Monday, January 23, 2006

Beggars Can't Be Choosers

I've become too accustomed to showing up whenever I please. This bad habit has lead to another bad habit - chronic tardiness. If I'm not tardy, I'm usually rushed. I can only blame so much on the Metro, but I should allow enough time to shut down, change into commuter clothes, walk to the Metro, wait for the train, take the train to my desired stop, then walk to my final destination. Seems pretty easy, eh?

In my utter exuberance to get my books, which I received an email about earlier in the day to announce their arrival at the bookstore, I was hoping to get out at 5:30pm to get to the bookstore in PLENTY of time before it closed at 7pm. I called the bookstore and the automated guy confirmed the closing time of 7pm. By saying I'm leaving at 5:30, I should be getting ready to leave at 5pm and out the door at 5:30. I had set myself up for failure already. So by saying I'd be leaving at 5:30, It was a given I wouldn't be out of the building until 6:00. Tru dat.

I'm running late and now everything else is running late. There's a delay on my trains line, which has been cleared up, but there are residual delays. I'm checking the clock on my phone and luckily time is going slowly. Soon enough, it was 6:30pm, I had seven stops to go, and the "Rain Man-esque" rocking started. Of course I chose a window seat near the middle of the train, which was furthest from the quickest route off the train. As it gets close to my stop, more people get on and move down the aisle to make room at the door. I start putting my reading material away (complements of Sparky), and hope my benchmate gets the hint that I'm near my stop. He's too engrossed in his book to notice. We get there and I'm trying to squeeeeze my way through the aisle and out the door as others are boarding. It's 6:51. I exit the station and see everyone heading to the working 'up' escalator. "F it." With my 15lb backpack stuffed with notebooks, a binder, my laptop, a bike bottle and a Nalgene bottle full of water, and an umbrella among other things, I bound up the stationary escalator to the street with fury. I speed walk the 2.5 blocks to the bookstore. It would've only looked funnier if it were raining out or if I were using walking poles. It's 6:53. I see people walking toward me with recognizable bags from the bookstore. I leave my bag at the 'bag check' desk out front and walk in with my plastic bag of today's empty lunch containers in hand.

"Excuse me, miss. What's in the bag?"
"Ummm.. my dishes."
"You're going to have to put them over there."

So I toss my suspect bag, of which I was going to load up with mechanical pencils, memo pads, and index cards into the cubby and head down to the Information Desk. Hey, at least he called me 'miss'.. and I can get those supplies at work anyway.

"I received an email that the books I ordered are in."
"Last name?"
Given. And one book was handed to me.
"I ordered two."
"How many emails did you receive?"
"Umm.. just.. one.."
"You receive one email for each book you order"


Talk about dejected. I tossed my book on the counter, slapped down my $20, didn't bother to get a bag for it, received my change in pennies, and grabbed my dishes before heading out the door. I gave the bag check guy my laminated number and he about threw out his back lifting my bag to the desk.

"How in the world do you carry this??"

So I called my sister to vent. The store was open until 8pm; they only had the minor book of the two required for class; I have a frickin pocket full of pennies; I'm spending $40/week on metro; I'll have to haul my ass up there again sometime this week; I have a shitload of reading to do..

I sulked my way back to the Metro and rummaged through my pockets for enough change to get home. I seriously considered walking the four+ miles to save on fare, but I just wanted to be home. As I slipped my farecard and myself through the gate, there was a gentleman asking change from everyone coming up from the trains. Normally I don't give people asking for money the time of day.

"Eighty cents? Eighty cents for fare so I can get home? Eighty cents.."
I stopped and dug in my pocket full of pennies and pulled out what I had. Fishing through the useless coins, I salvaged three quarters and a dime.

"Here's eighty five for ya."

If I wasn't going to have a good day, the least I could do was help someone else out.

Time to hop on the bike and burn off some steam before hitting the books.


At 2:13 PM, Blogger Wetumpka Jane said...

I got all anxious and sweaty and pissy just reading that. I find that if I "can" be late I will. I will always play with the clock in my mind and it always ends up biting me in the ass. Here's hoping you can con a pal into swinging by the bookstore for you next time. Sort of in that "while you're up...." vain.


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