I can truly say that yesterday has to be one of the worst I’ve had in an extremely LONG time. A total comedy of errors. I can laugh now, but O-M-G.
Boss’s FedEx package in mailroom Tue never got picked up, EVEN THOUGH I called them. Didn’t help that I know the receptionist didn’t bother to question the fact that a FedEx package wasn’t picked up after one day. I will not define what I think of her at this point. Color Boss a bit purple with apoplexy as it was an important document.
The Head Boss wanted information that I couldn’t find for about an hour. She wasn’t too happy with me. Color a black cloud hanging over my head. Beginning to wish I was on Nurse Ratched’s psych ward, because at this point in the day (oh, only an hour into the work day), that might not be a bad thing. At least there you get drugs. Pass the valium please.
When I told boss I was leaving at 4pm, she wanted to know what time I got in because I wasn’t at my desk when she called at 9:30am. I patiently explained that I was working on something for the Head Boss down in the file room. Oh, okay, that’s all right then. WTF??? I worked almost 10 hours straight and no lunch on Tue, Wed took my normal hour lunch, and I’d had NO lunch today because I was too busy doing my normal work on top of the baby shower the Boss insisted we have for coworker.
Love my coworker, but I’m not wild about mass social events at the office. I didn’t get to leave work until 4:30pm, which put me in the garage about 4:45pm. Despite being late, I was really glad not to be the suspect two police cars had chased down at the end of the street. Although when I think about it, maybe the suspect had drugs…ok I don’t need drugs, I need alcohol. Seriously I don’t drink much at all, but at this point, I’m wishing I had a bottle of something in the car!
Head up I-95 to Lora Leigh’s Reader’s Appreciation Weekend. Excited to see my friends, meet readers and make new friends. Naturally, I’m thinking music will help me decompress, but all I want is some quiet. So I drive without songs. Suddenly, I’m thinking, waiting I could probably have my Kindle read to me…rut roh, I left not only the Kindle at home, but my iPad at home too! Ok, I can deal with withdrawal from Kindle, but the iPad is going to take some doing. I start fidgeting in my seat.
It’s just an iPad, you can live without it for a weekend, Monica. You have the laptop. No, the iPad is portable. I need to be able to look things up. Use your phone Monica. The screen is too small, I need the iPad. For crying out loud Monica it’s technology. What did you do before you had all this technology? I didn’t text while driving. I finally adjust to my forgetting the iPad and settle into my drive to DC.
Traffic has smoothed out, I’m feeling calm and completely relaxed, thinking wow, this is really unusual for I-95 and I-495 to have such low traffic at 6pm at night. I’ll be at the hotel by 10pm. WOOT Suddenly out of nowhere, brake lights. LOTS of brake likes. Have you ever noticed that some cars, when their brake lights are on, look very evil??? Almost like they’re grinning at you, tell you, yep, your time is coming.
It was like I was entering the gates of hell, with about 800 to a 1000 cars sitting still with their evil brake lights winking at me. This parking lot goes on for about 20 miles to the Maryland border. So I’m sitting there, and I glance over ohhhh, a Barnes and Nobel and it’s TWO stories high!!! Wish I could get off and go chill for an hour, but think no. I’ll stay the course. An hour and a half later, I’ve gone 45 miles roughly. B&N would have been a nice layover. How do people up there have lives outside of work and being in their cars??
I’m still waiting in traffic, noting that all this time there are two beautifully paved lanes on the other side of these wobbly things keeping you from getting in those lovely lanes. Clearly these are new lanes that haven’t been opened up although they sure look tempting. Then straight out of the blue, it happens. One, whoosh, Two, whoosh, dozen whooshes. CARS are flying by me in those pristine lanes. Looked like they were test cars or something. A week from now, I’m betting those lanes will be open. Day later and a dollar short.
Traffic eases up and by now it’s 8pm and I’m starved. I was craving Sonics really bad, wanted Limeade. They’re so awesome, but couldn’t find one, so I settle for KFC. I place my order for a breast and thigh. They hand it over; I pull into a parking space to eat. Open box, no breast. Go back to the window. Sorry, ma’am we’re all out of Original Recipe breasts. Okay. The Gods are having their fun for the day at my expense. It’s it okay I can take a joke.
Back on the road, it starts to rain. That’s okay at least my windshield wipers are new. I can handle a little rain. It rains harder, but that’s okay, traffic’s light, which means less probability of accident. What was a light rain now becomes a double frog strangle. I’m passing a car and suddenly a tsunami hits the windshield. I can’t see anything, not even the hood of my car. Fortunately, the one place I never panic is in the car. I simply eased up on the gas until I could see again and pass the car who’d assaulted mine with the massive waterfall.
I’ve passed the car and suddenly hear a loud roar along the side of my door. OMG I’m driving in massive flood watch waters. I see a tractor trailer truck coming my way on the other side of the concrete barrier separating the highway. Truck plus heavy rain plus puddles equal the perfect tsunami. That’s it, I’m a goner. Sure enough another tidal wave hits the windshield. Remember Steve Martin leaving his fingernail imprints in the car dashboard in Planes, Trains, Automobiles? My steering wheel is now bent forward because I’m using it to mentally brake the car, while instinctively NOT hitting the brake because I know I will not survive that way. I get hit with about three more tsunamis while dealing with the rain.
I keep wondering why I don’t pull over to the side of the road like every other sane person is doing. Well, Monica that would be because moving into the right lane means risking unseen water in the dark. Then it happens. I meet your friendly, next-door 18-wheeler. I like truck drivers. I respect the way they keep our nation running, and I don’t envy their long hours or the idiots who cut them off (people DO NOT understand that trucks cannot brake as easily as a car can!).
But like jerk car drivers, you get the occasional jerk truck driver. I’m rolling down a steep hill and there’s still enough water on the road to make me fish tail, when suddenly, it becomes a Stephen King movie, this truck appears out of nowhere, barreling down on me, riding my bumper flashing his lights telling me to either speed up or get out of the way. Well, I’d be happy to move over, but there’s another car in that lane. So I try to speed up but the water is starting to flow into the floor board where the door meets the base of the car. Okay maybe not that bad, but the water was a roar against the side of the car. Finally manage to escape the truck driver once I hit a stretch of road that was fairly free of water. Whew! I took my car for a 20 mile swim and I survived. Booyah.
At this point it’s 10pm and I’m still about 150 miles outside of Pittsburgh, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. How much worse could it get. Tunnels. WTF No one mentioned fricking TUNNELS on the map OR the GPS. I hate tunnels as much as I do bridges. I have no control if an earthquake happens and a bridge collapses or a tunnel caves in. So I cling to the steering wheel as I enter the tunnel with an 18-wheeler barreling along side of me.
Normally trucks don’t bother me when I run beside them. However, this tunnel was built about the time of Julius Caesar and chariots back then weren’t as large as they are now. This 18-wheeler is one of those souped up jobs with a really wide cab. You know the kind, king-size bed in the upper bunk, small kitchen inside, nice shower and toilet. All the comforts of home. Just one problem.
There’s me, the truck and a road that is so narrow we can barely fit together next to each other. I had visions of Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in the Lincoln Tunnel scene from Men in Black where two wheels of my car are running along the side of the wall while my body is leaning to the side as I learn how to stunt drive on the fly. I do confess to always wanting to be a stunt driver, but this way isn’t exactly how I envision it. I finally get past the truck, only to realize that this tunnel has to be about five miles long. There is NO end in sight, and there are MORE 18-wheelers in front of me. I have a pacemaker, and I’m betting you that when I go to the cardiologist next he’s going to be able to pinpoint the exact moment I died then was shocked back into life again.
I escape the tunnel, it’s now stopped raining, there’s not much traffic, and I’ve got 40 miles to go. Whoo Hooo!! But wait, there’s more Monica! Let’s see what you’ve won! Brake lights….BRIGHT RED…brake lights. So I wait and wait for traffic to move forward. First I think it’s an accident, then I see signs of construction. Then I see it. The mammoth hole in front of me. It’s another FRICKING TUNNEL. There’s nowhere to go, no place to run to. I’m stuck. I have to enter the belly of the beast. This is another LONG ass tunnel. Now my steering wheel looks like a super-size taco shell as I struggle to emerge from the beast alive.
I arrive at the hotel. I expect a quick easy check-in. Nope there’s a line to check into my room. A line of four people at midnight! Surreal. Get my room assignment. She says I’m on the 17th floor, umm no, I asked for floor no higher than seven. Fire engine ladders don’t go higher than seven floors. She has nothing else. I’m tired, and I hate throwing fits, it’s just not good behavior, and the clerk can only do what she can do.
So I go to my room, on the way in, I pass several families loitering in the hallway of my floor about five rooms down from mine. There had to be a dozen kids and at least seven adults. They’re all laughing and having a good time. I’m thinking they’re waiting on someone to check them into their rooms. But wait, no there were only four of us in line at the front desk. I finally call the desk at 12:20 or so and ask them to get the people to tone it down. I like kids, just not when they run up and down the hall outside of my room until 1:30am.
Since it’s noisy, I figure I’ll write but the desk chair is too low, and I feel like Toulouse Lautrec trying to look up over the edge of the desk. The chair won’t raise up. Okay tomorrow I’ll have them bring a new one I’ll just go to bed. I sit down on the edge of the bed, and I’m immediately thrown back to those days when I was a kid listening to my Italian great uncles talking. Those days when the name Guido meant concrete blocks and water. I go to sleep, or try too.
Morning arrives, I’m looking forward to my breakfast. So I get in the shower. Without my glasses, I’m pretty blind. I literally have to be on top of things before I see anything. Get in the shower and suddenly I’m doing my girly girl face. There’s a long hair on the shower way, and it ain’t mine. I have short platinum blonde hair, this looks like it came off of some long haired gorilla. So I leave it, figure I’ll avoid it like the plague while I shower and then have housekeeping scour the place. Get shampoo in my eyes and I reach for the washcloth I threw over the shower rod. That’s odd, it’s really hard like it’s been dry for a couple of days.
Wipe my face with it and throw it back over the rod. Finish my shower and notice that there are three washcloths in the bathroom. One on the sink counter from the night before and the pristine one hanging from the towel bar. I look at the rag I’m holding and think, I only had two towel sets in the bathroom where did this one come from. Horrified, I realize I’d just used a washcloth the previous occupant had left over the shower rod. It had apparently gotten caught in the shower curtain when the guest pushed it back and housekeeping never realized it. Here it wasn’t funny anymore. I was really nauseated.
Call the management, they come and I deal with the whole upsetting mess. They were very nice and they moved me to a wing of the hotel that has not been opened up yet as the renovations were just completed. So I’m sitting here typing this blog, when I hear a key in the lock. Before I can call out, in barrels this uber hot maintenance man, and I mean hero worthy hot. We both look at each other like two deer caught in headlights, and I suddenly start laughing. He’s mortified, and I’m just thinking, it could be worse. He could be butt ugly, but instead he was really hot. I wish I’d gotten a picture of him before he left. I called the front desk and said, hey, would you mind letting maintenance, housekeeping and everyone else know that I’m in the new room. I don’t want to slay anyone with a book.