Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What a horrible way to start a morning

So I got up this morning at around 6:05 AM as I usually do.  I got dressed, putting on my new .NET Compact Framework coat that I got yesterday, ate breakfast, and headed out the door at 6:40 AM.  I unlocked my bike and headed toward the bus stop.  This is my usual routine.  I aim to catch the 277 bus that shows up near my condo anywhere from 6:42 to 6:50, hoping that it's in the earlier of that range so that I can make a connection with the 644 bus in time to get to work by 7:30 AM, and before traffic on the freeway slows my 15 minute ride to 40 minutes.

Before my bike got around the first curve in our parking lot, my wheels lost traction on ice that I forgot I was supposed to be watching out for. My bike immediately slammed me to the ground.  Ouch.  Fortunately I didn't have my laptop in my backpack today so I didn't have to worry about that damage.  A quick inspection (in the dark) didn't show any damage to bike, limb, or clothing, so I continued, walking and slipping, to the bus stop. 

The 277 bus, on the 6:43-6:50 schedule, is driven by a very new bus driver, who has tended to be a few minutes late.  But she never showed up.  This was unusual but not unheard of.  I find the 277 to be unreliable.  I waited until around 6:55.  I knew I completely missed the connecting bus by now, and deliberated going back home and coming out again in 20 minutes to catch the 277 on the next scheduled stop, but decided to just wait it out.  It was very cold out, probably below 32 degrees, but I still had my nice new coat on and imagined I could bear waiting for the next route outside.   Going back inside risks my missing another bus, and the pain from the accident wasn't that severe.  Bad idea.

Eventually another route (not the 277) came by and I just took it to where my connecting bus would be driving by.  While on that first bus I took the opportunity to remove my coat and just see if there was any damage to coat or limb.  The first thing I noticed upon pulling out my left arm was that there were two huge bloody spots on my arm.  Wow.  I guess my coat hadn't protected me as much as I had thought.  Upon completely removing my nice new NetCF coat I found black tar marks all over one side of it.  Rats!  What's worse, I knew that the bus I was on was taking me to where I'd get off into the open, freezing air to wait 30 minutes for the next 644 to go by.  I'd either freeze in my short-sleeve shirt, or bleed inside my new jacket to keep warm. 

Now it happened that the bus stop where I got off to wait for the 644 was on a bridge directly over the freeway that the 644 would be getting onto.  As I waited for the next 644 to come, I watched as the freeway got slower and slower with building traffic -- traffic I had meant to get in front of by leaving at such an early hour.  And all the while I'm freezing even though I decided to wear my coat, bleeding and all.  There weren't active drops of blood coming out of my wounds, so I hoped the damage to the internals of the coat wouldn't be too bad.

I'd been waiting for 30 minutes now, and the 644 hadn't shown up yet.  "Great!", I thought sarcastically, "now the 644 won't show up, or will be late."  Then I saw not one, but two 277's go by in a row.  That's right, that new driver was apparently 30 minutes late on her route, so that she was now only a minute or less ahead of the next scheduled 277.  My gosh!  Here I am trying to be a good citizen and take public transportation in Seattle where traffic is so bad, and the bus gets away with being 30 minutes late.  !!!

The 644 bus that I was waiting for ended up being 8 minutes late.  More time to freeze outside.  By now the carpool lane (which the 644 uses) was almost at a standstill.  I boarded, inspected my wound again to find that it hadn't been actively bleeding in my coat, for which I was thankful. 

We actually got to Microsoft in surprisingly good time considering the traffic.  Once there I had to still ride my bike the few blocks from the bus stop at Microsoft to my office building.  I used the first aid kit at my building to bandage myself up.  I'm going to look great today in my interviews for my new job at Microsoft.

I wonder what my ride home on public transportation holds in store for me.

3 comments:

Rebecca Webb said...

Wow. Great story! No fun! Maybe they'll give you a new coat for your pains! How'd your interview go?

R

Norma said...

ouch, better luck tomorrow!

Sheldon said...

oh oh oh ...that's so sad!! You and your bike stories though. Maybe you could write a book and make some money off them! ~Sarah