The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

‘Twas a rainy Seattle morning, and I was looking forward to a nice quiet shift on the bridge. Most boaters would not be out in this muck. I planned to drink my green tea, write my blog, and just relax.

Then a maintenance crew showed up. I had forgotten they were coming. No big deal. They’re professionals. They know what they’re doing. They need very little help from me. I just need to ensure that I don’t open the bridge while they’re hip-deep in machinery. Easy enough. We have safety procedures in place.

Then I heard the skidding of brakes. That sound instantly puts me on edge. I looked out the window, and there’s a bicyclist lying unconscious in the middle of the street. Not good. In fact, very, very bad. A crowd is already gathering. Traffic is backing up. I call 911. The first responders arrive with lightning speed. Then I call traffic control to let them know the road is blocked. Then the paperwork begins.

All told, the situation lasted less than an hour, but I’m still rattled. Why is that? The woman is going to be all right, but from the looks of her, she won’t be eating soup for quite some time. She landed face first on the grating.

I’m sure part of my feeling is the aftermath of an adrenaline dump. That’s never fun. But there’s also this feeling of being uprooted. I expected to be in one place (a nice quiet control tower, with my green tea and my blog) and was instead thrust headlong into another (your basic SNAFU). I almost felt as though I’d been abducted.

In addition, my ability to plan and organize was ripped from me. I had no time to prepare. These are comfort zones that I dislike having to depart from.

I didn’t panic. Everything went as smoothly as it could, given the circumstances. And while I wish this hadn’t happened to that poor woman, if it had to, it went as well as it could.

And yet I’m still rattled. But I still have my green tea and my blog.

I think I need a hug.


20 thoughts on “Best Laid Plans

  1. Carole Lewis says:

    I’m sending you the biggest hug I can muster. I know what you mean. You are in a peaceful calm state, everything at the ready, then a tornado of sound, movement, confusion, then back to nothingness. Calm/chaos/calm. It takes the mind longer to adjust.

    1. Yep. That’s it exactly. Why can’t chaos be planned? 🙂

  2. Angiportus says:

    Adrenalin, most likely. Anyone would need a hug [well, most.] You did the right things.

    1. Thanks. Yeah, it’s hard to explain to your brain that no, you aren’t being chased by a mountain lion.

  3. lyn sutton says:

    A big bear hug… everything is going to be okay…

    I once lived across the street from a fire station. Just hearing the alarms summoning them on a call was adrenaline inducing…the up side was watching them jog by on their daily fitness runs in their cute shorts…also adrenaline inducing.:)

    1. That does sound like a pretty nice trade off! 🙂

  4. Elaine Lorefield says:

    I hope you had some sugar for your tea. As the Brritish have always said, a nice cuppa with a lot of sugar will help to calm those after jitters..And a Hug.. of course!

  5. awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

  6. I am actually awesome in a crisis… or an unexpected situation… it is the expected stuff I hate.

    1. You need to be a bridgetender.

      1. You would be great. You could read and write blogs all day long, with the occasional emergency thrown in to spice things up.

      2. Where do I sign up???

      3. If there are any drawbridges near you, walk up and ask the tender.

      4. I like the idea of being called; ‘tender’… HA!

  7. I am sending you a virtual hug!

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