I didn't chicken out, and I didn't embarrass myself. Our meetings went well, and bossman set up my sales pitch for me, telling our customers how vital I am and what a good job I do and singing my praises. I wasn't pushy or forceful, and Jimi says I didn't close the deal, but I made my point and hopefully it was heard.
I'm sure you've heard about the tragedy in Southern Indiana due to Friday's crazy tornado weather. I was cut off from the weather reports all day - I knew we were expected to get storms, but we get storms all the time. No big deal. When I got home Friday night, about 7 o'clock, after having seen the damage we'd seen, the TV showed the real destruction. I knew my office had sent as many home early as possible; Jimi's office also sent everyone home several hours early. I really had no idea how serious it all was until well after it was all over.
Bossman and I were only 15 miles north of the hardest hit areas when that shit rolled through. One of our drivers was sitting in his rig at the Henryville, IN exit, stopped in traffic because the State Police had closed I-65, when the massive storm dropped softball sized hail and several tornadoes on the area; thankfully, though his truck needs some pretty extensive body repair work, he was uninjured - he said he nearly hid under his bunk, and I'm certain I would've. When bossman and I finally made it to that spot, two hours later, the temperature was 62 degrees and the hailstones were still the size of baseballs. I've never seen anything like it. Houses along the the interstate were pocked with holes from the hail that had treated their siding and windows as if they were flimsy like paper. A tractor trailer was on its side, draped along the guard rail as if it were ribbon. A trucking business, just off the exit, was reduced to rubble of lumber and siding, with a truck perched precariously on top, as if to mimic a cherry on a sundae. The devastation was amazing, and not even the tip of the iceberg - I'm stunned by the images I've seen coming out of those towns that were so horribly destroyed.
If we'd finished our appointment 15 minutes earlier...
It blows my mind sometimes how dramatically different one moment can be from the perspective of one person to the next. There's a book I got when I was 13 called A Day in the Life of America; it's a large glossy book of photos that were all taken on the same day by several dozen photographers in towns and homes and businesses across the United States. This photo shows a funeral, this one a wedding, this one the birth of a child, this one just another day the office. All different events, in different lives, all happening at the same time. Like Friday - I'm just cruising along, asking my boss for a raise, explaining to him why I deserve it. Fifteen miles due South, an entire family is wiped out of existence. The same moment in time.
A reminder of why we need to make the most of every moment? Try to not sweat the small stuff? Rejoice in even the most minor pleasures? Be thankful every day for the good things we do have? For me, at least.