Wednesday, May 16, 2012

FWP - NATO Summit Version

As some of you may know, Chicago will be hosting the NATO summit this weekend. For those of us that commute to the city from the suburbs, we are all being hugely inconvenienced in so many ways.

1) Many of my friends' offices are closed or they are encouraged to work from home. Since my office is located on the complete opposite end of the loop of the summit, my office will be open with business as usual. It is our busy season so I have plenty to do in the office, but I don't think I'd turn down the chance of a free day off. Just sayin...

First World Problem


2) I ride the Metra train into the city every morning. I usually come with a bag for my lunch, a gym bag, and my giant purse that fits my iPad and sunglasses case, amongst other garbage. Also, some days, I have a cup of coffee on the train to help wake me up. For the 3 days of the summit, there are very strict restrictions on what is and is not allowed on the train. A small excerpt is below:
  1. Riders may be subject to search and/or screening before boarding or while en route.
  2. Riders may carry only one bag not exceeding 15 inches square and 4 inches deep. Boxes, parcels, luggage, backpacks and bicycles will not be allowed on trains. Banned items cannot be stored at Metra stations. They must be removed or they will be disposed of.
  3. Riders may not carry any food or liquids on the trains. This includes coffee and other beverages.
  4. Riders may not carry any type of tools, pipes, stakes, wood or weapons, including pocket knives and pepper spray, on the trains.
  5. Law enforcement personnel must identify themselves and present their credentials and any weapons. Security guards will not be allowed to carry any weapons onboard. 
Do we think this is a little extreme? No morning coffee? No bag lunches? No Lean Cuisines? What about those with a laptop bag? One would have to carry the laptop, cord, and mouse in their hands because they're not allowed to carry a bag of that size? What about those that work construction and need tools for their job? What about students that use their backpacks for all of their books? Also, apparently no one can workout on those days either. Only little purses and clutches allowed. I think all of us everyday commuters are lucky that these restrictions are only in effect for 1 business day. Still, that doesn't mean that one business day isn't going to be a huge inconvenience.

First World Problem


3) NATO Summit protesters are upset with the security restrictions as they will not be able to protest in view of the summit. I'm really hoping that these protestors don't harass us everyday commuters that are just trying to get to work. If that happens, I'm turning around and going back home. I don't expect this to happen, but I'm preparing for the worst. It is probably an extreme scenario, but something to consider anyways.

First World Problem


Do you live in Chicago? Is your life inconvenienced by this event? Let's vent our frustrations together.

21 comments:

  1. Michel@BabyweightmyfatassMay 16, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    I am not inconvenienced by this but am amazed by what is going on though. I don't understand half the stuff they are protesting. I had no idea why they marched into Bridgeport last night. AND my major gripe with these people (and I support nonviolent protests) is that half of them are talking to the news media outlets with their faces covered up. Own your shit. Don't hide.

    I'm sorry for those who are innocent bystanders by this who will be inconvenienced by all of this.

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  2. Sucks you have to work Kelly! Drink coffee before you leave!! And no Ipad that day! Or just call in sick. The trains will be empty!

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  3. I'm most annoyed that I can't bring my lunch to work that day. Lots of people will be working from home. I'll have to see what the thought is from leadership here.

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  4. Yeah, I don't know what they're protesting--I just hope it doesn't interfere with me going about my daily life. Lol!

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  5. I have to work too and am so annoyed I can't bring my lunch or coffee!!! FWP solution, want to grab lunch that day?! :)

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  6. Ugh! I know! What is up with this? We just received an email that it is business as usual and shouldn't be treated as any other day. Where is your office? I'd be down for meeting for lunch, if I'm not too broke after my Nashville trip this weekend. :)

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  7. Thankfully nothing has impacted me yet. Well, other than the fact that almost all of my coworkers are working in Lincoln Park for the week. But that basically means I get the office to myself....and Friday and Monday off work. So, uh, yeah, thanks NATO!

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  8. Totally jealous that you get Friday and Monday off! Our "casual Friday" dress code is extended to Monday and that is about it. Otherwise, business as usual!

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  9. Luckily, we are working from home those days. But I was unable to get a flight out of town to return on the day of the summit because of the limited flights in and out of ORD. We typically pay $200 a person or less to fly to KC and tickets this weekend are $450-$600. But you mentioned you are going to Nashville so we just must be stupid for waiting to buy our tickets a few weeks before.

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  10. Ugh I hate this crap. I work in the north loop, live in south loop. But the silver lining is casual Monday next week. Until then I won't be able to run on the path since I live close to McCormick place...

    Really stinks about your commute but at least it's only a day!?

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    1. I also have casual Monday next week. Agreed on it only being 1 day. I don't know what I'd do if it was more than 1. Complain more??? Lol

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  11. Same with my office!!! I'm at Wacker and Wells. Where are you? We can meet in the middle!

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  12. Yes! My building already has extra security (I live in the Loop) and we've been told not to have visitors, deliveries, etc!

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  13. Even though that is gonna mess up your day, that is awesome that the NATO summit is in your town. You should go protest the protesters.

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  14. Haha, that is an interesting thought--to protest the protesters. I like your logic!

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  15. Yikes! So you can't order a pizza or shop online? When will the inconveniences end!!??

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  16. I work at Wacker and Lake! Yes, let's meet! email me and we can talk details.
    kellyeileenwilson at gmail dot com

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  17. Since we were flying out on Thursday and arriving home on Sunday, I didn't find the prices to be too extravagent. If I would have booked my flights 2 months ago, they were $99 each way. Since I waited until about 2 weeks ago, they were $150 each way, but we're flying into and out of Midway. I'm really glad I won't be around to deal with these issues this weekend. FWP for sure!!

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  18. I have to drive through downtown tomorrow during rushhour to make it to st. louis for a graduation. FIRST. WORLD. NATO. SUMMIT. PROBLEMMMMMMMMM!

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  19. OMG, I'm glad I'm getting the hell outta dodge this weekend to avoid all of the chaos. Hopefully the traffic won't be too terrible.

    BEST OF LUCK AT ROCKFORD!!! You will do amazing!!!!

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  20. I have to drive to work near O'Hare. Monday's commute is going to make me throw things. Because the Kennedy will be closed pretty much the entire afternoon. Forcing EVERYONE to take alternative routes. MY alternative routes.

    For the sake of my sanity, I hope a crap ton of people work from home...

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