Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Was Living a Nightmare

Yes - that is such an over dramatic statement - many times over used - especially by me but here's what happened ....

I've been on the MetLife Duathlon Race Committee for 4 years now. I have 2 responsibilities for the DU, food and portapotties. Very easy tasks. Make arrangements for the porto's by April. We order 16. It was done. The contract was typed, mailed, signed and returned.

About 4 weeks before the race I secure the bagels with a local bake shop and then call on local grocery stores for fruit and water donations. Oh, I also contact a flavored water company in hopes that they will support they race. Some years they do, some the don't. No luck this year. They couldn't help.

The Saturday before the race I pick up the grapes and banana's. Took them home. Washed the grapes. Cut them up. Store them in the fridge - Mmmm, they are so much better cold aren't they?! Then I go get the bagels. Bags full, the food usually fills the back of my car.

Sunday morning - race day. Get to the parking lot. Unload the food. I'm proud of the way I have cleaned and packed the grapes. I'm a little concerned about the banana's being soft. I unpack my bike. I'm racing today - YUP! RACING! I'm gonna try to go as fast as I can. Well, I'm just about to pull my peanut butter sandwich and mango out for breakfast when I hear the race director say - hey Pam - "Where's the portapotties?"

I pinched myself. Did I just hear him say that. They had to be here. How could I not notice they weren't. Well, guess what - they weren't there.

I was sick. it was 5:35 A. M. I called the company we ordered from every 5 minutes until 6. I knew then we would get no help from them. It's Sunday morning and the emergency hot line they set up was useless. I knew within 1 hour I would have 500 racers looking for a place to go and we had none.

I could now write about how I frantically talked to the village of Tinley Park as they tried to help us. How I ran from business to business up and down Oak Park avenue - looking for someone to be open and help us. I could tell you how I felt my pasta dinner from the night before trying to come back up as I ran across the rail road tracks. That's when I stopped myself. Went over my mental check list.

1. Order pots in April.
2. Gil confirmed contract came and was signed.
3. Called last Wednesday and confirmed 16 porto's would be there.

So why aren't they here?

I started to pray, ran to the corner of Oak Park and I think 172nd and saw the fire house. After pleading my case to the chief, we were given permission to use their bathrooms. The Bike Shop on Oak Park ave., a race sponsor, also let us use their 1 bathroom and 2 bathroom's at the train station became available to us after we assured them we would replenish soap, toilet paper and paper towels.

Also, I have to say thank you to my husband bringing all the toilet paper we have at the house - and for giving me his warm genuine smile when he brought because, I was ready to lose it when I saw him. I actually did start crying but stopped when he started laughing at me. It was a respectful laughing at me, not a a dasturdly, mean laughing at me.

Somehow, by the grace of GOD and the graciousness of the TP fire dept., The Bike Shop, Cavellini's and the racers, it all worked out.

After the craziness of the morning I wasn't going to race but at the last minute (and that's literally the last minute) I did the event. I was 7 minutes off my best times. I'll take it! I'll embrace it and welcome it with open arms. 2 minutes + slower on each leg o the run and 2 minutes + slower on the ride but for some reason I'm good with it.

Monday morning I got a tearful call from the girl responsible for not having the potties at the race. She could barely speak which is never a good way to be with me cause I'll start crying with you. The race director ended up calling the owner of the company who has agreed to make a donation to Together We Cope, which I think is an awesome and write an apology to all the racers.

I told Gracie and Zak that we will learn from this - that no matter how bad things seem, we can't just crawl into a ball and cry. A solution can be found.

Next year - I'm camping in the parking lot until the porto's are delivered Saturday night. I will also have the companies owner's personal cell phone number in case anything goes wrong because I NEVER, EVER want to experience this nightmare again.

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