Flashing blue lights illuminate a sullen young man being shaken down by two cops underneath an overpass. Bumper to bumper traffic in both directions as far as the eye can see. A young homeless woman walking slump-shouldered beneath the shade of a broken black umbrella in the 105 degree heat, dragging all her worldly belongings stuffed in a lawn-sized black trash bag and piled on top of a child’s toy wagon with a broken wheel behind her.
These are some of the sights that greeted me in Marietta, Georgia, where I’ve been on a work project for the last three days. I’m just a simple country girl from a small town. We don’t have homeless people sleeping in doorways, a traffic jam is usually caused by an accident, and the police are more likely to be seen in the diner than doing a roadside pat down. I’ve traveled a great deal for personal reasons and I’ve visited large cities before; but this was my first job related trip and my first taste of the life of a “road warrior”. After seeing this side of city life I was glad to come back to Moulton, Alabama.
I went to Marietta, Georgia (Marietta is the third largest of three principal cities and is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area) with a couple of co-workers, one of our E/I (electrical/instrumentation) guys, and an engineer to help design new operating software for our department at the plant. We met with a company named Feed Forward Inc and a rep from Rockwell Automation who did the actual programming. It was an interesting trip, I learned a lot about the tech side of my job and I’ll be one of the people teaching the rest of my co-workers how to operate the new systems when it gets implemented.
Any thoughts of spending nights out on the town were banished by the long hours we put in. We got to the offices early and worked late; leaving at dark-thirty gave us just enough time to go eat and crash in our respective rooms so we could do the same thing the next day.
I’m proud to be home, and I want to thank the guys at Feed Forward who treated us well, fed us great food on the job and were extremely patient with all my dumb questions. There’s no way I could do their job (who knew that you could do so much with just 1s and 0s) and I was impressed with the job they did.
Now I’m off to check in on my blog buddies, I’ve missed y’all.