There it was. Resting peacefully in a foreign location, staring back at me almost as if it were mocking me due to my vulnerable and unsettling position. Its dark skin was practically shielding it from view; but I knew it was there.
I stood there, envious of the position I put it in. Wishing more than anything I could rewind the hands of time to erase my feeling of despair, my feeling of sheer helplessness. I longed for us to be reunited and was repulsed by my gross neglect and borderline self-inflicted treachery.
45 minutes earlier…
It was 5:45 am this Tuesday morning. In an effort to secure a bit of overtime, I left the house earlier than I typically do to score an extra 30 minutes on my time sheet.
Things were typical. My favorite radio station was on, my mind was attempting to forecast the young day’s events, and I was wallowing in my daily morning information update via my smart phone. You know, checking the all-important fantasy scores on ESPN, sifting through the haphazard marketing and spam e-mails that inundate my inbox, checking the weather, and anything else that can and usually does divert my attention from the roadway.
Alas, I made it to work unharmed with only a few close calls as my proclivity to pay more attention to my phone than the road often results in a swerve or two, a rush of adrenalin from nearly missing a mailbox or street-parked car, and at least a couple honked horns aimed in my direction.
As I pulled into my parking space I looked at my watch; 6:30 am, right on time. I gathered my things and headed towards the employee entrance.
I had planned to use this extra 30 minutes to pack a couple of textbooks that I intended to sell back to an online vendor where one can exchange no longer needed textbooks for cash in addition to pretending I was working to make my extra 30 minutes appear legitimate. However, I was already juggling my coffee cup, my laptop, and my coat, and had no way of bringing my textbooks along with me on my first trip.
And to increase the difficulty of my juggling act from a 3.1 to a 8.7, I had to retrieve my wallet that houses my RF (Radio Frequency) card that I have to swipe in order to gain access to the facility. Not only does this card allow me access to the facility but once inside the building, it is used to disarm the security system.
In some freakish contorting fashion, I managed to hold my laptop case in one hand, drape my coat over my arm, rested my coffee mug against my chest and forearm that was holding my coat, and was able to reach my back pocket and retrieve my wallet. Putting everything down on the dry ground, retrieving my wallet, swiping my badge, and picking up everything would have been way too easy…
I suppose my 8.7 difficulty juggling act wasn’t enough for me because I failed to remember that while I was holding my laptop case in one hand, draping my coat over my arm, resting my coffee mug against my chest and forearm, reaching in my back pocket, and retrieving my wallet, I still had to open the door! To make matters worse, from the time the RF reader reads the RF card, I’ve got 3 seconds to open the door or the locking mechanism engages again, securing the door, forcing me to swipe my badge again. With no other choice but to free up my only remaining hand, I regrettably forced my wallet into my mouth. Leather…YUCK!
Finally I made it inside, free from any embarrassing coffee stains, an undamaged laptop, and a coat I didn’t have to brush off. “Almost done”, I thought. The only thing left to do at this point was to disarm the security system, which was fairly uneventful, despite still performing my now 10.0 difficulty juggling act (a wallet in the mouth constitutes the highest difficulty rating possible).
As I hastily approached my desk, I placed my coffee mug down, spit out my wallet, threw my coat towards an adjacent chair, laid my laptop case on the ground near by, and was off to gather my textbooks from my car.
I gathered a total of nine textbooks, leaving seven more for a second trip as these textbooks were fairly large with a relative weight. Again, I approached the glass door, both hands full due to the weight of the books, attempting to figure out how I was going to pull off my second juggling act within five minutes. I stood perplexed by the idea.
My first attempt consisted of arranging the books under my arm as if I was carrying a trapper keeper in high school; which failed miserably. Not only did the books’ combined width not fit between my side and outstretched arm, but the glossy film of the books’ covers caused them to slide effortlessly right out of my hand and crash to the concrete ground. “Guess I won’t be getting full price for that book.”, I thought.
In my second attempt, I decided to test my flexibility and ailing sciatic nerve and bent backwards, creating somewhat of a less than level surface on my chest for the books to rest on while I retrieved my wallet. “WALLET!”, I exclaimed to myself. “MY WALLET IS ON MY DESK…WHICH IS INSIDE…AND I’M OUTSIDE!”
At my dismay I stood there, hung my head in disappointment as if I just caught my eldest daughter smoking pot for the first time. “Not again…”, I said in thought. “Why do you always forget stuff you stupid *@#$%^ &*$&#@ ^&(#@>%!”
After briefly cussing myself out and questioning my own intelligence, I began concocting a strategy to get in the building. After all, I purposefully woke up early to get here early, so I could squeeze every bit of OT out of my company I could this week.
I began thinking about the layout of the building. “Okay, there are three doors. An employee entrance that has a cipher locking mechanism, a customer entrance that is locked by a key, and a backdoor that is secured in the same fashion as the employee entrance.”
“I don’t have my badge so that eliminates the backdoor and the employee entrance and I don’t have a key to the front door.” Just as quickly as I concocted my grand entrance, it was foiled. I could have gone Chuck Norris on the door, or scaled the roof looking for an entrance like James Bond, but due to the local police department being located just around the corner and my desire to remain employed, I quickly scratched those ideas as well. And that’s exactly what I did.
It was about 6:50 am by the time I finished casing the very building I work in, looking for a way –anyway– to get inside. “Have you ever wanted to be at work so bad in your entire life?“, I pondered.
And to add insult to injury, as I walked back to my car defeated, to sit and pout until the customer service representative I worked with showed up at 7 am, I stopped and looked at my desk through the glass door. There it was. Resting peacefully in a foreign location, staring back at me almost as if it were mocking me due to my vulnerable and unsettling position. Its dark skin was practically shielding it from view; but I knew it was there.