Getting in May Be the Hardest Part

It was Friday. I was ready to have a sip of wine, watch some television and bury myself in my lone blanket. However, with a few weeks left as a city reporter, I wanted to embrace the title.

This inner drive found me circling Union Station. It reminded me of the time my family and I journeyed to Washington D.C. post 9/11 and found ourselves continually trapped in The Pentagon parking lot.

Back to the West Loop of Chicago, pushed by the wind and given the row of doors that read “use other door,” I became that girl beseeching a bus driver, cooks on cigarette breaks, and meandering travelers to clue me in as to where “the” door was. The sad part was that as my heels scraped the pavement, through the glass doors, I could see the royal purple linens and cocktail-attired couples. I was confronted with the enclave of wind not only creating a vortex with my curls, but also causing my dress to rise.

Finally, I reached the center of the building and was one uniformed man away from my entrance.  I informed him that I was going to “the event.”  Even with my reply, he sent me back into the cold to find “the” door, though I could have easily entered from where I was standing. One guard later, I was in!  Too focused on recapping lost moments, I didn’t  embrace the grandeur of the 110 foot high atrium ceiling of the historic hall.

As Murphy predicted, anything that can go wrong will go wrong at the worst possible moment. Over an hour late, the hostess greeted me with a smile and informed me that I was not on the list. Sans a phone number or a press badge, I gave her the publicist’s name. Following behind the sequence ensemble, Ms. Publicist apologized for the mix up, handed me a white wine and led me to the reporters table—sparse in company, but not aliments.

I spoke to the other publicist from D.C. who informed me that reporters do not go to events to eat, they go to make the rounds and snap photographs. Appreciating my company, she nudged me towards an outspoken and honored winner of the evening, who was ducking out of the event to sneak in a cigarette break.

Even though a mint mentos almost crossed paths with Diet Coke that evening, I got my story. The main thing is that you have a job to do and no matter how many doors you have to try to get in, persistence and tact are rewarding.

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