It all started out so innocently. I had booked the training in Atlanta because I was genuinely interested in the session and San Francisco was probably out of the company budget (not to mention a long way to go for a one-day seminar). I was savoring the chance to get out of the office and read on the plane, not to mention a hotel room and remote all to myself. I had heard the traffic rumors about Atlanta, but I honestly thought, “Meh, how bad can it be, right?”
I was so very wrong.
My trip actually starts out pretty well. My flight arrives early, and I’m the only person in line for my rental car place. I get to the expressway just fine, as I have to travel to the north side of Atlanta (the airport is – of course – on the far south side of the city). I’m cruising along, slightly slowing in the middle of the city but for the most part keeping a steady pace.
I get off the expressway and onto another highway, then take my exit to my hotel. This is where the trouble starts. According to my GPS, my hotel is “on the right”. That isn’t really specific enough, and I don’t see my hotel at all, but I could figure that out later. That’s because my hotel exit also featured a sign for Chick Fil A, and I was hell bent on getting some delicious chicken before hunkering down for the night. The sign had said the restaurant was maybe a half mile down the road, however it became clear that they either lied, I had missed it, or it was very cleverly hidden.
In the meantime I get completely turned around and confused and somehow end up in a mall parking lot. Right in front of Nordstrom, specifically. If you know me, you realize the irony of this situation.
But at this point I was so frustrated and bordering on hangry that even a beautiful shoe department could not deter me on my quest for chicken. I regroup, punch Chick Fil A into my phone’s GPS, and wait for my instructions. The calm voice tells me to do something like “Head Northwest”.
“Well bless her heart, she honestly thinks I know which way is Northwest,” I say in my best Southern accent.
Honestly, I’m more of a “turn right at the McDonald’s” kind of gal, so the GPS may as well have told me to “Go Table”. I end up flipping a coin and hoping for the best. Of course by the time I realize I should have turned left instead of right, it’s too late. I have to turn around in some residential community that looks like it could house a poorer Real Housewife. Maybe Kim before she met Big Papa.
Honestly, how do people ever make a left turn around here? If there’s not a light, you’re pretty much screwed. I have no choice but to somewhat pull out in front of someone, and then I realize how painfully close I was to Chick Fil A all along and I feel like an idiot for wasting the last 30-45 minutes looking for it. But I do get my chicken and kale salad, and then I vow to walk to my training in the morning. After all, it’s less than a mile away and not worth the hassle.
As luck would have it, it’s pouring rain in the morning (of course!) so I decide to just suck it up and drive. The GPS directs me right to the building and tells me to go in the two left hand lanes. I do this and decide I will then go to the back of the building and park. Except that the lanes do not lead to the back of the building. They lead to the expressway.
Note: The GPS will just get you to the front of the building. It will not mention that you need to get into a certain lane to find the parking garage for the building. This lacking functionality completely effs up my simple commute, which has now turned into a COMPLETE NIGHTMARE.
I let the f-bombs fly as I realize I will now be late for my training, since not only is traffic crawling, but the next opportunity to get off the highway is about 5 miles down the road. So even though I left 30 minutes early to travel 1 mile, I still end up LATE for my training. I hate being the late person.
Honestly ATL people, I don’t know how you do it. I loved how you had the three C’s covered in a small radius (Chick Fil A, Container Store, Costco), but if it takes an hour to travel between them all, that kind of defeats the purpose of this beautiful trifecta, am I right?
Even as I traveled to the airport at 6 a.m. the next morning, the traffic was hectic…not because of the number of cars, but because of all the maniacs who were frantically trying to avoid the impending rush-hour. Their motto seemed to be, “Screw that. I’m going to work at 6 a.m. and driving 90 mph to avoid all you other suckers.” Fair enough.
Never again, ATL. Never. Again.