Thursday, May 29, 2014

Beginning to Get It (kinda sorta)

Today was my final day of training until Sunday morning. Tomorrow I'll be back in my comfort zone for two back to back doubles on Friday and Saturday but at least will know what I am doing.

Left the house today with a little over two hours to spare. Here's the thing about working in the Atlanta Airport:

You never know how bad the traffic will be.
You never know if you'll find a spot to park at Marta and if the trains are all running.
You never know how long the shuttle may take to get you to the international terminal.
You never know how long it will take to get through security.

 I found a spot in the Marta lot after trying both lots and finally waiting for a guy to get through texting or doing whatever he was doing in his phone after he got into his car to leave.

It's incredible in these Marta lots. I'm grateful they let you park for free but getting a car into the parking space is like trying to park a Winnebago in a match box, and that's in the lot marked "Larger cars".

It doesn't help that I'm already nervous number one, about starting a new job and number two, am borrowing my next door husband's little Ford Ranger to get back and forth this week.

After several attempts finally wedged the little truck into a spot and got out to trek up to the Marta train station in sweltering heat. At least I had forty five minutes to spare.

I've been using a Breeze Card and reloading it each day for two trips. I got to the kiosk and the machine couldn't read my debit card. I just got a new debit card last night and activated it at the house but was probably inserting it wrong. After three tries got nervous about my time constraint and luckily had five ones in my server book to feed into the machine.

Things went more smoothly then, got off at the airport and found the shuttle to international.

While riding the shuttle over I got my phone out and checked email then luckily checked my reminders. I wasn't due in at three thirty but three o'clock. I immediately started sweating (more).

When the shuttle pulled into the international terminal I had sixteen minutes to spare. Climbed out of the bus and ran like I was missing a flight for France.

Made it through security quickly, having learned my shoes or belt don't set the detectors off and flung my little clear bag into a tub and waited on the other side.

Clocked in at two fifty seven.

I studied and helped run food for a couple of hours then the manager assigned me to follow another server for the rest of my shift.

Actually it's the girl who's spot I am filling, she's moving to Belgium to work for a year.

It was nice to finally see how servers interact table-side. She was very helpful and learned quite a bit about handling international travelers.

I also quickly learned what kind of money I had the opportunity to make, judging from her tips. If I can get all this down, this job will be the answer we've been looking for. Combined with still serving at my current job I give it six months and will feel a sigh of relief we haven't had in quite some time.

I was exhausted by eight but kept it to myself. Already thinking ahead about tomorrow knowing I had a double shift to work in my comfort zone restaurant and turning around Saturday morning and doing the same again.

Lucky for me the manager let me go at nine.

I hobbled quickly down the escalator and took off for the Plane Train taking me back domestic side to catch  Marta and go home. It was my first night getting out well after dark and  a bit nervous about walking back to my next door husband's vehicle by myself.

I was standing on the Marta platform waiting for the train back to the parking lot when an older black gentleman, wearing an airport uniform tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I drove a truck?

I hesitated but said I did. Then it got all creepy when he asked if it was a Ford Ranger?


Immediately thought someone had either hit my next door husband's truck or had it towed.

He just shook his head, wagging a finger at me and said "I been looking at you all the way from domestic wondering where I seen you and now I know, you parked where I did!"

Thank You Jesus!

We sat on the Marta train together for the short ride back to the parking lot and went ahead and told him it was my first time going back to the parking lot after dark and was a little nervous.

He said "Shoot, I'll walk you to your car!"

He HAD indeed parked a few spaces up from me and after watching me get into the truck drove by me, honked and waved.

I'm SO out of my comfort zone it isn't funny but when things like this happen, feel more confident not only about my decision to take this leap of faith  but feel more confident in the goodness of human beings.

We both headed onto 85 South and as he passed me, blinked his lights and waved again.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” 
― Desmond Tutu

I still feel like I'm training to be a nuclear scientist but finally feel a little better about my chance of succeeding.

Switching hats again tomorrow and although  have two doubles in a row can at least breathe easy for a while.

I am indeed a lucky person!

Til next time...COTTON

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