At work we have a points-based rewards system. For achieving certain goals or going over and beyond expectations, we are awarded points. These points go into a bank and are redeemable through an online catalog of stuff. I'm not really what you would call a "spender." I like to save up for one big thing or rainy day that may come down the pike (and basically always does). Working somewhere for over a year and just accumulating points (only redeeming once for a GPS Watch) I had quite the stock of points. I took a lunch break one day to check out what I could get on the catalog. Sure enough, I had enough banked up to get myself a 26" flat screen TV. My current 27" television was in fine working condition but it's size (a large tube television) wasn't quite as conducive for small apartment living. So in the name of ergonomics and fung-shui, I redeemed for a new TVand had it delivered to my desk the next day. The only catch is that I ride the "L" to work everyday and most of my co-workers lived in the suburbs. Getting it home was going to be a trick. I opted for the train. Sure I could've paid about $40 for a safe cab ride home but I like adventure.
I carried the TV through the south side neighborhood that Hinda's main office is located in and hopped on the Orange Line. Arriving in the loop, I transferred to the Red Line and weaved my 26 inches of glory (the TV) through the rush hour crowd. An hour later, I safely had my new toy secure in my apartment.
This was quite a big accomplishment and also quite a dumb feat. For those of you who may be ill-informed, Chicago is a fairly safe city. That being said, it doesn't have what some may call a "low crime rate" in relation to where I grew up. Carrying a brand spanking new, flat panel LCD television out into the city like that was taking a calculated risk. I made it home receiving only a few funny looks from train passengers. I reckon my guardian angels were putting in overtime that day.