Wednesday, October 15, 2008


On the way to work this morning there were cars on the ramp above, by the time I came home the whole road was gone.

I don't have a horrible drive to work. It generally takes me about twenty minutes, unless I leave twenty minutes before I'm supposed to be there (8:00)- then it takes twenty-five.

In my working career I've had commutes ranging from an hour and a half to three blocks. I have a love/hate relationship with my vehicle. I'd be happy never to drive again, yet I'd hate not to have a car available. I've never cared about having a new fancy car, just that it ran well. One look at my current ride- 2002 Chevy S-10 truck would convince you of that.

They were working on the closest intersection to Second Helpings and the street in front of the building was closed for two months. It really wasn't that bad, the detour was only around the block, occasionally you'd get stopped by a train on the way to work, but nothing to fuss about really.

But fuss, some of our neighbors did.

I loved the whole road construction project. The moved an intersection --in only two months! That is amazing to me. I was happy to share our driveway for access and to let them park machines in our parking lot at night. In turn they fixed holes in our parking lot and patched a place in the sidewalk...oh, and we got a brand new street! A good deal, I think.

I had people telling me that I "shouldn't be so nice," that it was not our problem.

The point of this whole messy rambling post is: we need to be partners in the improvements we want in our city, or any where. Not that my contribution to the project was big, but by being a good neighbor the business next to us had access, the whole street could be repaired at once and they didn't have to drive the equiptment too far (wasting time and gas) to store it.

Phew, and I call myself a bleeding heart liberal.

Side story (and I always have a side story) - I called our HVAC folks to schedule our quarterly maintenance last month. When they went up there to change fliters, check belts and grease what ever needs greased they discovered that some one had been on the roof messing around. Most of the screws holding the covers on the units had been loosened (we have eight heating units and almost as many A/C units up there, plus motors for the hoods over the ovens). It looked like someone had done prep work for stealing the units, or at least the valuable copper. I was sure it was because the street was closed and they could work all night with no one driving by.

I had the HVAC guys tighten everything back up - with as much power as their electric tools had. I stayed late several nights the next couple of weeks. I was determined to catch the person on the roof. I even had a plan. I'd knock their ladder down and then call the police.

One night I felt the whole building shake and lots of noise. The time had come! I ran outside with my phone - 9 and 1 already punched in, waiting to push the other 1, a flashlight and my keys. I decided that I should probably drive down the block after I knocked the ladder over. I shakily walked around the whole building, no ladder. I walked to the front of the building only to discover they were steamrolling the fresh asphalt, causing the building to shake.

I felt like a big asphalt. I was just glad I had no witnesses.


Lacy said...

I am so with you on Pt 1. [preachy alert] Somewhere in our incredibly convenient world we've lost sight of the fact that work must happen and we must BE slightly inconvenienced at times to keep having our cherished paved roads, functional city plans, and neverending supply of electricity.

... this, of course, after I wanted to punch the CTA this morning for sitting on the tracks for 20 minutes and making me late to an audition.

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