May 26, 2007

Easy National Productivity Increase

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:00 am by dgcombs

On Thursday, I had to have a hitch put on my car. We needed it to haul a bunch of boxes and equipment to the site of the Georgia Baha’i School near Perry, Georgia. In the past few years we’ve done this, we loaded up two cars to the gills and still didn’t have enough room for everything. After we jettisoned everything we could buy at the Wal-Mart in Perry, there was just enough room left in the back seat of one car for Tyler. But he’s getting bigger now – nine and in the fourth grade! So we needed to use a trailer.After making several calls, the cheapest place to put a Class 3 hitch on my little Honda CRV was surprisingly at the U-Haul location in Riverdale. But it would take them a long time to do the install. And since my week old new job is in downtown Atlanta, I figured I could just take rapid transit!I looked it up on the marvelous Internet. There is a bus system that serves the Riverdale area, C-Tran. It connects to the Marta station at the Atlanta Airport. Marta connects to a little bus system in the Buckhead area of Atlanta called The BUC [The Buckhead Uptown Connector] and yes, The BUC stops here… or well, at the office.After hustling Tyler off to his rapid transit to school (next to last day!), I hopped in my little CRV and headed to the U-Haul. I did the paper work and stood outside at the C-Tran stop and checked the time. 8:15am. Making good time. And I waited. I checked the time. 8:20am. And I waited. At 8:37am the bus came. I’m still making good time. After many stops, the bus deposited its passengers at the Atlanta airport. The best news was that the $1.50 fare I had just paid allowed me a “”free”” Marta train ride. So I headed down the steep flight of stairs to the train platform. And waited. I checked the time. 9:05am. Worried, I looked at the map and noticed that there would be two trains. A northeast train going towards Lenox. I didn’t want that. The north train goes towards North Springs. That’s the train for me. I crossed my fingers and said a little prayer that the first train would be bound for North Springs. I got my wish. I checked the time. 9:15am.Marta from the airport is a study in the diversity of people. There are marketing folks dressed in suits and carrying the latest bag from Gucchi (yeah, women AND men). There are everyday worker people with dirt under their fingernails and a stressed out look on their faces. There are moms trying to keep their little babies from wandering too far away. There are university students cramming down a final few facts before they get off the train and take on that test that’s worth fifty percent of their grade. And it takes twenty minutes to shuttle all of us to the central location, 5 Points Station. Here is where everyone gets off and everyone gets on the train. The east and west corridor meet with the north south trains. Everyone runs.I stayed on the train bound for North Springs. It finally takes off again and we spend another 20 minutes going to the Buckhead station, N7. Here’s where I catch, The BUC. There are two routes, Green and Blue. The Green one goes counterclockwise and the Blue one goes clockwise from the Lenox Shopping Center. I cringe as I pull my cell phone out and check the time, 9:45am. I am late. And then I see the BUC bus pull in. It is Green! I may get there before 10am after all! I board the little propane powered, good for the environment bus. The driver counts each passenger and takes off down the little pathway towards Piedmont. He says, “”anyone bound for Piedmont Center?”” I say, “”you bet … Building number 4.”” He shrugs and turns back to his driving.As we pass the building I work in, I wonder if I had not made myself clear. But at the last second, he pulls into a small service driveway and stops just outside Building number 4. I thank him and dive out of the bus and head for the elevator to Suite 600. I check the time, 10:05am. And good news. My new boss isn’t in the office yet!I quickly sit down, nod good morning to Diane in the next cube and boot up my computer. Like I’d been there all morning. I left the house at 7:15am and got to work after 10am. You know, if we could make Rapid Transit, you know, RAPID, I think it would do a lot to improve national productivity. It would sure keep my blood pressure down.Backtracking the time I mustered the nerve to tell my boss I’d have to leave by 4:30pm to pickup my car before the U-Haul closed at 7pm. “”Not a problem!”” he said. I just made it.

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