Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Have you ever had one of those days where you just wanted to take a mulligan? A complete re-do of the entire day? Yesterday was one of those days. It reminded me of the children's book, Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

It seemed that anything that COULD go wrong, DID go wrong. It felt like Murphy's Law to the 1,000 degree!

It all started with a small makeup stain on one of my favorite shirts ... and the day went downhill from there.

I was scheduled to present a software demonstration with a few co-workers at a client site in the afternoon. I planned to leave work early so I could drive most of the day there, and then take the Metro briefly in order to avoid the whole search-the-car-for-bombs inspection and then try to find parking in a very large, very unfamiliar campus. Driving most of the way would also cut down on my evening commute time, since the campus is close to where I live. I turned my computer off an hour before I needed to meet my colleagues. I anticipated it taking about 45 minutes to get there, and I wanted to make sure I arrived early.

Two seconds after I clicked "shut down" on my computer, the screen informed me that it had 89 updates to install. 89?!?! WHAT?!?! I began to panic and then took some deep breaths.

It typically takes several minutes to install a few updates. I'd never seen more than 12 updates at a time. The instructions on the screen were clear: "Do not power off or unplug your machine." I was trapped. The clock was ticking down.

After 15 minutes, my computer still hadn't made much progress. I still had over 50 updates to go. I saw my colleague leave to head to the client site.

Trying to remain calm, I asked a couple of my other colleagues if there was anything I could do to either speed up the process or halt the installations and complete them at another time. They shook their heads sympathetically. No, they said. If I tried to undock my machine, I ran the risk of destroying it and everything on it. I decided to let it continue installing updates.

After 30 minutes, my calm demeanor was slipping. I tried to distract myself. "A watched pot never boils" kept running through my head. There were still 30 more updates to go, and the clock was ticking.

89. Really?
After 40 minutes, I packed up all my belongings so all I had to do was grab the machine when it was finished and run out the door. It was now 15 minutes before I needed to meet my colleagues. I texted them to let them know I was running late.

Five minutes later (after a total of 45 MINUTES), the updates FINALLY finished. I grabbed the laptop, shoved it in my bag, and sprinted down the hall. Of course, I got into the elevator that stopped at every. single. floor. on the way down. I then sprinted up flights of stairs in the parking garage and zipped out of the lot. Naturally, I managed to get behind every slow moving vehicle on the road, including a dump truck and a utility van. When I wasn't behind a slow moving vehicle, I was barely avoiding the atrocious and tire-eating potholes in the road.

I didn't have enough time to follow my original plan of driving most of the way there, so I headed to the closest Metro station. I wasn't absolutely sure exactly where it was, so I made some educated guesses. I managed to find the station and park in the garage. Wouldn't you know it - I parked on the complete opposite end, furthest from the stairs leading to the Metro entrance. I sprinted in my high heel boots - coat flapping, purse and water bottle in one hand, laptop bag in the other.

A train was parked at the station, so I flew onto it, gasping for air. I then saw the sign that there were delays and the train wouldn't leave for 7 minutes. It was now PAST the time I was to meet my colleagues. After I used my inhaler (couldn't breathe from the parking garage sprint), I called them and explained the situation. They were very understanding and said they'd wait for me. I collapsed in my seat, a frazzled, sweaty mess.

I arrived at the client site a half hour late, and encountered were some difficulties getting my temporary badge made. Of course it couldn't be easy.

The good news is that the demo went well. That is the only good news.

After the demo, I had to take the train all the way back up North to my car, and then drive all the way back down, almost back to the client site, to my home.

When I got home, all I wanted to do was to crawl into bed. Instead, I did cardio, ate a meal, and then went and had a blast at WWE Monday Night RAW. Which was the absolute BEST part of the day!

There were moments of calm, of near hysteria, of tears, of frustration, and of acceptance. At times, there was nothing I could do, so I tried to remain as calm as possible. I'm grateful for J for being there for my moment of breakdown, hysteria, and tears. He always knows the right thing to say.

My Rock
Today, thank goodness, has been the complete opposite of yesterday. And for that, I am so relieved!

Have you had days where everything seemed to go wrong? How did you handle it?


  1. One time was when offspring #1 had a dance rehearsal. I picked he and offspring #2 from daycare, drove 15 minutes to get to the rehearsal on the college campus, which is notorious for never having parking. I managed to find a spot at the campus church 3 blocks from the auditorium. I had not brought shoes for some reason (dumb dad) except for #1's leather soled dancing shoes. Offspring #2 couldn't walk so I had to carry both of them, a huge diaper bag, and #1's dance bag for 3 blocks to the auditorium. Oh, did I mention I was running late as usual? Luckily I managed to not drop either one of them the entire way and made it there within a few minutes of the start of the rehearsal.

    We learned a very important lesson that day. Bring shoes.

  2. That happened to me during a department demonstration of what Universal Television does for our Legal department. Yay windows