ever had.

After lunch I went to another office that was right next door and got a sister team to my team to find me some “hotel” space to use as my office for the day.  It was weird working in an office with a great view of Manhattan.  I have not had a good “city view” since I worked for Oil Navigator and Fortune Consultants on Farragut Square in Washington, DC back in the fall of 2000.  I have been in cities but not in a high-rise office and even back then the view was nothing like this.

I thought that my afternoon would be pretty light but the daylight savings time storm began almost immediately and the whole day was a total craze attempting to deal with it.  It was non-stop work from the time I got into the office after lunch until late in the evening.  I never got any time to just relax.  It was quite the day.

Dominica and I decided early on in the afternoon that traveling to Geneseo this weekend was just not going to be an option.  Firstly tonight went from being a semi-early night to a total nightmare.  There is likely going to be work for me tomorrow beyond the little bit of datacenter work that I am expecting in the morning.  Everyone is stuck working more or less a full day on Sunday.  I can work from home in a pinch but I won’t be as effective and what is the point of driving seven hundred miles round trip just to work from home?  So I am going into the office on Sunday to work mostly a whole day from there.  And then I have to be in early on Monday morning – six in the morning to be precise – so we would be racing back from Geneseo just to be able to get any sleep at all before driving in for the daylight savings time disaster that is bound to be waiting.

Once we decided that we were not traveling this weekend we decided that we would at least go out to dinner someplace nice tonight like the Theater Square Grill.   But that plan started to fall apart as I got stuck in the office later and later as the night wore on.  I didn’t wrap up in the office until ten till nine and it is still a long walk to the PATH station.  We will see how late it is by the time that I actually get back to Newark.  I HOPE that the train is still running by the time that I get down there.

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