Thursday, July 19, 2007

Next time, I'm taking the whole day off.

Never work half a day when you're trying to arrive someplace on time. It just makes for an unpleasant day. Or an unpleasant half-day, as the case may be.

Last weekend was Shore Leave 29, my annual SFF convention experience. We like to arrive around 4pm, get settled into the hotel, and have a leisurely dinner at a nearby Baja Fresh before activities begin. The hotel is roughly an hour-thirty from my apartment. So on Friday, I agreed to work until 2pm. It would get us on the road by 2:45, if all went well.

All didn't go well.

My fellow manager (the one who is relieving me at 2 so I can hit the road) calls and says she forgot she had an 11 am dentist appointment. She may be a few minutes late. A few I can handle. To me, a few is five, ten minutes. Whatever.

My sister calls around noon. She's at the hotel, but they need a credit card that can hold the room bill until Sunday (we always pay cash, since three people split it). She doesn't have one with a large enough balance. I do. The hotel faxes over a sheet for me to fill out. I wait. No fax. I call back (on my cell, since the office phone at work had been on the fritz for a week by that point). They refax. I get it. A customer issue at work delays me returning it. Sister calls back. It didn't go through.

What? I panic, because I knew I had a large enough balance. Our third roommate didn't have a card. So sis calls her boyfriend, hoping he has one. Meanwhile, I get on the phone with Capital One, hoping to get a customer service rep and figure out what the hell went wrong (I was planning on using a cash advance from this card to pay for my share of the hotel expense). I am on hold for thirty-five minutes. "Please stay on the line, and you, too, will receive our personal attention."

Yeah, right.

I hang up, frustrated beyond words that I've wasted so much time (but I was in the stock room, opening new merchandise with one hand, so at least it wasn't a complete waste). Sister calls back; boyfriend had a card that held us the room. Phew.

Two o'clock rolls around, and I'm raring to go. I want to hit the ground running, because I have to stop by the post office and mail another full manuscript request (yay!) before we leave. 2:10 now. *taps foot* *checks watch* Okay, this is more than a few minutes. My associates are watching me with trepidation, afraid my head will spin off my shoulders. My relief finally arrives at almost 2:40 (!!!). I get out the door five minutes later, because I had to talk her in (store slang for explain what's happened, where we are with sales, if there are any problems that need to be addressed).

I zip in and out of the post office. I try to use my Capital One card to pay for shipping, but it comes back with an "over balance" message. WTF? Okay, fine, I use my debit card. My frustration level is so high that I'm swearing a blue streak at traffic all the way home. I finally get there and storm into my room to plug in my dying cell phone, and I call Capital One again.

"We are currently experience high call traffic...."

I burst into tears.

I'm one of those people who cries when I get really, really frustrated. It's my body's way of venting, I suppose. I felt a little better afterward. My roommate calmed me down, and we figured out a solution to my hotel money woes. After a few minutes, we were packed up and ready to go. Finally hit the road at 3:40 pm.

Made it to the hotel by 5pm on the dot. As soon as I got there, the day's frustration melted away. It was my weekend to geek out, have fun, and just revel in science fiction and fantasy. I had a great time, laughed loads, and discovered a new favorite saying:


Truer words were never spoken.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Grabby Hands

Random observation of the day:

SciFi Channel is airing Final Destination 2. Not a great film, but it gets points for starring Michael Landes (*pants*). I left it on in the background and look up from time to time. Tonight it occurs to me that Michael grabs AJ Cook an awful lot in this film.

He knocks her down and away from the speeding car.
He grabs her so she doesn't run after her now-mowed-down friends.
He grabs her so she doesn't run toward a piece of glass that is about to smush a kid.
He grips her arms during one of her visions.
He hugs her (twice) after Isabella has the baby.
He knocks her down again, this time as a hospital room explodes.
He grabs her to keep her away from Clear's roasted body (the girl likes to race toward dead people, I don't get it).
He holds onto her again when she starts talking about self-sacrifice.

You know you've watched a movie too many times when these are the things you notice...