Once upon a time operators for AT&T went on strike
. This was back in the eighties, back when phones were often attached to a wall, when people who worked for the phone company sometimes helped you make long-distance calls, when you called directory assistance for a phone number--instead of jumping on a computer most people didn’t have at home, for internet access most people had never heard of.
I was a communications consultant for AT&T at the time. As a manager (read: not part of the union) I was called on to help cover for some of those operators, and I worked nights for a month. One night I went out for a birthday dinner--technically it was breakfast--before my shift. The meal went longer than I expected, traffic was heavier than I expected, and I worried I’d be late for work.
Because, you know, really bad things would’ve happened had I not punched into my station right on time. Calls would’ve been dropped! People would’ve been put on hold! Another um, scab
might’ve had to delay a smoke break to handle the volume I wasn’t.
Still in traffic, I took advantage of every opening in the next lane to pass still someone else in my quest to make it to work on time. There was someone on my tail, and he was gaining on me. “Interesting,” I thought. “Maybe he’s late for something, too.”
I don’t remember very much of what followed. I don’t remember him wanting to see my driver’s license. I don’t remember him asking if I knew how fast I was going. And I certainly don’t remember any panic at the thought of a speeding ticket, because this was back when I just budgeted for a few of those every so often--but that’s another story, and definitely a different husband!
Here’s what I do remember about this traffic stop. The gentleman--the uh, officer
--asked me why I was in such a hurry. “Well,” I said, “I’m helping cover for striking telephone company operators, and I’m worried I’m going to be late for my shift.”
He looked at me.
“You’re speeding to get to work on time?”
Before I could answer he asked it again: “You’re speeding to get to work
He shook his head. He gave me the impression he couldn’t believe it.
“Oh get the heck out of here,” he said.
I don’t know how many of you noticed the extra state troopers working this holiday weekend, but they were out in full force--protecting the traveling public from drunk drivers, and yes, speeders.
I’ll tell you how I know in my next post.
Meanwhile have a great week at work. And leave plenty of time to get there safely!