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.