Floods & Job Interviews
August 5, 2017
The first week was spent unpacking and getting settled in. I had an interview with District Donuts, Sliders and Brews which went very well and turned into a second interview, then a working interview along with two phone interviews they had held before the move.
The working interview was a two-hour session scheduled at 6 pm. It began to rain heavily early in the day and our landlords called to tell us we should pull our cars onto the sidewalk. I left for the interview at 5:30, with an estimated 11 minute drive time. The roads out of our neighborhood were flooded down to one lane and I followed traffic towards the highway, where the water had covered half of the “on-ramp.” A minivan had tried unsuccessfully to get on through the flood water, I assume in an effort to get home to his stick-figure family. The fire department was there and was rerouting traffic back the way we had come.
I turned around and searched for alternate routes to the donut shop. Eventually, I ended up driving through flooded, back roads following a car about my size.
We went slowly, skirting smaller stalled cars and guessing whether or not we’d make it to the next cross street. The roads here are full of potholes, dips and jagged fissures in the pavement. Once everything is under water, you basically have to cross your fingers that your front wheel doesn’t find one of those holes. At one point I could feel my back wheels spinning in the water which propelled me forward and I felt like I was in the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
However, instead of taking flight during the deepest section, my car started shaking violently, then the battery and engine light came on and it died. I cranked the key and revved it hard willing it to start. By some miracle, it did and proceeded to shake and squeak for the next few blocks where, fortunately, the ground was higher and the water had resided. I arrived at the shop at 6:02 pm, pulling my car up onto the huge medians in the middle of the road. I now know these are called “neutral ground” and were built for that very purpose.
Photo by Walter Jacobsen Taken during the flood of August 5th, 2017 Read more about this kayaker here.
I worked my two hours watching out the foggy glass windows as a man kayaked down his flooded subdivision, although not quite as rugged as the gentleman in the picture. I drank coffee, fetched donuts and left at the end of the shift to be completely soaked on my walk back to the car, by an inattentive truck driver speeding through a puddle. But the car started and the water had receded enough that I made it home without incident, feeling very much like I was now a part of New Orleans.
Fortunately, after all the mundane, corporate procedures and the flood, District offered me a job. I took it being pleased with the prospect of no longer being on the job hunt.
To Be Continued…