Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ver.di and the BVG Strike

Thursday night the Ver.di union decided to call a strike on the BVG (public transport in Berlin) and of course it wasn't a good thing. The strike started at midnight on Friday morning and will last until 3pm on Saturday afternoon.

I am one of about two million Berlin commuters using the BVG everyday. If we must resign ourselves to driving, or biking, or even just walking, the streets become a bit clogged. But really it wasn't too bad this time.

My on-the-ball FIL saved my ass on Thursday night. He called asking if I was going to want a chauffeur for Friday. N thought it was a joke... she kept looking at me like he was crazy. Eventually he managed to explain it to her... that there was advance warning of a strike and that Snooker would be left without transportation to get to work. This sweet man offered to pick me up and take me to work early on Friday morning, then also arranged an after-work pickup. What a guy, eh?

As we made our way across the city - Tempelhof to Charlottenburg - we saw some of the streets were crowded and slow, but thankfully we didn't experience this at all. He doesn't like to get onto the highways in the mornings because if there is a traffic jam very often there is no way to get off of the highway for a long time, sometimes making you late to work... so he likes the city driving. In the evening we took the highway which was also rather crowded, but it was moving along nicely nonetheless.

I can't even imagine what would have happened to me if he hadn't called. Imagine Snooker early Friday morning, all dressed up for work, standing at the bus stop with a confused look on her face when no lumbering bus shows up to magically transport her to work. Surely I would have figured it out eventually, most likely I would have just gotten onto Mimi but that would have taken another 30 minutes to arrange (heavy winter clothing, packing work clothes, etc). Of course this could mean that I would be late for work like so many of my colleagues ... not a good thing either.

But thankfully the BVG has had yet another strike and it has barely affected me. It has even worked out to end at the PERFECT time. Saturday is the final party to celebrate my 40th birthday, N's 28th birthday, and our anniversary (all on the same day - the 24th). We had a dinner party on the day, but had planned this dance event to invite even more of our friends for some drinking, dancing and just having fun. All of this merriment starts at 5pm!!! When we had first heard of a possible strike, we had understood that it would be on Saturday --- the day of the party!!! Many of our friends would be using public transport, and things didn't look good for the party. BUT, since they started the strike early and had it on Friday as well, they cut the Saturday short.... YEA!! The strike ends at 3pm, our party starts at 5pm!! The timing is perfect!!!

So now I'm just left with figuring out what to do to thank my FIL... any ideas?

1 comment:

tqe / Adam said...

I have no idea how to thank your FIL, but what a generous thing he did... Maybe I could bring you something to give him from Weimar?

And what lucky timing with your party--let me offer you congratulatory greetings on all three points... The first round of drinks are on me when we go out next.