Posts Tagged ‘retreat and hide’

One Of Those Days

September 16, 2009

My job doesn’t always require me to get all dressed up, boardroom style.  As long as I look professional and am not dealing with a client at a formal meeting, I can dress a bit more casually.  Since most of my customer dealings are by phone or more informal, I don’t often wear a suit.  Today was not one of those days.  I put on one of my nice suits and went into the office where I was met with stares of incredulity and questions about whether I was interviewing elsewhere for a new job—buttheads.

My meeting with big muckety-mucks (a technical business term for over paid, high ego senior managers) was set for 1 pm.  I went home for a light lunch and headed back for the 10 minute drive to the meeting at 12:30.  Lots of time, right?

Nope.

Turning onto a busy street and getting into the far left lane to make my next turn, my car sputtered and lost power.  Frantically looking over my shoulder to see if I could get back to the berm on the right side of the road, my gaze was met by a solid wall of two lanes worth of cars.  And, seconds later, the engine gave up the ghost and quit.

I put on the emergency blinkers and attempted to restart the car.  No luck.

What’s that smell?  Gasoline?

Getting out of the car, I opened the hood to help, along with the emergency blinkers, to let oncoming traffic know I was stalled out.  I was amazed to see how many people stayed in the lane, accelerating towards me.  I feel lucky not to have been creamed by one of them.

Called good old AAA…there has to be some reason I continue to pay them year after year for other than a map and a 10% off coupon to Willy’s World of Wombats down the way.  Told the lady on the phone I was blocking traffic and she said that would bump my priority way up.  So, I waited.

Called the police, too, to let them know I was blocking traffic.  Especially after the third or fourth clueless driver almost accelerated into the back of the car.  They said they’d send a car.  So, I waited.

A few kind souls driving by asked if I needed help.  One guy even offered to block the three lanes of traffic with his jeep and help push the car over to the right side.  I declined, fearing for his life as well as my own.

My barber pulled up behind me, laughing.  Going back to punch him in the face (okay, not really…I was laughing by this time, too), I noticed a pool of gasoline on the road at the back of the car.  Uh-oh.

Called the police back and asked if they could connect me to the fire department…just in case.  Found out there was a severe car accident up the way and no one was available.

I started suspiciously eyeballing every passing driver with a cigarette butt, hoping they wouldn’t flick it out at my car.

AAA tow truck finally arrived and we headed off to my car repair shop. But, that severe car accident?  Right on the way we were going and traffic was already backed up a mile.  Took the back roads to the repair shop and took their courtesy shuttle back to my place – – – a half hour after my important meeting was supposed to have ended.

So, I declare victory.  I’m staying home.  I’m writing a blog post.  I’m texting my girlfriend to come over (nope, busy at work…damn!  oh well…another time!).  I’m going to take a nap…or otherwise cocoon myself and hide from the afternoon.

As to the meeting?   I’ll find out tomorrow if I was really missed at that meeting…or if I still have a job.  And I’ll find out tomorrow how much a new fuel pump…or whatever else in the fuel system crapped out…costs to repair.

[sigh]