Friday, June 3, 2016

It's Bad When I'M The Normal One

I've always been a little (maybe lot) crazy. I kind of like being crazy, beats being dull. Since working at the world's busiest airport have met my match, time and time again. Not necessarily passengers but even people you encounter from the commute to and from. Hands down, MARTA has the most nuts and after riding it for almost a year had seen quite enough.

Then once caught up financially and making extremely good money decided to drive directly to the parking deck. It cut more than three hours off each work day and seemed well worth the twelve bucks a day.

Once again, when you work at the international terminal at the airport...there's always a hitch. During peak travel season the deck is sometimes full and would have to drive back around to domestic to park then shuttle bus back around to international. I only had to do that once, I got pretty good at talking my way into the deck telling them would take my chances at finding a spot. Sometimes it would be far away from the elevator or on the fifth floor but at least once parked was only five minutes away from the security checkpoint and then at work in less than two more.

We (us airport employees) got all excited when they built a new parking deck, not on airport property (but close to) and not run by the airport. They boasted an opening special rate of $8.25 per day which is a significant difference.

We were all bummed out when they (FastPark) told us they wouldn't allow airport employees to park there. After being open several months and never once filling up the lot suddenly changed it's mind.

It's a dream come true!

I still ride the shuttle with all the same peeps, just a different, new shuttle and save four bucks a day. They even let us earn reward points. For every seven days of parking you get one free. We were all initially ticked at them but once they welcomed us have been great. They pick you up at your car and you never wait more than one minute. They also take you back to the exact spot you parked and even give you a free bottle of cold water when you leave.

When we rode the other shuttle, always had to wait for passengers to fill up the bus and always tried to sit at the front so could shoot out the door before all the suitcases were unloaded.

So tonight after work, Massey and another co worker rode the new shuttle back to our cars. We love it. They have a blinking timer and after pulling up wait just two minutes before leaving for the parking deck. I was on one side of the bus and Massey and our friend sat together on the other side. The timer was ticking down when a small asian woman in an airline uniform climbed aboard and squeezed into the first spot. The driver even knew her name and welcomed her aboard. A woman at the back of the bus obviously knew her and said "Why don't you come sit by me?" The woman patted her seat and said she needed to be near the front to get off first. Her friend said "Why? They take you right to your car."

When the driver picks you up at your car after parking they write your parking spot number down on a ticket and give it to you. When you get back on the bus after work, hand the driver your ticket which lets them know the exact spot your car is located in the parking lot and will drop you off right beside your vehicle. It's awesome.

We (me Massey and co worker) kind of chuckled but let it go. The moment the bus took off and left the shelter of the terminal raindrops dotted the windshield. Our little buddy freaked out, looking out all sides of the bus and lamenting "Oh NO, is it really raining?  Oh my God!"

It was barely drizzling.

Guess that was fear factor number one with her. Turns out she had plenty of others.

When we pulled into the lot after leaving the airport, the driver announced she would start at row J and continue on to A.

The little lady started to immediately fret again, actually wringing her hands while saying "I'll just get off on J because I'm parked on I, not A.

The driver calmly said "You don't have to walk in the rain, I'll take you to your car."

Our little freak just got more agitated, thinking the driver was going straight from row J to row A without stopping again and make Ms. Liu have to wait even longer. I was on one side of the shuttle bus, Massey and our friend sat on the other. Several other passengers also tried to explain it to her but she wasn't picking up what they were putting down.

Immediately my cell pinged to notify me of a text and after looking across the bus at my co worker and Massey (both smiling and busy on their cells) knew exactly who was texting. I just looked at them both, smiling (almost laughing) and said "I don't even have to look...I know."

One text read:  "Shut up woman, they're going to stop for you I promise!"

Followed by the other one texting: "Crazy lady, I want to push her out the door."

I think everyone else on the bus felt the same way. It's not rocket science,  it's a shuttle bus drop off.

The woman ended up getting off  on the same aisle as Massey and me. She literally ran to her car and cranked up immediately. Massey and I got in my car and drove around to the exit to pay.

There she was, pulled over to the side of their office and going inside for yet another unknown reason. I thought maybe she had to go use the restroom so cut her some slack and tooled on up to the pay station.

I handed the woman my ticket and $8.25. You know me, I had to ask.

"So do you happen to know Ms. Liu who also parks here?"

Her response:

"Girl, I finally just quit trying to even talk to her."

I chuckled and grabbed our two free Dasani water bottles from the cooler and told her not to forget to remind Ms. Liu to get hers. Just as I was saying the words and pulling out, saw Ms. Liu walking up behind the attendant booth from her car (still parked by the office) and knocking on the booth.

Massey sent our co worker (who got off the shuttle after us) a text on the way home telling her about what happened at the pay booth. Our co worker responded:

"Yes girl! She held up the damn line forever!! The lady apologized to me when I got to the window. She said that lady is always causing some kind of mess."

I'm not sure what our crazy new friend does at the airport but certainly hope it has nothing to do with Homeland Security or we're all screwed.

It boggles my own tiny mind when people can't even figure out the little  things for themselves.

(blog now continuing to the next day)

I told my co worker today that wish I had videoed the entire bizarre event with my cell phone and promise to if (and when) it ever happens again.

I know everybody has their thing  and have quite a few things  of my own. (no shame in that)

I kinda (almost sorta) miss riding MARTA because never get to see my little buddy anymore who could zip her purse like nobody's bidness.

I actually admired this woman who obviously has issues and things of her own but still maintains a job, travels to and from every day on (not so) rapid transit  and earns a paycheck. Come to think about it may be the most interesting person I've met in my tenure at the world's busiest, craziest airport.

Our executive chef rides MARTA everyday to work. He lives two minutes from a line and is fortunately convenient for him to use.  He still sees her all the time, doing her thing.

Kudos to her ... and she's a hero to me.


It makes me feel better to know at least all my cylinders are still firing but trust me, also know I'll be the star of someone's cell phone capture sooner  than later.

They should consider working at the world's busiest airport taking a class called "Psychology 1000 and then some."

Can't even imagine what the next three months will unveil.

It's most definitely been a learning (and life) experience.

Til next time... COTTON

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