February 1, 2011. This was the first day I knew just how amazingly uninspiring the self-centered of the world can be.
I was at O’Hare, ready for my flight to Austin, Texas. A snowstorm was coming, we all knew it was coming. My flight was scheduled for 10AM. I’ll be fine.
Mechanical problems. OK. Flight scheduled for noon. Snowstorm’s tracking to get here by then, but we’re fine.
Mechanical problems part II. Re-scheduled for 2PM. Let the Shittery begin!
Yes it’s snowing, but it’s not the snow. It’s the people rushing up to let the gate personnel know they are NOT HAPPY AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. And the snow? Hold on, yep here it comes.
Now boarding. On the plane we sit at the gate. Oh hey look, man is it coming down now. I’m sitting next to a pilot who needs to get to Austin to fly a plan out of there.
Sir? We’re not leaving are we.
Not a chance.
30 minutes later, off the plane. The Shittery, Part Two. Yell at the flight attendants. Yell at the gate personnel trying to re-arrange travel plans for people. Yell at United. Still snowing.
United puts all of us up at the Crowne Plaza – O’Hare. Shittery Part Three. Getting on the shuttle. People yelling to grab their spot. There’s more than one shuttle, and they will circle back. Nope. Most do not want hear that. Still snowing – hard.
Shuttle Two picks me up, and through the driver’s skilled driving ability navigating Snowmageddon, we all arrive at the Crowne Plaza. Shittery Part Four. People yelling at the front desk employees trying to get accommodations for everyone. Still snowing… and blowing too, let’s not forget the wind blowing outside plus the hot air spewing vile spittle inside at hotel personnel.
Get my room. It’s nice. Very accommodating. I’ll be here for 3 days. 20+ inches of blowing snow will do that to you and everyone else. I have a nice view though. It’s the parking lot, but it’s hard to tell how many cars are there as the blowing snow has buried them. All I can see are rooftops and side mirrors, basically heads and ears. The storm will go on record as being the 3rd worst to ever hit O’Hare.
Are we done yet? LOL. No. Shittery Part Five. Power goes out so the hotel has to run on generator power, which means the kitchen only has x amount of time during the day to suck up juice to cook anything. Chef creates a system where the meat goes first. Night one we all get prime rib sandwiches… and people are complaining they can’t order off the menu. By lunchtime of Day Three we are down to French onion soup. Still good… but man are people bitching.
I never was able to get to Austin to do my presentation on copywriting. Fine. It’s a life curveball. A swing and a miss. Whatever.
My mother, who had flown in to take care of my children while I was out of town, fought through the piles of snow and wreckage on I-90 to pick me up at O’Hare (no way for her to get into the hotel parking lot) late in the afternoon of Day 3. She’s a Colorado farm girl – snow? Pfft. Hold my beer.
Any crisis brings out the best… or the worst… in people. Mostly, it seems, the worst. No one wants to be put out by anything and, in spite of it being easier if we all band together? People still look out for themselves and that’s it. COVID-19 pandemic is no different as it has brought out the privileged like a pile of rancid meat brings out rats.
I WANT MORE TOILET PAPER THAN EVERYONE!
I can’t visit my friends!
My party’s been cancelled!
I’m all out of things to watch on Netflix! (how, not sure but I’ve heard it.)
I have to wear a mask!
Not one person is saying this is easy, but it could be way worse. No one is bombing us. We’re not being forced to live in a refugee camp in Syria. We don’t have to desperately try to navigate the Mediterranean in a raft to find freedom. We’re certainly not living in a cage just inside the Texas border.
For those of you out there who understand the need to SIP and who abide by the rules as set forth by your state (and I hope you live in a state actually doing something to mitigate the spread) you deserve to be recognized. For those of you who are not? You also deserve recognition just so we know who we can never count on during a crisis.
Stay safe and be smart everyone.