Snowpocalypse @ Daxko…Snow: 1, Birmingham: 0

By | Culture, Life at Daxko | No Comments

Crystal (Support)

Snow: 1, Birmingham: 0.

It took me about two hours to drive two miles (to Brookwood Village from the office for my fellow Birmingham folks). Once I realized getting on the highway in my car was not an option, I pulled into Brookwood, parked my car, and made peace with the fact that I was going to have to walk to a friend’s apartment.

So, after some lunch and a trip to Macy’s to buy a toboggan, my friend and I started our seven mile trek up Highway 280. It was crazy seeing a highway that is normally gridlocked with hundreds of people effectively empty.

If we had been prepared, we would definitely have done some snow angels in the middle of the road. But we weren’t since no one had any idea how bad the weather would turn out to be!

Eventually, after stopping numerous times to help push people up hills, out of ditches, and out of traffic jams, we made it to the apartment and to some much needed heat! We ended up walking another three miles to get some food from a nearby Target. I was so thankful to have a place to stay while so many others had to spend the night in their cars. Also, I had my laptop, so I was able to work Wednesday and Thursday remotely, and then finally got back to my car Thursday night around 7:00. Needless to say, it felt great to be driving again and is amazing being back in the office (complete with dual monitors, an amazing team, and family lunch!).

Trent (Software Development)

It was 11 AM on a Tuesday. While meeting in Left Brain I receive an email. I know it’s bad form to check emails during meetings but this one caught my eye. It was from Dave. When you get an email from Dave it is important. That was the beginning of Snowpocalypse 2014.

The email explained that the weather was getting pretty bad outside and that we needed to use our good judgement to figure out travel plans. I thought to myself, ‘I have an SUV, I will be fine.’, famous last words. Once we left the meeting I looked outside, I knew then I was wrong, DEAD wrong. The snow was falling hard, the roads were reflective from the slippery ice, my hopes of making it home were no existent.

I spoke with my wife who had been at work early that morning and found out she was not going to be able to leave. I felt for her, she was tired and there was no chance she would be able to sleep given that the next shift of Chemists weren’t going to make it in. So, we bunkered down. We all mentally started plotting our office sleeping arrangements. Friends became contenders for the comfortable couches and bean bag chairs around the office. It was a dark time for all.

There are 4 things an engineer cannot live without in these situations, coffee, a computer, music, and food. The first 3 were easy to come by at Daxko headquarters, the 4th would take effort. We gathered the troops and set out into the blistering cold. Like early hunter gatherers we walked the icy roads to a nearby cafeteria. That walk showed us what we were made of. After a grueling 10 minute trek, we made it! We sat, we ate, we enjoyed each others company and all was well. The walk back to the office seemed a lot easier.

The next morning didn’t bring very much optimism. The roads were terrible, vehicles were abandoned everywhere, chances of getting home were bleak. I had no intention of leaving until I spoke to my wife. She had had it. I needed to rescue her. I called upon a dear friend and fellow teammate with a 4×4 and we set out on our rescue mission to UAB. The roads were rough but we traversed them like a professional snow skier. We saved the princess and made it back to the office!

It was not enough to be back to the office. I needed to get her home, and we needed to feed our awesome cat.


We made the choice to get on the roads. It was a treacherous journey. We slid, we panicked, but we made it home.

 

Never forget.

Snowpocalypse @Daxko – Cont’d

By | Culture, Life at Daxko | No Comments

Chris K. D. (Daxko Engage)

After leaving Daxko around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, I traveled down Lakeshore Drive and Columbiana Road to the elementary school where my girlfriend works. Five hours and multiple panic attacks later, I reached the school. My gas light went on four separate times during the drive, hence the panic, but my car never quit. Snowpocalypse has cemented my faith in Honda Civics. I ended up having to spend the night at the elementary school on an air mattress. I ate three school cafeteria meals of pizza, breakfast foods, and chicken fingers. The next day, the principal’s husband, who has a large pickup with four-wheel drive, drove us to my girlfriend’s aunt and uncle’s home in Vestavia. Before we got there, we dropped off another teacher whose family kindly gave us hot chocolate and clothes to outfit us for the rest of our journey. We were a mile and a half away from my girlfriend’s family’s house when we came to a street overflowing with cars. The road was blocked and completely impassable. We were forced to walk 3/4 of a mile before a family mercifully picked us up and drove us the rest of the way. Once we arrived at my girlfriend’s aunt and uncle’s house, we spent the night eating dinner, swapping stories, and watching Downton Abbey and Cool Tools, glad to be safe and have real food.

 

Kim (People)

Funny things happened at this part time job fair at UAB.  We had only been set up a few minutes and had just begun talking to prospects when I spoke to CJ and heard about the weather issues.  We were in a place with no windows, so we had no clue things had gotten so bad. We were told the job fair was being cancelled, and we began to pack everything up.

We had to leave in a hurry so we left our items and began the snowy/icy trek back to our cars.  I made it to the parking deck, but in the hour it took to drive down the deck, I heard a million nightmare stories on the radio about bad wrecks and miserable road conditions. I decided to find a spot and stay in the parking deck.  I needed to find a place to stay, but since cell phones weren’t working well, it took a while to reach anyone. I ended up learning that my brother was at his job at UAB’s hospital via Facebook with my mom.  I eventually managed to speak to him, and decided to walk the several blocks to his location.  I gathered everything I might need and headed out.

I wasn’t the only “refugee” there. During my two night stay in various hospital waiting rooms (where I slept on chairs pushed together with a blanket from my car and a bootie sock for an eye mask), I talked to some very nice people who also got caught unaware as well as several who were there for family members who had serious health conditions. It was nice to have a “survivor” group to get through the adventure with.

Because of where my car was in UAB and the fact that I live in Helena, I did not feel safe trying to leave until Thursday.  I finally made it home at noon on Thursday.  I was (and am) very sore and sadly in need of sleep and good food, though the UAB hospital did the best they could with dwindling supplies!  I was so glad to arrive home safely and find the comforts of home once again!  And, good news, the job fair we had aimed to attend will be rescheduled!

 

 Lisa (Marketing)

Didn’t make it to Y Cross today, but my 3.5 mile trek pushing a stroller in the snow more than made up for it!

I had to abandon my car, but luckily I was very close to home. However, I still had to get to my nugget at daycare. I swung by home, got a stroller, some blankets, and other supplies, and then made the 3.5 mile trek through a lot of icy hills to get Patrick and bring him home.

Snowpocalypse @ Daxko….ATL

By | Culture, Life at Daxko | No Comments

At about 1:02 pm on 1/28/14, a day better known as Snowpocalypse, I decided to flee the Daxlanta office. My wife, an elementary school librarian, had frantically called me several times telling me to head home because of the weather. That combined with the increasing number of red exclamation points on Google Maps combined with reports of overturned vehicles was enough to convince me it was time to begin my 30 mile voyage home. That day I had brought my little furry companion Pea to work. She’s a small, calm Boston Terrier who seems to act like a human at times. So really it was Pea and I who set out on the 30 mile trek home.

When the road in front of our office was backed up, I knew this was going to be a long commute. The road in front of the office is NEVER backed up.

The second sign came when I went up the first hill in front of the office. The roads were so coated with ice that I could barely control my car.  After going only 1 mile in 45 minutes and knowing larger, icier hills lay ahead, I decide to travel to a friends house just 4.5 miles away from my current location instead of attempting to travel all 30 miles home. I took a right on the next street I saw. The first 2 miles went pretty quickly given the circumstances and the traffic on other major roads. But as I got closer to my destination, traffic worsened I almost gave up. There were a few points where I nearly ditched my car on the side of the road because traffic had not moved for almost an hour. But, even a mile or two hike in this weather would have been a challenge for my tiny Boston Terrier so I decided to stay with my car, and soon traffic continued to move SLOWLY.

Finally I arrived at my friends house, 4.5 hours after I left the office. I’m very thankful that my wife was able to get home safely and that our friends were able to give Pea and me a warm place to sleep that night.

The next day Pea and I chose to attempt the 30 mile journey back home, and luckily we had good road conditions just about the whole way there. There were a few sketchy spots, but we made it home safely, and my wife had swept the driveway! That’s right swept. With a broom. Sounds silly, but it worked! I even got to snowboard down my street before the sun went down that day.

Stay warm!