Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Case of the Mondays

Hello everyone!

I didn't post yesterday because it was one of the worst days I've had in a long time. Seriously, I should've just stayed in bed all day. Now I know I don't usually whine about things like this on my blog--oh wait, that's exactly what I do. Well, then let the whining commence!

It started out innocently enough. I woke up on time, which is pretty easy for me to do on Mondays since I don't have to be to work until 11 am. Before I left the house at about 10:30, which gave me plenty of time to get to work on time, I looked out the window and saw a nice, beautiful, almost summer-like day. I stepped outside and thought it might even be warm enough to leave my jacket at home, but then I figured I should at least take a fleece with me just in case. So far, so good.

I made it to campus in about five minutes, which is normal since I live nearby, and I checked the east lot for a place to park. The period between 10am and 1 pm is inevitably packed at LCC, and finding a spot can be tough, but people tend to avoid the east lot because it's fairly small. However, I like it since the walk to Tutor Central is not long but passes under a bunch of cool trees, and some feral cats live along the way. Anyway, as I pulled into the lot, I had a choice between turning right or left. I decided to turn left, and as I drove forward, I noticed in my rear view mirror a car backing out behind me and a third car quickly parking in the spot. Had I simply chosen to turn the other way, that space would've been mine. It was a sign of things to come.

But at this point, I wasn't worried. It was still really early, the day was nice and sunny, and I knew I'd find another spot soon. Sure enough, I saw a woman walking away from campus and toward a car parked right in front of me. I thought about how fortunate I was. All I had to do was wait for a moment, and I'd have a great spot. I was also so early that I could take my time getting to the center, and I would have plenty of time to stop and chat if I saw someone I knew. I thought of all this as I watched the woman get to her car, place her backpack on the trunk lid, and get out her cell phone. I figured she'd just gotten a call or something, and so she'd just answer her phone while getting in the car and driving away. No problem, right?

Then she started either dialing or texting--I couldn't tell which. By this time my car had been idling in the middle of the roadway with my left turn signal blinking for at least 30 seconds. The woman was fidgeting around with her phone and standing next to her car while her backpack was still on her trunk lid.

"She sure is taking her sweet time," I thought, and I gave her at least another minute. After all, it was a nice day, and I liked the song that was playing on my CD player, and like I mentioned I was still pretty early. But eventually, I started to feel guilty about my car idling and contributing so much carbon to global warming, so I rolled down the window and asked her, "Hey, are you leaving?"


She didn't just say the word, "No," but she said it as if I had just asked the most inane, ridiculous question she'd ever heard in her life. She also gave me a look that I thought should be reserved only for the creepy guy at the bar who propositions women with this line: "I'm a bird watcher, and I'm looking for a Big-Breasted Bed Thrasher. Have you seen one?" I sheepishly looked away, turned off my blinker, and moved on.

After driving around the rest of the lot a couple times and finding nothing, I decided to try the south lot. I don't like the south lot as much as the east one because on the walk to the center there are hardly any trees, there are no feral cats, and it's usually 2-3 times longer of a walk to the center than from the east lot. I also don't like the south lot because the layout is all wrong since it's on a hill. This means there are a few long rows instead of many short ones, so if you see a person backing out of a space up ahead, the odds are that someone else will get there before you, and meanwhile a spot will open where you just were, except now you're 1/4 mile away from it.

Well, guess what happened to me? I saw plenty of spots open up, but then cars magically appeared out of nowhere to pull into them before I could get there. It's not like anyone was driving aggressively (well, anyone other than me), but the timing was just right for them and all wrong for me. Seriously, I saw at least a half dozen spots open and then be taken before I could get anywhere near them.

I finally found a spot, and it was way, way back in the southwest corner of the lot, the second-to-worst spot on campus. There literally is one other parking spot on the entire LCC campus that is farther away from Tutor Central than this one, and it was right next to mine. It was also available, but I had to draw the line somewhere.

But still, I thought, this was no big deal. "It's a nice day, and I can use the exercise," I thought as I pulled into the space. Besides, I was early, right? Wrong! Just before I turned off the key, I looked at the clock and noticed it was 10:55! I had just spent a whole 20 minutes driving around LCC parking lots to look for a place to park, and now I was almost late. I should've just taken the bus--it would've been much quicker!

Once I started my trek toward the Center Building, I noticed something strange happening around me. Car after car started leaving the campus, and within a minute or so at least a dozen spots had opened up. It was as if there was some big conspiracy à la the Truman Show, and everyone had gotten the message that I had parked and they were now free to go home. I seriously considered going back to the car and moving to a better spot, but I knew that, with the way my luck had been going, all the empty spots all just fill up before I got to them, as would my second-crappiest spot, and I'd end up parking in THE crappiest spot and being late.

Of course, along the way I saw a few people I know, people I would've really enjoyed talking with, but I had to settle for a quick wave as I hurried to get to the center on time. Amazingly, I made it.

Nothing terrible happened while I was at work, but I felt distracted all day long, and I certainly wasn't at my best. I'm not sure why, but I don't think I was the only one. Near the end of my shift, it started to get quite busy, so I stayed a few extra minutes to help out. When I finished with the student I had been working with, I looked outside and noticed it had just started hailing. Remember that nice, sunny day I had woken up to? It was now a distant memory. Summer-like, my ass!

So I trudged westward through the hailstorm to my car. Because of where I parked, I had to walk directly into the cold, wet wind instead of walking to the east lot with the wind at my back. I also had to walk 2-3 times as far as I would have if I'd been able to park at the east lot, which meant I was in the cold, wet hailstorm for 2-3 times longer than I could've been. Of course, I only had on a fleece instead of a jacket because it was such a beautiful sunny day earlier. During the walk, I wondered how I ever survived living in North Idaho and northern Michigan, but somehow I don't ever remember it being as cold as my walk across the parking lot, although I'm sure it was.

I finally reached my car, started it up, and turned on the heater. While it was warming up and I was waiting to leave, I looked out the window and saw the hailstorm stop. It had started just before I went outside, and now it stopped just after I got into my car. I wanted to cry. Instead, I went home, made some hot chocolate, wrapped a warm blanket around me, and watched television.

Later, I wondered why the universe seemed to be my enemy that day. Was it the full moon? Was it because it was a Monday? Maybe I just had a case of the Mondays.

Getting my ass kicked? That would've been the perfect way to top off the day I had.


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Anonymous Summer said...

At least your carboy's intact and there was hot chocolate in the house.

8:51 AM, February 11, 2009  
Anonymous Greg said...

I was all set to give you the Office Space quote and you ruined for me. Maybe that will cheer you up. I have to admit, with all the crap going on in the world, that is a pretty small amount of bad stuff to whine about. I kept waiting for the big thing to happen. Now if your car hadn't started or a terrorist took you hostage at work, that would have been something. Some guy in Sydney, AU was attacked by a shark. I had a 101 degree fever that I wasn't getting paid for. It's all relative, my friend. Then again, you do have your blogging responsibilities to fulfill.

11:59 AM, February 11, 2009  
Blogger Rob said...

Hello Summer!

Yes, the carboy is intact, and its contents are ready for bottling this weekend. So there is still a chance for this batch to be a disaster, too. We'll see.

Hello Greg!

Yes, individually, none of these were a big deal. But it was the general feeling that the universe was conspiring against me at every turn that made it so bad. One paper cut is not nearly as bad as getting a limb chopped off. But a thousand paper cuts at one time is much more comparable. Not that I've ever experienced either, mind you.

Incidentally, I saw a person today walking to a car in the east lot. I decided to tempt fate by rolling down my window (this time not waiting for a couple minutes) and asking him if he was leaving. He said yes and was pulling out of the spot within 10 seconds or so. Maybe my luck is changing?


9:40 PM, February 12, 2009  

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