Off to Chicago

I have to go to Chicago for business tomorrow. Because it’s for business, the flight is at 8:30am, which means that I have to get up around 5am to be able to wake up enough to get my butt to the airport and deal with security with enough time to get lost and then find myself and my flight.

People in Chicago seem to have a chip on their shoulders about New York. For example, on a previous trip, while waiting on line to check-in to the hotel, I overheard the check-in-person ask the person in front of me where they were from.

“I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas. Just up for a few days on business,” she told him in one of those cute-after-five-minutes-but-annoying-after-two-hours southern drawls.

“Well, you’ll have a great time here in Chicago. Make sure you try some of our world famous pizza…best there is. I’ve put you in a room with a nice view of the lake. Enjoy your stay,” was how he responded.

Upon learning that I was from New York, he put on a puss like he ate a bunch of Sour Patch Kid’s and, with what could best be described as “glee”, told me that I was on the third floor. He neglected to tell me that I had a lovely view of the building next door, and was next to a janitor’s closet and the ice machine that made ice every 30 seconds.

I’ve noticed this same chip-on-the-shoulder mentality from a few of my Chicago co-workers. They seem to take a pot-shot at New York every chance they get. The funny thing is that they think I take offense at their comments, but I really don’t. I sit quietly knowing that their city is nicknamed the “Second City”, and that’s a nickname that they actually approve of. They admitted defeat a long time ago.

Funny thing happened the first time I went to Chicago…I was in a cab with my boss heading to the office when the cab driver was about to round a corner, but stopped because of people in the crosswalk. When the people in front of the cab moved along, for no apparent reason, the cab driver didn’t go. He just sat there, waiting for others, who were still on the sidewalk at the far corner, to enter the crosswalk and walk across. I turned to my boss with a puzzled look on my face, wondering if he saw what I saw, and he just said, “We’re in a different city. I, uh…I don’t get it either.”

2 Comments so far

  1. Kathleen (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 1:17 am

    You know, I don’t think I’ve ever had an experience like that in Chicago, and I travel there for business something like 7-8 times a year. Everyone is always polite and stuff. Maybe it’s because I have boobs.

    Incidentally, regarding the crosswalk thing, I find it amusing while crossing the street in Chicago to glare menacingly at any driver whose vehicle attempts to come anywhere near me. They always stop and look kind of scared, whereas in New York they… speed up. It’s a fun game. Try it!

  2. sean (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 3:06 am

    Ha ha ha, funny. Londobers get this all the time. Everywhere we go in the UK you know people are thinking ‘oh he’s from London’. Just kidding, all cities have this issue at some time or another.

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