Thursday, July 19, 2007

Next time, I'm taking the whole day off.

Never work half a day when you're trying to arrive someplace on time. It just makes for an unpleasant day. Or an unpleasant half-day, as the case may be.

Last weekend was Shore Leave 29, my annual SFF convention experience. We like to arrive around 4pm, get settled into the hotel, and have a leisurely dinner at a nearby Baja Fresh before activities begin. The hotel is roughly an hour-thirty from my apartment. So on Friday, I agreed to work until 2pm. It would get us on the road by 2:45, if all went well.

All didn't go well.

My fellow manager (the one who is relieving me at 2 so I can hit the road) calls and says she forgot she had an 11 am dentist appointment. She may be a few minutes late. A few I can handle. To me, a few is five, ten minutes. Whatever.

My sister calls around noon. She's at the hotel, but they need a credit card that can hold the room bill until Sunday (we always pay cash, since three people split it). She doesn't have one with a large enough balance. I do. The hotel faxes over a sheet for me to fill out. I wait. No fax. I call back (on my cell, since the office phone at work had been on the fritz for a week by that point). They refax. I get it. A customer issue at work delays me returning it. Sister calls back. It didn't go through.

What? I panic, because I knew I had a large enough balance. Our third roommate didn't have a card. So sis calls her boyfriend, hoping he has one. Meanwhile, I get on the phone with Capital One, hoping to get a customer service rep and figure out what the hell went wrong (I was planning on using a cash advance from this card to pay for my share of the hotel expense). I am on hold for thirty-five minutes. "Please stay on the line, and you, too, will receive our personal attention."

Yeah, right.

I hang up, frustrated beyond words that I've wasted so much time (but I was in the stock room, opening new merchandise with one hand, so at least it wasn't a complete waste). Sister calls back; boyfriend had a card that held us the room. Phew.

Two o'clock rolls around, and I'm raring to go. I want to hit the ground running, because I have to stop by the post office and mail another full manuscript request (yay!) before we leave. 2:10 now. *taps foot* *checks watch* Okay, this is more than a few minutes. My associates are watching me with trepidation, afraid my head will spin off my shoulders. My relief finally arrives at almost 2:40 (!!!). I get out the door five minutes later, because I had to talk her in (store slang for explain what's happened, where we are with sales, if there are any problems that need to be addressed).

I zip in and out of the post office. I try to use my Capital One card to pay for shipping, but it comes back with an "over balance" message. WTF? Okay, fine, I use my debit card. My frustration level is so high that I'm swearing a blue streak at traffic all the way home. I finally get there and storm into my room to plug in my dying cell phone, and I call Capital One again.

"We are currently experience high call traffic...."

I burst into tears.

I'm one of those people who cries when I get really, really frustrated. It's my body's way of venting, I suppose. I felt a little better afterward. My roommate calmed me down, and we figured out a solution to my hotel money woes. After a few minutes, we were packed up and ready to go. Finally hit the road at 3:40 pm.

Made it to the hotel by 5pm on the dot. As soon as I got there, the day's frustration melted away. It was my weekend to geek out, have fun, and just revel in science fiction and fantasy. I had a great time, laughed loads, and discovered a new favorite saying:


Truer words were never spoken.

1 comment:

Jim Melvin said...

Life can be so frustrating. I prefer laughing over crying. But a good cry can be helpful on occasion.