I have a reputation for being dramatic.
Reason #1) I am.
Reason #2) Life occasionally gives me reason to be.
I’m not claiming to be persecuted at all, but on days like today, I believe in a higher power.
And he thinks he is soo funny.
Let me set the stage:
Well, maybe not quite. I work at a large, 9000-person company. My company’s campus is so large, it currently has four large parking decks, but we still repeatedly hear the speeches about biking and carpooling to work because parking is a commodity. Think “Hunger Games: Parking Edition” where instead of food you get parking spaces.
Three of those parking decks are relatively close to my office. The fourth is for the people who are not good at mornings and roll in about an hour after the early birds.
I park in the fourth. I’ve measured it. It’s a mile from this deck to my office.
NOW, end of stage-setting.
Today, I was killing time before my 4:30 meeting, having the feelings that people typically feel about meetings at 4:30 on a Monday. When, at 4:27, someone decides to cancel the meeting.
It’s snowing. It’s cold (refer to the aforementioned stage-setting). I’m going home.
I walked mile #1 this morning when I got to work. Commence mile #2.
Upon approaching my car, feeling the chill leeching into the deck from the outside, knowing that the car battery isn’t a spring chicken, I know something is wrong. I opened the door, and none of my lights came on. I actually yelled, “YUP!” to no one, because who called it? (Me. I called it. Do I wish I called something cooler? Yes.)
Let’s do this thing, mile #3. We’ve got a dead battery to resuscitate, team!
I walk back to the front desk because I knew they had a battery pack I could try. I did however stop for a quick moment to call my dad. This is my life’s first dead battery, so the call amounted to the following:
After forming a quick dad-inspired plan, I head to the front desk to snag the battery pack. All the while thinking, “This will solve everything. This will work. This will probably make my car battery young again. This is the Fountain of Youth of battery packs.”
Opposite! The first words out of the woman at the front-desk were, “Yes, we have the battery pack, but it hasn’t been working for people today.” Because of course it hasn’t.
She tells me to try though (In hindsight, I think she may have been pranking me). She also sends me with mittens from lost and found and jumper cables in case I run into a good samaritan. Spoiler alert: I don’t run into a good samaritan.
I do however get to wrap up mile #3 and start mile #4. This time carrying a battery pack (think the weight of a small child), jumper cables, a purse that for some reason has three books in it*, and a healthy heaping of emotional baggage.
At this point, despite the single digit temperatures and the snow, I’m getting a little toasty. So, I rip off my toboggan. That’s right. We’re now sporting crazy-person-hat hair. An interesting hair combination of angry frizz and flat.
I get back to my car, and immediately start mentally scrolling through what could go wrong. All signs point to car fire. I think I heard someone say that if you hook up the wrong cables when you’re jumping a battery, the car could explode. So, definitely car fire.
After thirty minutes of trying the battery pack, realizing it wasn’t working, then looking around like a sad person to see if someone would come help me, no one did. (I blame crazy-person-hat-hair. I also blame my inability to yell, “YOU! YOU WITH THE HAT AND THE REGULAR HAIR WILL COME HELP ME!” Or I could have asked nicely. In hindsight, asking nicely might have been better. It’s been a long day! Leavemealoneaboutit!)
At this point, I had already contacted a friend about the possibility of getting a ride home, except I was three floors underground in a parking deck. My phone would have been laughing at me, if it didn’t up and die on me! Let’s get something straight. My phone was charged. I had half a battery walking into that deck. It died because it was too cold. It threw up its hands and said, “No one told me Wisconsin was part of the deal! I did not agree to that!” And then it died.
All right. I now had a dead car, a dead phone, a battery pack, a bag of jumper cables, a library that I like to call my purse, and one friend who may or may not be waiting for me to give him the all clear.
Mile #5! Let’s do this thing!
I get back outside- Don’t worry. Still snowing. I know because I slipped in it- and once again start to walk. I would also like to point out, I am not a physically strong person. I can no longer carry the battery pack by its handle because my forearms are shaking. I am now clutching it to my chest with both arms as one does with a baby.
Side note: never let me hold your baby. My arm strength isn’t great.
I get back to the front office, and return all of the batteries and battery accessories. I don’t return the mittens because 1) I need a win and 2) they’re cute and 3) I forgot. The lovely, kind women at the front desk called a taxi for me, and suddenly”it [was] on the way!” I get in contact with my friend who happens to still be at work, and give him the all-clear because my taxi is “on the way!” I might eventually get to eat dinner! Or lie on the floor because my back does not agree with slipping in the snow! Or feel my toes again! One of those things!
After chatting with one of the women at the front desk, we realize, she could just give me a ride home. Taxi! Get off the way! We don’t need you anymore!
At a company of 9000, I don’t suspect this woman doles out rides often. I’m glad I was one of them. Thanks, Mary.
But guess where Mary parked! That’s right! Deck #4! Dig deep because here comes mile #6! And for proof, here is a screenshot of my step tracker:
So I made it home. My sweet car, I call her “Lady Tank”, is still sitting in that parking deck. It’s a pity because in the snow is where she comes alive. Who am I kidding? I’m in Wisconsin. She’ll get another chance.
Speaking of, I got home to find my heater is broken.** So there’s that.
*You never know when you need to learn about cotton history, the stories of Felicia Day, and the fictional account of Mary Todd Lincoln’s dressmaker? I guess?
**Upon the appropriate amount of fiddling, I can get heat to come out, but it’s the pressure of someone using their breath to fog up a window.