I don’t have a lot to write today because post-Sandy life has made me tired.
On the bright side, transit to the office today was not nearly as bad as I had been expecting, considering the way the news was showing things (I think those were people who don’t live in Manhattan forming mobs to get on buses). In fact, there were twice as many open seats on my usual bus route! Although I did leave 30 minutes earlier, just in case.
On the down side, the co-worker with whom I share all my work responsibilities is basically stranded in Brooklyn without access to our shared server or Adobe Creative Suite. I already had to do triple work to make up for lost time that I also couldn’t use either of those things when “working” for three days from home (“working from home” = copy editing web stories and e-newsletters, re-writing the occasional press release, reading a novel during lulls, and annoying my cat).
And then I have to multiple my triple work by two to compensate for the fact that my coworker’s not there, but deadlines do not care about hurricanes/Frankenstorms/superstorms. OK, so maybe I didn’t work for sixly — new word, just invented it — times my normal amount, but it was a lot!
I worked from 8:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. with no break, and I only left then because my head was going to explode from doing so much page design and chart-making for one day.
That is the thing about B2B publications. They have A LOT of charts. Charts with a bazillion numbers.
OK, so maybe not a bazillion, exactly. But I’m not so great with numbers.
On the bright side, my supervisor restocked our communal candy drawer with discounted Halloween candy, and I’m pretty sure I ate twice as much as I normally would. You know, to compensate for my co-worker’s absence.
On the down side, the sanity-saving conversations in my little area of the office were diminished to zero.
On the bright side, Spotify has stand-up comedy you can stream when you get tired of listening to music. Unfortunately, it is hard not to laugh out loud when listening to certain comedians, which is weird when you are sitting by yourself, with just some fun-sized chocolate bars and a gazillion charts for company. +1 for the humor, -1 for the whole trying-not-to-laugh ordeal
On the down side, when I finally went home, the streets are lined with MOUNTAINS of trash. Because trash cleanup rightfully isn’t at the top of the city’s priorities right now. And a bunch of rats escaped the subways when they flooded, so there are rats running around. REALLY. You’ll see something out of the corner of your eye moving in the trash and then this big black, furry thing darts across the sidewalk into the bushes. It’s a RAT. Ewwwww x 2809538539. Or rather, ewwwwww x 28 million, because that’s how many rats are estimated to live in New York City. That’s more than three rats per person who lives here!
On the bright side, when I make my way past the Alps of Garbage and the gangs of rodents I’m pretty sure are ready to reclaim the city, I get to go home. A home with a roof, four enclosing walls, and a floor. And the only water in it comes out of faucets.
And although I haven’t had to do too much math lately beyond calculating waiter’s tips and remembering that a pica equals 1/16 in. (and that’s just when I’m too lazy to reset the measurement unit settings in InDesign…shhhh), I feel like I can figure out this jumbled equation.
All those positives balance out those negatives, and when you put that to the exponent of “Hurricane Sandy practically affected me in no way whatsoever, while it devastated others’ lives” I think what you end up is one infinitely grateful me. Or something like that.
It’s been a long day with too many words to organize and herd onto pages … maybe I needed to think in terms of math for a little bit.
As long as there isn’t a chart involved.
P.S. I wrote a guest column more about my experiences before and during Sandy for my university’s daily newspaper, where I used to be an editor. This wasn’t my idea … apparently one of my former lifestyles reporters who is now managing editor brought the idea up at a budget meeting and they all liked it as a means of “localizing” their Sandy coverage, having the firsthand experience of an Aggie in NYC. I don’t know when/if it will be published (if not, writing it kept me entertained during my cabin fever days, and I’ll just post it here). It’s more serious than this blog post, and it was a lot trickier to write because I was trying to be honest about my personal experiences — my assignment — and putting that in perspective with the bigger picture, of millions of people being without power, transit, or even their homes. I tried to focus on more of what I could see after: and that was those of us who were lucky in the storm’s outcome welcoming those who weren’t so lucky, if only to stay in an apartment or enjoy a dinner in a restaurant with electricity.
And now I just told you my whole column, basically. Oh, well.