Friday, July 22, 2011

Pardon Me…I’m a Little Road-Ragey Today

I think the temperature outside is something like 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Can’t be? Okay, well, it feels that hot. Hard to breathe out there.

Fortunately, I’m inside in the air conditioning, so I really don’t have much to complain about. But will that stop me? Noooo!

I’m hot, tired, cranky and really need a day off that doesn’t include a Saturday or a Sunday. (You do hear the whining going on there, don’t you?) The one other employee in my office called off sick today – and that pisses me off. And some idiot client decided they wanted to add 2 more shirts to their already mega-large order of 3 shirts. Ooh…five shirts – we ought to make a killing on this one, profit-wise.

I can see you all avoiding eye contact and slowly backing away from me right about now. Smart move, I say.

Oh well. The heat seems to affect me negatively. But I don’t think I’m the only one. I thought it was funny this morning when I saw a post asking if anyone else had noticed that people were being a whole lot more road-ragey in this heat. And I totally agree. Mostly because I’m one of those road-ragey people. Hate to admit it, but there you have it. The ugly, unvarnished truth.

I was driving to work this morning and just as I approached the railroad tracks, the safety arms started lowering and that annoying dinging began. Arrrgh! So I sat there and grumbled about the delay because I’d just started my commute and my car’s A/C hadn’t cooled the car off quite sufficiently yet. Four minutes later – as the train was just about past, another frickin’ train from the other direction showed up! By this point, it would have been a complete waste of time to u-turn it and go in another direction. I’d already lost about eight critical commuting minutes.

So I sat there steaming and trying to find something amusing on the radio to distract me. Hearing the weather report didn’t quite do the trick, however. The words “heat advisory,” “air quality alert,” and “will feel like 108 with the humidity” did not help the situation.

Once the second train had disappeared down the tracks to annoy some other commuters and the safety arms were nearly up, I raced across the tracks and continued on my way. Should I have waited until the safety arms were completely upright and not dinging any longer? Absolutely. But my excuse was that I was afraid a third train might be in the vicinity. Apparently smooshed on the train tracks was preferable to sitting there waiting for a third train to pass by? Hey, I never said I was making any sense here.

Once I hit the interstate, it was fortunate that other commuters were driving along at a decent clip (90 MPH) and I was able to make up some of those eight critical commuting minutes. I didn’t even need to tailgate anyone!

(Actually, I don’t tailgate people. I hate when someone else does that to me, so I try not to do it to anyone else. Doesn’t mean I don’t nag the slow-poke ahead of me in colorful language to move it along – but they can’t hear me, so I figure I’m safe.)

When I finally reached downtown, I found myself behind an indecisive person who either didn’t know where they were – or were put on this earth to annoy me. First, the driver swerved over into the left turn lane, but then swerved back in front of me to go straight. Okay. I can see how this is gonna go.

So she puttered along at 5MPH (I kid you not) down Main Street where the speed limit is 30 whole MPH faster than she was going. And there wasn’t a passing lane that I could utilize, so I had to grit my teeth and meander along behind her. Was she sightseeing and checking out the two tire companies, car wash place, McDonald’s and some other mysterious run-down buildings that grace that stretch of Main Street? Was she lost? Did she not know the difference between 5 miles per hour and 35 miles per hour? Was she put on this earth to annoy me and was just fulfilling her destiny?

I don’t know. But if it was the last thing, she was doing an excellent job.

As we approached the light and I clicked my left-turn signal, I started repeating out loud, “Please turn right, please turn right, please turn right!” But did she turn right? Nooooo! She turned left. After apparently much internal debate, once she realized she could not go straight into the one-way traffic. The light had nearly turned red before she made her decision. I would have let her go on ahead and waited for the next light, but I was dangerously close to being late for work by this point.

So I followed her for a short stretch before hanging my head in defeat once I remembered that there was road construction ahead and the middle of the road was all torn up. Aw man, I thought. This is gonna totally flummox her – I just know it.

And it did. She slowed down to, well, okay, she was nearly stopped on the road because my car wasn’t even registering a speed. I could’ve parked in the middle of the road and walked faster.

Not that I would have. It’s hot out there, y’know.

You can’t even imagine the one-sided rant that was raging inside my car at that moment. But at the next intersection she thankfully turned right and I continued on straight. I swear, I heard a choir of angels singing and my heart lightened and I even cracked a smile. It was like the red rage had lifted and all was right with the world again.

Until I got to work and discovered my co-worker decided to avoid the whole road-ragey thing and call off sick.

Gulp. I think I’d better take a chill pill and relax. Anyone got a prescription?!

So I’ll end with these words: stay cool, everyone. I hope you have a nice, relaxing weekend.

But, um, just to be safe? I’d recommend avoiding the north freeway this evening from 5-5:30. You probably wouldn’t want to be on the same road with me during my evening commute. Just sayin’.

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