Tuesday, July 13, 2021

i am a line man

Today I spent the morning honing my skills as a line man.

And not a Glen Campbell county-type of lineman. More like a queue master.

Tomorrow I will be boarding my regular monthly Alaska flight to Los Angeles and then on to Redmond. Before the clock turns Cinderella back into a victim of involuntary servitude, Mrs. Cotton's elder son will be wishing her a good night.

To fly tomorrow, I need a certificate, not more than three days old, that I am as free from Covid as an old guy can be. Without the certificate, I cannot even check in my bags (or body) at the Alaska counter.

There is a testing site at the airport, but I like to have all of my paperwork in hand when I arrive. There have been tales of people arriving at our airport only to discover the testing site is not open that day, leaving them to scurry back to town for a rapid test -- or rebooking a flight.

Early this morning, I drove over to my favorite lab in San Patricio. This must be about the fifth test I have have taken since the requirement went into effect. In the past, there were usually no more than two people waiting in line in front of me. That is why I was a bit surprised to see a sizeable line waiting for the lab's services.

Surprise should not have been my reaction. For the past week I have seen similar lines in front of our local medical offices. The delta variant of covid is making its way through our community. Some people (not me) predicted that this community's light covid infection rate might be an anomaly just awaiting the next wave. They may have been correct.

What was usually a five-minute wait was much longer. But I only had one more task to accomplish for the morning, so I waited patiently -- as if there was an option.

When my turn came, I was in and out in less than two minutes. An hour later, I had my transit papers signed by General DeGaulle (oh, wait, I think that is a different story arc). I am now ready to head over to the Manzanillo airport tomorrow afternoon.

Just a suggestion. If you are going to use local labs in the next few weeks, I suggest getting the test done early on the morning before you leave.

I was then off to pay my electric bill. Or, more accurately, leave a deposit for future months of service.

My household is based on the fiction that I live here permanently. And, disregarding my travels, I do. I have attempted to set up my recurring bills to be paid electronically and automatically. But that has never quite worked as planned. And it does not usually matter -- as long as I am here to make my payments.

CFE, our government-owned electricity agency, is another office that takes very little of my time. Today was different.

When I went to the main door of the office in Cihuatlán, a workman told me to go to the entrance off of the employee parking lot. The reason was obvious. Workmen had gutted the office area to remodel it.

So, I walked around the corner to encounter a line of about six people standing and sitting in the shade. After just under an hour, the line was reduced to me, That is when I took this shot.

As soon as I sat down, four more people arrived. Unusual for the CFE office, I was in the chair for another half-hour before I was admitted. My deposits took only three or four minutes and I was on my way.

My helpful hint for CFE was going to be that you should expect your CFE transaction will take longer than usual. And it would be a good hint. But a short-lived one. The contractor told me the work should be complete in another week. Operations will then be back to normal.

There you have it. Two hints to deal with lengthening lines due to changing circumstances.

Now, maybe someone can tell me what the new surprise at the airport processing will be tomorrow for me. There almost always is one.

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