A tip for traveling cross country alone

Sunday was incredibly trying. I was supposed to fly back to Chicago from Syracuse, but due to severe thunderstorms in Chicago, a ton of flights were grounded. And because I cheaped out and went with Frontier, they would be unable to get me on a replacement flight until Tuesday, which was less than ideal seeing as how I needed to get back to work.

So, I did the only thing i could think of at the time. I rented a car and started driving back. I got a late start since I was supposed to be on a mid-afternoon flight. If I had known I’d be driving, I would have started much earlier.

I’ve driven through Ohio a bunch of times this year and decided to stop at around 9:30 at a Super 8 just west of Cleveland, since I thought I had a good handle on how long it would take me to get from Cleveland to Chicago given reasonable traffic conditions.

I know this is sounding like a lot of background. “Where is my travel tip?” I hear you asking.

Always. Always always always latch the deadbolt and security latch on your motel door, friends.

At 12:57 AM an angry drunk couple started aggressively rattling my door handle and talking about how bullshit the hotel keys were, throwing themselves at m door trying to get it open. It turns out that the spacey kid at the desk gave them a key to my room (153) instead of the vacant room across the parking lot (135).

I knew it was 12:57 AM because the man’s slurred yelling woke me up, and in my panicked haze I realized that I needed to alert them that the room was already occupied. So I shouted “This is already a room!” three times and made some truly horrific groaning noises, and went back to sleep.

If I hadn’t had the security latch in place it might have turned into a much more dangerous situation. As it was, I was merely miffed that two days in a row were not going as planned, and I went to sleep dreaming of cuddling with my kitties.

The Minorest of Gripes

The beginning of a Slack correspondence does not need to start with “Good Morning” or “Hi jess” or “Hello, can I ask you a question?”

Slack is an informal medium with immediate feedback mechanisms. When I see someone start a conversation with “Good Morning” followed by a solid two minutes of typing indicators, I don’t come away thinking “Oh how polite!”

I sit there thinking “Jesus fuck what did I do this time? What am I going to get chewed out about? It’s probably nothing, right? But then why is it taking them so long to spit out what they want?” And it’s usually nothing serious, but I’ve had terrible experiences in offices before, where every communication devolved into (often gendered) admonishment. So I have some precedent indicating that I should dread typing indicators.

I wish people would just say what they mean, and say it quickly. My manager at my previous job used to tell me “jess, you’re a straight shooter,” and he would laugh, but it was clear that it wasn’t a compliment. It’s possible I’m just missing a fundamental trait that would just make me better at office relations.