Fortunately/Unfortunately: Work Edition

The last few weeks have been tough. It really started around the my epic PII fail, followed by Benji’s having a fever for six days and the attendant canceling of his much-anticipated California trip. This necessitated my taking some extra time off work, and the timing proved unfortunate: I had a release this Thursday, the 22nd, and quite a lot of documentation to write for that. The result was that I worked from home on Monday, which was a holiday (although I also got in a delightfully sunny bike ride, too), and followed that start off with three days of super long workdays.

Meanwhile, I’m very thankful that Benji got much better, because this week was also midwinter break. Since he got better, both grandmas split the week up, for which we were most grateful. On Wednesday, my Uncle Gerard flew up from San Francisco and he’s spent the last few days hanging out with Mom and Benji while I worked.

Boy did I work: Wednesday I got in at 6:20 and left a little before 6:00, a much longer day than usual. Thursday… we’ll get to it.

Uncle Gerard commented that he hadn’t seen snow falling from the sky for at least seven or eight years, but he got to see it twice in the four days he was here. Wednesday night it snowed a tiny bit and then froze. It was just enough precipitation to ice everything over. That’s where our fortunately/unfortunately starts.

  • Unfortunately, it snowed Wednesday night and overnight the temperatures got into the low 20s, guaranteeing that everything froze solid.
  • Fortunately, snow is pretty, and there wasn’t that much of it.
  • Unfortunately, I can’t ride to the bus when ice coats the entire road.
  • Fortunately, Ian and Benji were able to drop me off at the bus on Thursday morning.
  • Unfortunately, I forgot my bike lights and my work badge.
  • Fortunately, I remembered my wallet and ORCA card and my lunch.
  • Unfortunately, forgetting my badge meant I also couldn’t get into the usual secure bike parking; and to access my office, you have to swipe a card on the elevator, so I couldn’t go directly to my office.
  • Fortunately, I was able to get in touch with a coworker who was already in the office, and he agreed to meet me in the lobby and do the elevator card-swiping for me.
  • Unfortunately, when I got to my office, a security guard stopped me in the lobby and said I couldn’t take my bike in the main elevators because it was for business people not bikes.
  • Fortunately, he said I could take the freight elevator.
  • Unfortunately, I didn’t know where that was, and when he described it, it was clearly going to take a lot of extra time.
  • Also unfortunately, when I got down there, I was feeling so overwhelmed after everything that when the security guard in the loading dock asked “Do you do this regularly?” I yelled at him, “NO *&^!!@#^&&^%%##@, I DON’T!” –and then proceeded to explain, not at all calmly, about forgetting my badge.
  • Fortunately, the security guard was really kind and calm, and told me where to go from there and wrote me a pass to ride the elevator.
  • Unfortunately, between me and the elevator was a door that was held closed with all the suction of the entire Columbia Center–I couldn’t open it while holding my bike.
  • Fortunately, another guy came along and opened the door for me. Also fortunately, the freight elevator was waiting and there was a guy inside (!) whose whole job it was to punch in what floor you’re going to and then write down what company you work for on a pad of paper.
  • Unfortunately I had an infinite amount of work to get through before the afternoon and I was still feeling extremely unsettled and had a hard time getting down to work.
  • Fortunately, I eventually got through all the stuff I had to finish, although it took all day.
  • Unfortunately, that meant that we started our deploy later in the day than we wanted, and building took a long time because of all the changes. The result was that we weren’t able to start actually checking live pages until very late in the afternoon.
  • Also unfortunately, I had a little over 70 pages to check. This isn’t just a quick skim for many of them to look for minor things like updating a screenshot. This time I deployed a lot of entirely new pages, which involves comprehensively checking every link to make sure each one really goes to the right place.
  • And, most unfortunately, due to some things I don’t want to get into right now, I have to do everything twice. Literally. We are maintaining two different Help Centers right now, and that means every bit of work I do in one has to be done in the other, and then I have to check extra-carefully to make sure they both match. That means my 70 pages to check was actually 140 pages.
  • Fortunately, the manager of the e-Learning group was hanging around to check some video stuff, and while he waited, he helped check some of my links. It was super helpful and he caught a number of places I’d made minor formatting mistakes, so hooray!
  • Also fortunately, my work buys dinner for everyone who has to hang around late for the release. I got tofu pad Thai, which was delicious. I love Thai food.
  • Unfortunately, by the time I finished, it was 6:40 pm and the last 311 bus comes at 6:45.
  • Fortunately, my bike was parked next to my cube, so I grabbed it and zipped downstairs (in the regular elevator) and out the lobby to the street ASAP.
  • Unfortunately, when I got to the bus stop, there was no bus.
  • Fortunately, I checked the bus app and found the bus was scheduled to arrive right then. I looked up and there was a 311! I jumped on it in a flurry.
  • Unfortunately, the bus turned down a different way from the 311, and I realized it was a 312X. I hadn’t noticed the last wrong digit.
  • Fortunately, the 312X goes to Bothell, and I had my bike, so I figured I’d just ride the couple miles back home. It was pretty cold, but the streets in Seattle were clear and dry, so I figured the ice and snow would be gone.
  • Unfortunately, this particular 312X ends in Kenmore, not Bothell, several miles farther from home than I was expecting.
  • Fortunately, I had my bike and I knew how to get home. And fortunately I had my helmet equipped with a headlight and small taillight, so I could see and (somewhat) be seen.
  • Unfortunately, the way home involved the bike path, which was shady and cold all day, meaning it had long patches of ice and snow that I had to slowly and cautiously creep across. It took me 22 minutes to ride just under 5 miles, including having to get off and slip my way on foot across some unavoidable and wide patches of ice.
  • Fortunately, I got home safely (albeit miserably), just a little before 8:00 pm and immediately went to bed. Benji was spending the night at Mom and Dad’s house, for which I was deeply thankful.

And, most of all, fortunately I’d already cleared working from home with my boss. So I got to work from home on Friday, and I still put in 10 hours of work, mostly fixing minor defects and then checking them.

I’m looking forward to a new week.

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