Grounded

In almost five years of knowing her I’d never dialed her number before.  We’d exchanged a few texts about physical therapists, injuries, shots, but we’d never had a conversation outside of the school or a competition auditorium.  I called because I wasn’t sure if she’d see an email today; I didn’t know whether the snow that hit the coast had closed her office, and I needed an answer fast.

Almost every airport on the east coast was a ghost town with a few scattered people, informed too late about cancellations, sleeping in the boarding area seats.  So I suspected that my evening flight would also be going nowhere.  Though grateful not to have to take off on one icy runway and land on another, the grounding of my flight meant delaying my business trip almost a full week.  Both the taping schedule for my show and personal plans would make it impossible to leave for Boston before Wednesday – a night that I teach.

Do I need to make do with a sandwich in the airport before the last flight out, so I don’t leave my fellow instructors and the students in the lurch?  Or can I head for the airport right after the office and have a decent meal before everything closes?  To answer this question, I needed to know if the other assistant teacher could commit to being present in my absence.

Under no circumstances, could we leave the place understaffed, when there’s another round of new students in the school now.  They take more of the instructor’s time, especially when they’re children.  Short-staffed would therefore mean short-changed for someone.  That wouldn’t do.

With my colleague in our travel department waiting on me to tell her what flight I wanted to replace the cancelled one, it dawned on me that I wasn’t the least bit concerned about the weather’s effect on the interview I would have six fewer days to edit.  I was just annoyed to be taken out of my teaching and training routine.

How dare this job get in the way of my hobby!  If I had a dime for every time that thought ran through my head, I’d have the bills prepaid for quite some time to come!

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About T. D. Davis

Baker and former journalist. View all posts by T. D. Davis

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