Morning Misfortune

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.

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11 thoughts on “Morning Misfortune

  1. Pingback: Liebster Award!… Let’s change the rule! « Being Arindam ….

  2. Hmmm… I’m trying to force myself to keep from lecturing you on the dangers of using a cell phone while driving (dangers to others!)… but it seems the universe has handled this one for me.

    Don’t be mad, but drivers on cell phones have caused me more stress than I can stand, especially when I’m in the car with my children.

    Just… wait until you’re off the road! But like I said, no lecturing. 🙂

    • If I had to explain I’m exaggerating within a post, I think it’d take a little away from it. Perhaps I should start doing so…

      I do understand where you’re coming from. As a parent, I can’t stand it when someone is staring at their phone more than the road, especially when I have my children with me.

      Just know I exaggerated a little here to introduce some humor.

      • Sorry, Joe. Good point. I tend to be a very literal person… but you are right. It would take away from the humor of your post to stop and explain. You’re a great Dad, from all that I’ve read here on your blog, and I know you’re responsible too. I think I’ve just been a victim too many times to cell-phone-craziness.

        I wrote a post about it last winter. Forgive the link inclusion, but I wanted to share it with you: http://play101.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/that-driver-was-not-nice/.

        On another note — I hope you have a better week this week! 🙂

        • I can understand your frustration as I have been put in the position you explained in your post more times than one.

          I had just picked up my children from daycare; all three of them riding in the back of my car. I was on a country road that I have traveled many times over; on a daily basis actually. As I approached an intersection where cross traffic was to stop, I noticed a red car sitting there. It was apparent to me he was going to wait until I passed, and rightfully so. I was about 100 feet from passing this car, cruising at 45 m.p.h (the posted speed limit) when he all the sudden pulled out in front of me.

          In less than a split second, I had to make a decision. Do I slam on the brakes, sending all four of us forward, knowing I probably would have rear-ended him anyway? Or do I swerve to the left and use the on-coming lane as a safety net. I chose to swerve to the left, only milliseconds after noticing there was no on-coming traffic.

          As I passed this red car, I looked over at it visibly perturbed and what I saw made me even more mad. He was playing on his phone. In fact, he stopped at the stop sign and made the complete left hand turn in front of me all without looking up!

          Had I been by myself, it might have not been SUCH a big deal. But the fact my children were with me, and this guy put them in danger, it was a HUGE deal.

  3. I didn’t realize you’d left your wallet inside, so even if I’d been there, we would have both gotten locked out. Which wouldn’t have surprised me at all.

    Excellent writing, Joe. Keep it up!

    • I should probably invest in one of those chain dangly things people attach to their wallets which in turn fasten to their britches. This isn’t the first time my wallet has hung me out to dry. I’m beginning to think my wallet doesn’t like me…

      Thanks for stopping by Charles. It’s a treat to see you visiting!

  4. Oh my goodness!!! I realized right when you left to get the books, you left your wallet behind!! Oh and remind me never to be on the road when you are!!! I had a good laugh…nice piece of writing!!!

    • Thanks Karen!

      I wish I would have realized I left my wallet when I went to go get my books; could’ve saved me some heartache!

      Glad you liked it!

  5. Hey Joe.. super piece of writing. I think you post this one after a long time gap from your last one. And it’s worth it. You are too good with this post. Just keep on writing just like this one. I hope lots of people read this one.

    • Thanks so much Arindam. I hadn’t realized how much time had passed since I lasted blogged (9 days)! I do recall being rather busy lately though.

      I’m glad you liked this post. It was easier than I thought to turn an everyday forgetful blunder of mine into something so melodramatic LoL. Always nice to see you visiting!

      Take care.

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