Sunday, May 12, 2013

IMS - Day # 6 - Traffic Control - 1st Day

TLE and I went to bed around 9:45 pm Friday night in anticipation of terminating our sleep mode around 5 am Saturday morning.....that is the earliest I have been to bed, on purpose, since I was a weekend soccer referee!

The temps outside at 5 am were around 42, and it would not get much warmer than that until mid afternoon.  Thankfully it was not windy, just cold and cloudy as we made our 2 block walk over to the employee check in area on Georgetown Road.  We arrived just after 6:30 checked in with the computer girls who checked us in, then sent us over to the time clocks to swipe our employee credential.  From there we walked over to Gate 10 where we were shuttled by a nice gentleman in a golf cart up to Gate 2 on the south side of the track.

There we met our co-workers, and supervisor, Rick.  TLE and I both have to say we already like the people we are working with a lot.  There are two main duties at Gate 2, the MAIN entrance to IMS.......selling and "stubbing" tickets, and directing traffic.  We both like to be in charge, and were thrilled when we were assigned to traffic control.  All we have to do is be friendly, helpful and tell people "where to go".  Of course this job involves a lot of standing in the middle of 16th street keeping the two lanes of cars moving into the tunnel where the ticket sellers take their money, or tear off the stub on the pre-purchased ticket they present.  We direct traffic for an hour, and then are off an hour.....all on the clock.  The only time we are off is when we take our 1 hour lunch.

First thing in the morning a lot of LARGE race team transport trucks began arriving, and when they approach we have to  stop all west bound traffic on 16th (the trucks approach from the west).....of course these trucks are massively tall and long.....when they go down into the tunnel under the track the tops of the vans they are pulling clear by just a few inches.  I keep expecting one to hit the top of the entrance.

We wore our IMS yellow jackets, and we are all glad we had them as it was very, very, very cold most of the day....I don't think it hit 50 until near lunch time, and never, ever came near the high of the forecast 62 degrees....maybe 55....maybe.  

Saturday is/was opening day here at IMS, and that is the official start of practice by the various race teams.  There was not much practice until early afternoon as the asphalt was just not warm enough for the cars.  Eventually we did start to hear individual cars running laps.  During a break I walked up the ramp to watch....it is amazing to see a car coming through the north corner at over 200 mph......just the sound of the air displacement, and then the roar of the engine is breathtaking.  These cars turn a 2.5 mile lap in around 20 seconds, and they look like they are on rails as they run through the 1/4 mile turn.

Regrettably, I forgot my phone yesterday.....we are allowed to have our phones with us, and use them on our breaks.......our crew has their own break area within a few feet of where we work.  I will try to take some pictures, or video Sunday.

By 3 pm they traffic flow had decreased so much we were only  using one lane, and each team was only on duty 30 minutes at a time with an hour break.......not exactly tough duty!  The cold weather, I'm sure, was a contributing factor.....since not many cars were running....the main reason so many come, the crowds never really got big.  At any rate, I say that to say this.....we were asked around 3:30 if we wanted to go home early, and we accepted the offer.  It was a nice first day, and it was nice to go home a couple of hours early....there will be longer days as the temps warm up into the low 80's and high 70's by Monday.

We clocked out at the Hall of Fame Museum, and caught a shuttle back to Gate 10, and actually, our driver took us right to our doorstep since our camping spot is about 200 yards from the Gate 10 entrance.

Just as we got home the sun came out and it began to warm up.....I spent the rest of the afternoon watching golf, and taking a nap.  Around 5:30 TLE made a chicken enchilada casserole.....actually she made it Friday and reheated it Saturday......very, very good.  I read a while after dinner and we both were in bed by 10.

Overall we are very happy with our jobs so far....we don't have to worry about making change, or selling tickets, and we are not on our feet continuously for 10+ hours.....that works for us.  The time seemed to fly by quickly, and we are meeting some very nice folks!

Well, day #1 of work is done.....thanks for stopping by!

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