Ever have one of those days when every petty, annoying, rotten thing that can possibly happen does, and you work yourself into exhaustion getting absolutely nothing
An acquaintance of mine recently described such a day as akin to being nibbled to death by ducks; until today, however, I didn't fully appreciate the nuances of this expression.
Now, Friday is what's considered my "short day" at work; in theory, I'm supposed to go in around 10 AM and leave for the weekend around 2 PM or so. In reality, the 10 AM part usually happens, but I almost never get out of there before 5 PM. Generally, this is OK with me; since I'm salaried, no one keeps track of my time, and even though I work more hours than I get paid for, I don't feel abused because a few of those hours are pure downtime, when I just play on the computer or shoot the breeze with staff and residents. I also didn't feel the least bit guilty this morning when, during the course of the first visit I've had ALONE with my oldest dd in over a year, I decided to go in around an hour later than usual.
No problem, right? Well, not until I was halfway out the door and realized I didn't have my car keys with me. My office keys, building keys, med-room keys were dangling on my purse-strap, but not the one that starts my car so I can GET to work.
What's worse, I knew where the keys were.........locked in my bedroom downstairs. There are two ways to get in, through the bedroom itself and through the bathroom, but of course I'd locked both doors on my way out, never bothering to make sure I had my house and car keys.
(We keep it locked up for two reasons. They're named Chris and Ben. They know where we keep the extra stashes of cereal and snacks, they know our fridge is stocked with soda and milk, and they know where the birthday and Christmas presents are hidden. The walk-in closet is also where the gun and the pirate swords live.)
Here's where I confess that I know a few things about breaking and entering. I learned them from one of my younger daughter's ex-boyfriends, and I've used them to get into the house on the rare occasions when I've been locked out. (And yes, I've even broken into my kids' bedrooms when I had suspicions about what they might be up to.) So I grabbed a butter knife and a screwdriver, just in case I had to take the whole doorknob off, and proceeded to attempt to pry the bathroom door open.
Under normal circumstances, I can pop the average lock in less than ten seconds. But my dh had done some reinforcement of our security locks downstairs, and after ten MINUTES I still had had no luck. I tried the bedroom door next. No luck there either. About this time Amanda came downstairs to see what I was up to, and she tried taking the BR door off its hinges while I worked on the BA door lock. Neither one of us could get through.
In the meantime, I was feeling panicky because I'd said I'd be at work by eleven, and it was going on eleven-thirty already. I was getting ready to just kick the door in, knowing my husband would have a conniption---but desperate times call for desperate measures!---when Amanda suddenly piped up: "What about the window, is it open?"
Can anyone say "DUH"?
It's been consistently over 80 degrees each day........of COURSE the window was open. So Amanda took the screen out, pushed the window open fully, pulled herself up and over the sill, and had that door open in a flash!! I phoned work, said I'd be there in twenty, and was on my way. I also apologized to my daughter, and hoped she wouldn't wind up hurting her baby because its grandma was such a dope.
Five minutes later, I was on the highway behind a semi truck that was moving out with all the speed of a tractor. I couldn't pass him, couldn't even see around him...........luckily he pulled over when the traffic backed up behind him, and I was finally able to make the speed limit.
THEN, three miles from the building, I got stuck again.........this time for a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG freight train. ARRRRRRRRRGH!!!!!
I used be fascinated with trains as a child; now they are nothing but a PITA, because they always seem to need to uncouple at busy intersections and hold up traffic for 15-20 minutes in some parts of town. People have complained about it for years, but nothing ever gets done, and indeed the problem only gets worse as the area grows and there is more traffic; anyway, the beast finally chugged its way out of town, and I turned into the driveway at precisely five minutes to noon.......that is, right after I barely missed a bicyclist who didn't bother to obey the STOP sign.
So I strode into the building after trying to arrange both my face and my thoughts into more attractive lines, and there were six residents all lined up at the front desk, needing to talk to me an hour ago! Trouble was, my Lasix was kicking in, and I had to go to the bathroom so bad I think my back teeth were floating..........so I just waved to them and dashed down the hall as fast as I could go. Unfortunately, the restroom closest to my office was occupied, and when I went to the other one, it was an unholy mess. Some of our residents are none too careful where they "aim"---either end, if you know what I mean---and I had to clean up before I could sit down. YEEEEEECCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHH!!!
On top of it all, dh got upset with me when I confessed my sins of yanking the bathroom door partway off the hinges and trying to kick the bedroom door in, plus I goofed when giving a new resident her TB test and went too far in with the needle, necessitating a second stick (which did NOT impress the retired RN one bit
But now that the day is over---thankfully---I've got to say that my friend's nibbled-to-death-by-ducks analogy is spot on. Sure glad there aren't too many like that!!!