Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Driving Adventures in "Austin"

What is it with Austin that is such a challenge to mapmakers? I'll admit, some of the roads can be confusing, but they'd be less so if you had a decent map. For some reason, every map I've ever had of Austin is just terrible. This time, I only had to go through to south Austin, then turn off. But the road I thought I was turning on wasn't the road I thought I was turning onto. It was a completely different highway. Thanks, Google. So, then I'm hoping that the map isn't too far off and that my supposed RR 2222 is somewhere nearby. BUT, the area I'm driving in doesn't have that many businesses, so I can't stop and ask directions until I'm out in the middle of nowhere. I stopped at a combination gas station/Rudy's Barbecue (didn't know you could ever buy gas at a Rudy's Barbecue, but I suppose stranger things have happened). There was a very small convenience store type section, but no maps. So I asked the cashier, but the Map-finder they have had the exact page I needed stolen out of it. The guy was pretty sure where it was. He made it sound like it was nearby. I just crossed a bridge and it would be the next turn. Okay, I can handle that. Noooooo. It couldn't be that easy.

I continue on, thinking it's just another quarter mile or so. I cross over a section of the highway that was raised a little and I'm wondering, is that the bridge? Did I now pass my turn? Then, I come to an overpass. Is that it? But there's now no place to stop for more directions. So I just keep driving. I'm still way early because I anticipated this sort of problem driving up there as it always happens. The drive starts to get pretty scenic and I'm hoping I'm not going so far out that I'll have to come halfway back to Austin again to get to my street. Eventually, I see something in the distance that looks like a huge bridge. Like, a real bridge with an arch over it and everything. Is that what the guy meant? As I get closer I see a sign for 2222 and I know now that I've made it. Why didn't the guy tell me I wasn't really close to it? New question: How far did I go before reaching 2222 and do I now have to go back toward Austin to find the turnoff, or keep going west and away from Austin? I decided to try west first. Luckily, I chose correctly and I found my turn, then the turn from there to the office park I needed.

So, I saw a sign that said there were 8 buildings marked with Roman numerals, but nothing indicating which building I need to go to. Nothing said which businesses were in which building, or if the whole complex was indeed AT&T. So, I parked by building 1 and went inside. Sure enough, that's not right. AT&T isn't listed in the directory. I asked a man outside if he knew where AT&T was, but he just told me to look at the signs. Yeah, right. Like that's helpful. I went back to the car and drove on to the next building I saw, which was building 4. Went inside, and no, AT&T isn't there either. I drove on and came to building 6. No AT&T. I asked a group of people at each building if they knew where it was, but no one knew. I finally saw that there was a building behind the one I'd last gone into, so I went back to the car and drove over to that one (they weren't really close enough to each other to walk to--maybe if it were fall or winter I might have done it, but not in those shoes). Luckily, that one was the one I was looking for. I managed to make it almost an hour in advance somehow. Good thing I allowed so much extra time.

So, then as the time for the testing neared, more and more people showed up. Most of them were in jeans and sneakers, which I can't imagine doing for something relating to job-hunting. I just figured, I'd prepare for an interview, in case they interviewed us afterwards. So, I wore a suit. Only 2 other people even remotely dressed up. It just shocks me what people will do when they should be trying to make a good impression. Instead, they all just looked like they could care less what happened. Anyway, I'd been studying for several days, reading up on the design software, so I wouldn't be too rusty. But, the test was a written test and not on the computer at all. ??? The e-mail they sent me said it would be on the software, but it wasn't like that. It was all checking and proofing ads to make sure spelling, word usage, and everything were printed correctly. Piece of cake. There was only one of them that I wasn't sure of, so one out of all the ones I answered correctly should be okay. We'll see. The person running the testing said they might have results in a couple of days.

So, then I leave afterwards and the building is just dead. There's no one out there. Everything is dark. It's only 4 pm, though. Weird. So, I find my car and leave the park, only to forget which direction I needed to go. My choice turned out to be wrong, so I had to turn around. Then, I missed the turn getting back on the highway and went off again. Luckily it was a nice drive. I came to a spot where there was a sheer cliff on one side of the road with 3 eagles flying around on it, and a drop off the other side of the road that may have led down to a lake, but I couldn't really look because the road was pretty wind-y and I had to keep my eyes on the road. Eventually I was able to turn around and made it back to the highway. Back to 35, only to miss my exit because the signs weren't very clear until I was past it. So, again I had to turn around on 35 so I could head back down to San Antonio. Traffic was bad as usual as by then it was rush hour, but not as bad as it could have been. It didn't get really horrible until I reached San Antonio, and the worst was right at the last stretch of 1604 where there are traffic lights. Why they don't build overpasses, I haven't a clue. They just spent money on widening the turn lanes, like that will alleviate the traffic problems, but that was pretty stupid.

Anyway, I'm hoping this will turn out to be a job I'll actually get, but it remains to be seen. I'm going to keep looking, though, in case that one doesn't pan out. I'm pretty tired today, but some of it is allergies. I actually slept well, so I don't think that's it. Hopefully a Sea World trip is in the works for tonight, so that will be a welcome break from job-hunting and studying.

Well, if I get a job in Austin, I'll probably have to invest in a Mapfinder or I'll never find my way around up there. Still I hate it when I plan things out like that and then I don't get the job, and it turns out I did all that planning for nothing. Maybe it's a jinx or something. I'll just wait and see and worry about it when the time comes this time. : )

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