Friday, September 12, 2008

I'd love to grouch, but the story's too good

For the last few nights, I've had this big report to write. No, not for work (I'm lucky enough to be able to leave my work at work) or school (my sentence at university expired last year). It's one of the many volunteer projects that I tend to take on as part of my fetish for masochistically-mind-numbing committee work. You know, policy review, procedural harmonization. The more bureaucratically complex it sounds, the more I want to dig my fingers in and pick it apart.

Okay, so I can be a little strange. ;D

Anyway, this story actually starts this past Wednesday, the first night this week where I'd have time to work on the report. I have no idea why, but I was absolutely exhausted at the office. When my work day ended, I went to Bridgehead in search of a second wind. That didn't help.

Nor did the Gravol. You can tell someone is wiped when they take Gravol to try to fight fatigue. Eugh.

I got home at six and fell straight into bed. I woke up at midnight, and didn't have a clue how to deal with it: my body was in sleep mode, and didn't want food, even though I hadn't had dinner; meanwhile, I had just woken up from a six-hour slumber, so I couldn't simply go back to sleep. But I also wasn't lucid enough to write that report. I eventually got five more hours of rest before waking up for work.

After work, I finally got a chance to sit down for the final stretch of my report, and I was very disappointed to discover that I couldn't edit the document due to a very nasty read-only bug.

After overcoming that hitch, I was able to edit my document again and resume "report"ing. I worked on it until Bridgehead closed, then went home, heated up some leftovers, and continued until late into the night.

At 3 am, I celebrated the finished report, did a victory dance in my head, then stayed uncontrollably awake for two hours.

My boss had grumbled yesterday that I had been late every day this week, so I really didn't want to be late again today. Constrained by the late hour, I was forced to take an abbreviated night of sleep, and one thing my circadian clock can be said to have in common with--say--English teachers is a distaste for abbreviations.

(As an aside... In case you haven't noticed, sleep deprivation--or "sleep deprivity" as I once accidentally dubbed it in a jet-lagged moment of genius--tends to exacerbate my eccentricity. Despite not consuming alcohol or narcotics, I've managed to freak out quite a few people at late-night parties with this 'talent'.)

I eventually got to sleep, and reluctantly woke up this morning in a vain attempt to get to work on time.

And I would have, had I not lost my freaking wallet!

I searched my apartment high and low. I searched the usual places, I searched the unusual places.

I remembered that the last place I had seen my wallet was last night at Bridgehead, when I stacked it on top of my bags on the patio shortly after sitting down. What few neurons were willing to fire contemplated the possibility that I had left it there.

I might have forgotten it there last night because I was tired, right?

No, wait, I was tired on Wednesday night. I'm tired now because I was awake and alert too long last night.

Wait, last night! Yes, that's it! I'm tired now because of last night; I must therefore have been tired last night!

It is thus perfectly reasonable that I left it there last night in my defatigated stupor! Q.E.D.

I dropped my bike off at work and popped over to Bridgehead to ask if my wallet had turned up. Nope.

Well if it isn't there, then where could it be?

I looked again in my bags, and realized I had lost it. My wallet, too. :P

While it was likely to turn up again, I phoned to cancell my debit and credit cards as a precaution, while simultaneously trying to find ways to be productive as my still-grumbling boss watched on through the eyes the back of her head. While on hold, I thought about what a coincidence it was that I had the great idea just a couple of days ago to write down all the important details on the cards in my wallet in case I might lose it, and how much greater an idea it would have been if I had actually done so.

I was able to recite my card number from memory, having entered it so often on the bank's website. This was a bittersweet accomplishment, as I would have to get a new one. Unfortunately, I was already at work, and I would need two pieces of identification to get a new card from the bank--not the easiest thing to do when your ID is in your missing wallet!

I knew where my passport was at home, and the guy on the phone helped me brainstorm other pieces of ID.

"Would a photo of me in the newpaper work?" No, he replied, to my chagrin. I managed to identify a suitable second piece--but they were both still at home.

Luckily, I had forgotten my wallet at home one day last week, which taught me to stash a bit of lunch money in my office lest it happen again (A second lesson was which of the places I frequent on Elgin street were and weren't willing to take a rare IOU from a loyal customer; in the case of those that weren't, I suppose I should say "frequented"). But it being Friday, the ten dollars in the small manila envelope would not stretch very far as I wait for the banks to re-open on Monday.

Despite being tired, groggy, grouchy and behind in my hours at work, I agreed to my dad's offer to meet for lunch, who covered the bill (thanks again, Dad!). This turned out being a good idea, as the ride out to our meting place gave me time to think, and sitting at the pub helped me relax. Dad and I chatted about various goings-on, and he commented that many of my recent blog entries were not as grouchy as before.

On my way back from lunch, I recontemplated my obstacles, and concluded that stopping by home to get my I.D. and visiting the bank for a new card was the way to go. I was pleased to find my documents where I expected them to be, and there was no line at the bank. The extra trip only added twenty minutes to my lunch break. I'd still have to deal with all my other cards and stuff, but not until I was absolutely sure that I had lost my wallet--I still have one of those old red-and-white OHIP cards that doesn't expire and I'd hate to have to get a new one.

Back at work, I decided to look one more time in my bags, this time actually taking things out to look beneath them, instead of whatever my defatigated doppelganger did this morning. And there was my wallet! What a relief; my frequent customer cards were safe!

Now my only problem was working five more hours at work, trying various things to keep me focused (and remembering to NOT take Gravol this time!).

The main thing on my desk today was preparing a couple of letters of refusal. This was a cathartic exercise, wherein I vigorously researched creative ways to say "no" while maintaining a polite and professional tone.

One was not so much a letter of refusal as one that said "yes, but...". Those ones can be even more fun--if time-consuming to get right.

In the end, I got my work done, clocked out, and went to Bridgehead.

For all the things that could have gone much worse today, everything really turned out pretty well. I'd be hard pressed to grouch about it!

----

Epilogue:



While typing out this blog post at Bridgehead (which is about to close), a pair of young men tried to impress the girls they were with by jumping up and slapping a street sign in an attempt to impress their lady friends. In so doing, they knocked apart the swap box on the post.

They walked away, and I corrected it. Maks did a good job of building this one; the box joints on the top piece mercilessly fell apart, and easily snapped back together with a bit of pressure.

As the patio got quieter (and the crowd on the street rowdier), I moved inside, and overheard a gentleman talk to the server about a bracelet he got from the swap box which gave him some sort of energy or something. It sounded spiritual, so I tuned it out.

But when the man turned around, I noticed that the bracelet in question was one which I had placed in the swap box! I told him of the bracelet's origins, and he told me of its continuing story:

[continued from outside, as Bridgehead has now closed]

Apparently, this gentleman had once been fairly overweight and had done a lot of work to get himself down to his current, average size. About three and a half weeks ago, he was in a slump and knew that it was [then] or never to lose that last bit of weight.

Finding the bracelet in the swap box gave him the extra motivation to start jogging.

Interestingly enough, the bracelet--an orange "livestrong"-style rubber band with the words "i count" on it that I had picked up from a convention (my vulgar attempt to slice out the letter "o" on another copy and paste it back together had failed) was actually an advertising gimmick for some brand of step counters--an exercise tool. The phrase "i count" was a reference to counting one's steps.

It's quite the coincidence that it had this very effect, even though I had planted it in the Swap Box on its own!

Now to go home and sleep.

4 comments:

XUP said...

What a great story about the bracelet! And what crazy story about your wallet. Thanks for finding my blog so I could find yours. I'm adding you to my blogroll and will be back!! Be warned!!

Aziza said...

really? i would have been so pissed if that happened to me.

i think you're becoming quite the optimist! :o

Sophie said...

Ha ha. Well apparently this grouchy thing runs thick in the blood... but I think its more like "real bitchy" for me.
I love the optimism, it keeps all my employees from throwing things at me and quitting!
FYI- I survived Hurricane IKE and evacuated to San Antonio. Back home now, WITH power! Karma my cousin, good karma.
love ya sophie

Grant Harding said...

"Sleep deprivity"! I was THERE, man!

-Grant