February 11, 2016
Have you ever had a day that went from bad to worse, hour after hour?
Well, I have had one of those today.
It started quite undecided, meaning that I managed to wake up earlier than usually without too much effort, although my eyelids seemed a bit glued and I had problems with the morning rituals, especially with making the coffee and preparing the food for Rex.
I made a very interesting combination for coffee, and I will not bother you with the details, I will only say that I drank the most exotic cup of coffee ever. I really don’t know how I could put nutmeg in it, considering that I usually avoid even spices like cinnamon in coffee. Anyway, I drank it. Not the best taste in the world but it unglued my eyes a little and, in the end, that’s the purpose of a cup of coffee first thing in the morning.
Even Rex’s food was a bit of a challenge. And to think that in the morning his food preparation consists only in boiling a chicken drum! Three times I had to return it to the pot: it was not done.
We went for our usual walk and it was considerably cold. We mostly jogged not walked. And then it hit me: I’d forgotten the bag. Who goes out with a dog and not a bag? Definitely, not me, but today I did, which meant that after our morning jog, I had to go back with the missing bag.
I didn’t worry too much though. I thought it was just the morning, it was too early and I wasn’t awake yet.
However, the slide wasn’t done. I was supposed to work from home. After two hours, I found myself disconnected. I thought my connection with the work network simply failed and I could reconnect, but no. It was not that. My home internet was down.
I did what every Canadian knows to do when such a thing happens: I unplugged the modem, counted slowly to 30 (you know that thing: one Mississippi, two Mississippi…. Thirty Mississippi) and plugged it again. I got only three blinking lights. The others were missing.
That was the moment when I decided that more determined actions should be taken: I called the provider.
The wait on the line was of about 9 minutes according to the automated answering machine. I persevered and waited. Then the automated answering machine graciously offered to call me back when my turn would come promising I wouldn’t lose my spot in the queue. I chose to believe it. I was not wrong. It called me back in about 15 minutes.
I went through two agents, the second one being the worst customer service agent I’ve ever heard; however, he promised that in forty-five minutes, everything would be fine.
My manager, though, doubted the answer but she gave me more time, around an hour and fifteen minutes, and if Internet was not back, then I would have had to go to office.
Reasonable, in my opinion as I couldn’t do anything from home but unpleasant, considering the extremely low temperatures outside and the fact that I had no metropass as I had given it to my daughter in the morning, no tokens for the bus and no cash to pay a fare.
Buses or the trains here do not accept debit or credit cards. The closest store was a few bus stops away, though, and, believe me, I didn’t feel the urge to go out in that freezing air and walk so many stops with a laptop in my hand.
So, I waited. When I saw that the deadline approached I called the provider again and again I had to wait a lot. This time, I was informed again that the entire area had no connection and the problem would be solved in three hours and twenty-five minutes.
The precision at level of minutes impressed me but not enough to render me speechless. Understanding doomed on me and I realized there was no way I would could skirt my way around going to office and that made me turn into a shrew and had a few goings to the poor agent.
My consciousness was appeased only by the fact that he was repeating the same sentences over and over, as if he hadn’t had one thought he could have called his.
Luckily, after a hunt in the house and a few SMS exchanged with my daughter, I managed to put my fingers on two tokens and then I braved the world outside.
It was so cold that even if I took every care not to open my mouth and breathe only through the nose, my throat was frozen. When I got to work, I barely could speak and it is somehow difficult to argue your way in anything when your voice doesn’t help. Considering my role is usually to argue in favor of something, I can say I have done a very poor job today getting more and more frustrated before my work hours ended.
And then it got worse: there was a problem on line one (my subway line) but in the sense opposite to mine. That puzzled me a lot. The problem was on the other side; however, train after train would go that way. I counted around eleven. No train came this other way.
By the time the eleventh train had passed in the opposite way, the platform on my side was almost seven rows deep with people trying to get closer to the edge of the platform to be sure they’d get on the train when this one would arrive.
This is the era of young and strong males, for sure. They are always the first to get on the train. A young boy (considering he was clearly under twenty, I can call him a young boy), simply pushed his shoulder into me to throw me away and make more space for himself.
In spite of the platform full of people who were watching the trains passing by on the wrong side of tracks, we managed to keep a good mood and that only due to the man behind the platform, a performer, who managed to offer a rendition of Guantanamera in a very powerful interpretation, the same time inviting people to dance and telling them all the time that he’d sing the song again as the train had not arrived.
His good mood was catching: instead of seeing frowns and hearing swearing words and so on, people were smiling and some even started to dance in the rhythm of the music.
In a train station there’s little to do but reading the ads on the walls and watching the people around. The ads are not changed so often that you’d read them every day, but people do, so I prefer to watch the people.
Tonight, watching around, I’ve realized that I could see all kinds: the aloof and cool Greta Garbo, reincarnated into a tall willowy blond, who simply raised a perfectly manicured brow when the singer invited people to dance; the pixie, with a mop of pink hair which, I don’t know why, reminded me of Tinker Bell, although if I remember correctly, Tinker was a blond as well; the family man, reminding me of the role Nicholas Cage played in an older movie; this one was middle-aged and tired – the week has taken a toll on him. There was also the tough guy, surveying people around and flexing his jaws whenever someone tried to get closer to the yellow line – he was clearly afraid someone would try to cut in front of him and he was not disposed to be left behind when the first train would come; and even the punk who would sneak around.
For a moment, I realized that it was quite entertaining: the world in its complexity on a train platform: all types, all races, all ages and all types of education. It was enlightening. A writer would find there all the characters he or she would need.
Of course, I didn’t get on the first train or the second. It would have been impossible. However, I got on the third. It took me only about two hours and a half to get home. Usually, it takes half that time.
Anyway, it’s been a long day and it seems it’s getting longer as Rex is quite peeved because I had to leave today and now he gets angry for the slightest noise. On the other hand the cat is very playful this evening and likes to make noise. So it is no win situation.
I have to cheer up though: tomorrow is the last day of the week and then there’s the long weekend. Yes, you have read correctly: Monday is free! Cheers! See you tomorrow again!
Born sometime in the past century, living in the 21st century.
Sometimes I have good ideas... (what do you think?)
Sometimes fascinating guests!
(that for sure!)
Sometimes I have to share some of my frustrations,..
(not too tempting, huh!)
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