Heading for Nashville this week and frankly, I’m more than a little worried.
It has nothing to do with fear of an entanglement with seemingly less-than-experienced truckers manning big rigs through the I-24 mountain pass. The truck-driver shortage is in full bloom west of Chattanooga.
There is minimal fear of over-sleeping since my internal alarm clock is permanently set at 6 a.m.
My days of sampling the Nashville music nightlife are in my rear-view mirror, but if ever there was a city with a more vibrant music scene, it hasn’t been imagined yet. That’s not to say it hasn’t been conceptualized because downtown Nashville’s landscape isn’t dominated by honky tonks.
I’d love to have a piece of the action when it comes to supplying construction cranes.
So, with being able to sample a city’s vibrance, why the fear?
A face-to-face company meeting.
Over the years, a gathering has never been a cause for concerned. An attempt to chronicle the number of meetings a 41-year career has mandated (recently, I have come to loathe that word) would be futile.
It would cause my eyes to cross, give me a permanent stutter, and make my hair depart my head and fall to the floor.
There’s great anticipation at actually being able to interact with colleagues who have become friends, that’s for sure.
And let’s not discount the value of the 3 “L’s.” An abundance of Lessons, Learning and Laughs.
I’m confident everyone will be wearing masks, although it might hamper communicative clarity at the inevitable Q and A sessions. And it’s a safe bet there will be lots of buffering in what will be a cavernous meeting room.
Everyone from the company will have been vaccinated and that’s reassuring but I can’t help but recall those safe-driving ads that warned: “Watch out for the other guy.”
I know, my self-inflicted angst is probably misplaced and can classify me as a worry wart. But these doubts and hesitations are just another facet of our world.
I write this with tons of conviction: Everything is going to be fine.
But there’s always that sliver of doubt creeping around in my gray matter.
In reality, I suppose using recent Saturdays as affirmation is the best evidence to slay any fears.
I’m sure it’s no surprise that college football games have been on my to-do list for a month. I haven’t seen a mask, social distancing, or anything less than capacity crowds. The ninnies and knuckleheads blathering on about offensive mascots have seemingly slunk back into their collective holes.
The Notre Dame leprechaun and its ilk are apparently safe for now.
On a recent video conference, a colleague informed that anyone in these crowds has been required to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test.
“Forget about that American Lit final, Bubba. You damn well better well pass that COVID test. If you flunk it, can I have your ticket?”
A hot item on Christmas lists this year is certain to be bogus vaccine passports. Frankly, there’s not a lot of uniqueness to mine. I’ll bet there are entrepreneurs who are paying their bills by putting computer skills to good use.
The chaos and conflict surrounding the vaccine is germane to the past few weeks at Casa Tasos. A flooded basement was an opportunity to experience entertainment I would have forked over big money to observe.
The Hispanic crew that fixed the rooms possessed talent. They were good at repairing the house. They were even better at hollering, laughing, and listening to music of which I knew none of the words.
But by golly, to my relief, they were perfectionists. I miss hearing the banter between a Hispanic Casey Kasem and his audience.
No matter. The fine layer of dust in my office serves as a reminder of their invasion and presence.
It’s an up-close-and-personal experience with the Dust Bowl. It is happening most mornings when I have bran flakes for breakfast.
The over-under on the dust being vanquished is four weeks.
Mike Tasos’ column appears every other weekend. Will COVID craziness mean it’s curtains for Halloween trick-or-treating? He is on Facebook and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.