Monday, September 29, 2014

What I learned about working downtown, Part 1

After working in the Ravenswood neighborhood for 13 years, my company has moved to a spectacular new space in downtown Chicago.

There's been a big learning curve about what it takes to work downtown, a BIG learning curve, for example:

Some people just can't merge - whether they're driving a car or walking down the sidewalk, some people just can't merge. It's like their brain throws up the blue screen of death and they just walk right into you.

People on the Metra though are usually pretty good about merging, we're all going the same way, we're all gonna get off the train eventually so people will let you out in front of them. On the street though it's a totally different story.

Just this week some woman walked right into me, even though I was on the correct side for my direction of traffic and she was coming in at a 90 degree angle - she just couldn't merge! I have a feeling she may drive the same way.

Some people are just oblivious to their surroundings - our new office is not really in the touristy part of the city, but it is right next to Union Station.  So there are a lot of touristy-esque people arriving via commuter train, mega bus and Amtrak who are making their way "through" the business district to get to the tourist district.

You can usually tell who they are because they're lugging a suitcase (without wheels) and walking three-abreast on the sidewalk having a three-way conversation that is way too loud and WAY too personal to be having on the sidewalk.

The best though is when it's lunch time and someone has just arrived and they feel the need to have their picture taken on one of the bridges, in front of a non-descript highrise all while blocking pedestrian traffic both ways while they try to see the screen of their phone to get the perfect shot.  It's even better when they don't apologize for holding up traffic because everyone else has the common decency to not walk through while they're taking a picture.

It's not as easy to navigate a revolving door as you think - Revolving doors are easy, right?  WRONG!

If you're the only one around then YES revolving doors are thuper easy, but if there is a mass of people it's almost pandemonium.

Imagine you're approaching the revolving door, as you get closer you see someone on the other side of the door trying to get in.  You've got to time it perfectly so that when you (or they) push the door to get through that you're not blocking the other person - that's just an asshole move!  You've also got to make sure that you don't push the door too fast, in case the person behind you, in front of you or trying to get in doesn't move as fast as you do.

Finally, if you're like me and you're going through a revolving door with a lot of people, it's better to just pretend that you're pushing the door when you put your hands on the rail, just put 'em there and enjoy the ride.  Let those other suckers spin the door for you!

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