Thursday, December 11, 2008

More alone than usual

I ran four miles this morning. Bundled up against the cold I flipped through the shuffle to find music that was fast and turned the volume up to LOUD. At about the mile mark I noticed that something seemed different. It was definitely colder but that was not it. Then I realized what it was.

Most mornings I probably pass 20 to 50 cars. People inside are sleepily making their way to work. This morning on my whole run I only saw five cars or so. I ran on Willow Drive and Yaupon – normally busy streets – today no cars. I crossed Oyster Creek Drive twice. Usually the intersections there have multiple cars at them, even at a little after 5 am. But not this morning.

Last week Dow Chemical announced that they were going to idle some production plants and shutdown others completely. They told both contractors and direct employees to go home until January 5th. Some have vacation and will get paid while they are off. Some have no vacation and are out of luck. Some will come back on January 5th to resume work. Some will go home and get a phone call later that they are no longer needed.

I know that Dow is a business in the business of making money. I know that times are hard. But it seems heartless to send people home during the holidays.

I was a Dow contractor until May of this year. I am glad I am not there anymore. I didn’t see it coming. I am not that smart. I left because of restlessness and a desire for the adventure of living overseas. I got the benefit of returning to the best company I have ever worked for.

Although I often run alone, I ran this morning more alone than usual. I ran hard and mad and sad.