My typical day begins with leaving the hotel at 7:00 am, and fighting bumper-to-bumper traffic on US 1 Highway....and sorry, New Jersey, but your "no left turns from the left lane" policy sucks.
After a 16-mile commute, I hit the ground running - checking for emailed requests for supplies, entering orders into the computer, and running around like crazy at HQ, finding or seeking the information that I need to do my job. It's frustrating, sometimes, because I feel that for every step forward I take, I take two steps back... there's constant interruptions, and everything is a priority.
Lunch is usually provided for us, so we can avoid taking time off to go get it ourselves. A styrofoam clamshell will sit beside my laptop, as I work and eat at the same time...which does wonders for my digestion.
Meetings, phone calls, requests, conferences - it never ends. My fingers fly across the computer keyboard as the day speeds along, and I stop every so often to stand up, stretch my back out a bit, and then start all over again.
A typical staff meeting....
Soon, darkness creeps in through the window by my workspace, and after twelve hours, it's time to call it a day and head home....
I'll call home, check on the family, put on my pajamas, and head to bed. Drained. Exhausted. And sometimes unable to sleep, as my brain rushes through images of everything I still have to accomplish the next day.
Here's the good news, though...after working non-stop for 12 straight days, I get to have a day off on Thursday. That will be my 13th day on the operation...and I plan on staying in my pajamas all day and get reacquainted with my Kindle.
Before then, though, a new storm is heading our way, so time was spent the last two days insuring that I'm prepared to ride it out. Extra bottled water, snacks, heater meals and blankets are safely stashed now in the motel room, as well as flashlights and warm clothing. Before I head off to work tomorrow, I have my boots, ice scraper and gloves ready to go - as temperatures are plunging and the winds are expected to pick up. Snow, icy rain, and 50+ mph wind gusts are forecast, and knowing that I'm here because of a HURRICANE - and I'm now in long underwear - is rather ironic.
The other good news is that the insanely-long gas lines are non-existant, now. I was able to pull right in last night and top off my tank, in preparation for the storm. However - New Jersey doesn't allow you to pump your own gas, which was a whole new experience for me. That was certainly weird.
Over 5,000 American Red Cross volunteers are deployed for Hurricane Sandy, making it one of the biggest disasters, in terms of logistics, for us. I'm just one small cog in the wheel, doing my part, and when I think of all of the other volunteers who left their family and homes to be here, it makes my heart proud to be part of not only this organization, but also this country.
So...I'm heading off to dreamland now...hopefully, we won't lose power in the next few days, as I'm really, really getting tired of this...and I can't help but be worried about everyone else who might lose power in this sub-freezing temperatures.
Prayers are needed, my friends.