Out of Control

You may recall a post about a week ago about my trip to NYC for a training session.  (If you missed it:  https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2020/01/illusion-of-control.html)  As I said then, most of the time I have an illusion of control, but when I travel to NYC, I have none.  Today, the universe decided to show me just how true that is.

Let me also say, that I realize that I am no Albert Einstein, but I am relatively intelligent. Not brilliant, but intelligent.  (Moreover, smart enough to know that I should look both ways before crossing the street.)  With that said, I prepared for this trip.  What I could control, I tried to control.  Therefore, I bought my bus tickets in advance.  I checked the bus schedule on line.  I checked out the subway line I was to take and knew the stop before mine (so that I could be prepared).  I even dug out the metro card I had from a previous trip knowing that it still had some money on it.  I dressed comfortably, but fashionably (since I was going to a corporate office).  Most importantly, I gave myself more than enough time.  The training session was supposed to start at 10:30, so I planned on an 8:15 bus (which would get to my stop around 8:25) and told a co-worker that I would be in the city early so that we could meet in the reception/lobby area to catch up PRIOR to my meeting.  I even set up an "appointment" with her from 9:45 to 10:15.  I was prepared.

I wore my winter coat.  It is, after all, winter.  I walked to the bus stop and waited.  I got there early.  It wasn't too cold, but it was windy.  When I felt something on my head, I thought it might be a passing cloud.  It wasn't.  There were quite a few birds on the power lines where I stood waiting.  Do I need to say more?

I've heard it say that it's good luck if a bird poops on you...well whoever came up with that little tidbit was full of sh*t.  Or had never been sh*t on by a bird.  So I'm standing there trying to get bird crap out of my bangs while I am waiting for a bus.  The day was not off to a good start.

The bus came and took a seat.  For some reason the seat was rather slippery.  So I spent a good hunk of time trying to not slide around; particularly after someone else came and sat next to me.  (I was by the window.)  In doing so, however, I must have pushed my leg into the metal is by the window.  That would be the only explanation for the bruising that is now on my leg AND the reason why I had "discomfort" (I won't call it pain because it wasn't really painful) when I was walking.

The bus arrived at Port Authority (later than scheduled, but...).I went down the stairs and followed the signs for the subway.  (I will always sing the praises of good signage. Can you hear me singing?  Cue operatic voice.)  I went to the turnstile and tried to use my card.  Nothing.  Tried again.  Nothing.  Tried...tried...tried.  Finally gave up and figured I'd buy a round trip ticket.  However, since I'd had trouble last time with the machines I went to a person.  This was all well and good, but it also meant that I didn't get a receipt.  At least the card worked (after two tries...WTF is wrong with me?)

Walk and walk to get to my train line.  (Again, I will sing the praises of doing this all underground and not having to go out into the cold.)  I get on the crowded car and we head downtown.  (Yes, I knew where I was going.)  I'm not sure how many stops we have until mine (I SHOULD have done more research so that I knew each and every stop on this portion of the line, but...We've gone a couple of stops, when an announcement is made that the next stop will be "X"  A lot of people get off.  This should have been my clue.  But I didn't take it and the train takes off again bypassing a bunch of stations (including mine).  This is where I realize that I have lot total control of everything.  I know I SHOULD NOT panic.  I logically know what I will have to do, but...logic has gone out of my head. 

I try to text my husband, who doesn't immediately respond (While plenty of people around me seemed to have coverage; I wasn't one of the lucky ones.)  I also tried to contact the co-worker I was supposed to be meeting with at that exact moment.  No luck there either.  I did have the presence of mind to get off at the stop and hubby did call me and manage to tell me what I had to do...and what I KNEW I had to do when my brain started working again...go up the stairs and then down the other side to get the UPTOWN train.  

Now I really had to focus because I wasn't sure how many stops I needed to go.  I did manage to get my brain back into gear and get off at my stop.  Now I had to figure out which direction to go, since I wasn't where I thought I would be.  For once my sense of direction in the city worked with me and I went in the right direction AND recognized some of the landmarks from the last time I had visited the office.

I went inside, went through security, and checked in with the receptionist.  I WAS able to meet up with my co-worker for about 10 minutes before heading into my training.  I guess we can consider that lucky?  (She showed me the nearby restroom, which was definitely lucky!) To be honest, spending a few minutes with her and several other people that I don't get to see on a regular basis was (almost) worth the trip.

I'd like to say the training was worth all the hassle.  I'd like to say that, but...this is nothing against the people who arranged it and who are trying to make processes consistent across the board; it's just that when you have a variety of smaller companies eaten up by a larger corporation you can't always jam the square peg into the round hole.  Moreover, when you try to, it's rather painful.  Some of it was helpful and some of it is applicable to my position, but was it worth the long trek in and the equally long trek out?  (Please note that my new metro card gave me trouble on the way out!)  Additionally we didn't train/have meetings in just one place.  We moved from conference room to conference room. You need a map to find them. (I'm not kidding; my boss had to locate one to find one of the conference rooms. The place is a maze that would drive a well-trained rat to suicide.)

I obviously managed to get home...although once again I couldn't get through the turnstile at the station.  (WTF is wrong with me?  I mean I have no problem with scanning credit cards or hotel room keys or the badge that lets me into my office.)  I got to my bus gate with time to spare and read on the way home.  (There was plenty of time to do so with the traffic.) 

As I knew I would I survived. However, I don't want trips to NYC for business OR pleasure to be one of survival.  I want to thrive.  I want my nervousness to be that of excitement, not of anxiety.  So if anyone out there has any "tips" I'm listening because I don't have a date, but I know I'll be going back in again (probably sooner than I'd like).  Help me thrive!


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