Thursday, January 31, 2013

How not to plan your day

"Do these pants make me look fat?"*

So, I was well prepared for my interview. It was scheduled for mid-day. I was going to go into the office, work a few hours, and then head across town for my interview.

I dressed, did my hair -

Oh, yeah. I had a hair appointment yesterday evening. My stylist and I decided we would change my hair - a shorter cut. This morning, after my shower, I had to figure out how to style it.

To resume - I did my hair, put on my make-up, and headed out the door.

There's a basket on the hall table where [The Man I Love] and I put our car keys. I'm usually the first one out the door, but this morning, [The Man I Love] had a breakfast meeting and left early.

We both drive Hondas. My set of keys was not in the basket.

This has happened before - and we've both done it to each other, so I'm not blaming anyone. But I had to find the spare key and use it to drive to work.

When I started the car, I realized I was low on gas. I meant to fill up last night on the way home from the salon, but I'd been so hungry I just decided to get home fast. Even though the warning light was not on, I made a mental note to leave the office early enough to fill up the tank.

A few emails back and forth, and suddenly, oops, where'd the morning go? I put on some lipstick, touched up my hair, went to the ladies room and went out to the car. Don't forget to bring the job description and my notes to study while waiting for the appointment! Forgot to gas up, but, hey, the warning light's not on so I'm good.

No sooner did I merge into traffic on the 10 freeway than the cheerful yellow warning light clicked on.

I made a calculation in my head. How many miles to my exit? What's my car's mileage? Would there be a gas station on that unfamiliar road, or should I get off and find gas - except I wasn't sure which exit would be right....!

I gambled. I could probably make it there, and then worry about gas when the interview was over.

Still, my eyes kept going to the needle, noting it was still above the line.

Got off and headed south on Vermont and I still had half an hour before my appointment time. No problem! There's a Unocal! I pulled in.

The place was full, cars going every way. There was an empty pump but I was pointing the wrong way. I popped it into R to turn around - and someone pulled in! Then I saw someone exit, so I quickly grabbed the spot.

"Cash Only" said a hand-lettered sign. I checked my wallet. A five, two ones and... a twenty!

Into the cashier's office. Just as I stepped in the door, another customer stepped up to the counter. He was a tall, thin, Asian young man - since this was near USC he was probably a student. Definitely a student, I thought. A foreign student.  In halting English and hand gestures, he tried to get instructions for the car wash. The Latino cashier tried to help him through the thickness of the bullet-proof screen, but they were having a hard time communicating. I waited. Patience, I thought. I have twenty five minutes.

Finally he stepped away and I slipped the twenty under the screen. "Twenty on pump 6!" I said.

Twenty got me back up above the halfway mark on my gauge (California gas!), and I continued down the boulevard, located the parking lot, and identified myself to the attendant. As I'd been promised, my name was on a list.

Following the directions on my phone, I headed for the entrance. It was as described, but there were construction machines to dodge, and then one of the lobby doors was blocked off by a worker. I went around him and introduced myself to the receptionist, who called up to announce me.

I sat on a chair and checked my watch. Ten minutes. Sigh, relax.

"Hi. Come right this way." Off to my interview.

*"Delusions of Grandeur" by Rene Magritte, 1967, bronze, at the Getty Museum (No, that's not where I'm interviewing)


smalltownme said...

Damn! At least you made it. But I'm confused...your husband grabbed BOTH sets of keys?

Aunt Snow said...

Heidi, one time he actually did grab both sets of keys - he had one in his pocket, and then was doing something else, and when he finally left he grabbed the other set.

But THIS TIME as it turned out....I found them in the pocket of the jacket I wore on Wednesday.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I keep a spare car key and a spare house key in my wallet.

Your day seems as hectic as my second favorite scene in Goodfellas (this is my favorite scene). I hope the job search goes well.

cactus petunia said...

10 minutes to spare! The planets must have been in perfect alignment...If it were me, I would have mislaid the spare key, left work late, and run out of gas in a traffic jam on the freeway.

Glad you made it!

Jen on the Edge said...

I'm so glad you made it on time. I was starting worry that you did not.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

What a morning!!

My husband and I have separate baskets for our keys (on separate shelves even) but I often misplace my keys or some other important thing and run around worried for much too long.

Velma said...

This is cool!