Tuesday, January 12, 2010

You're Welcome

Man, so this random dude I know had such a truly horrible day, I had to write and tell you about it. It was so bad it was comical.


Who am I kidding?

You know darn well who the random dude is. I may as well change the title of this post to:

Stupid Kevin Tricks, Vol 37, Ed 9,452

I would say grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair, but I don't want you spewing that coffee on your computer screen, so liquids might not be a good idea. Let me also just state for the record that it's 32F outside right now, and with the wind chill it feels like 22F that plays a role here and there in this post.

So there I was...

It was my second day in a row of late meetings at work. Got done at the Pentagon shortly after 5 p.m. and had to take the briefing materials back to my office in Crystal City to lock it up for the night. Speed-walked in the frigid cold from the Pentagon back to my office (3/4 mile) and let our office secretary go home who had kept the office open for me. On my way into the office, I swiped my badge, quickly walked in and tossed my handful of stuff on my conference table, then just as quickly turned heel to walk back out and use the restroom.

As I walked out the door of the office, before I let the door slam shut, I said to myself, "Self, make sure you have your badge. It would REALLY SUCK if you locked yourself out of the office." I did a quick grab check and confirmed that my shoestring was around my neck and the familiar rectangular plastic form of my badge holder was against my jacket, so I pulled my foot out of the door and continued walking down the hallway as the office door slammed shut with a resounding THUD behind me.

Can you see where this is going?


That "handful of stuff" I tossed on my conference table included my briefing pouch, my spiral notebook, my cover, my gloves... and my badge that I had just used to swipe open the office door. I normally always put it right back in my badge holder, but for some bizarre reason - a disturbance in the force, or an anomaly in the Earth's gravitational pull, or a butterfly flapped its wings in the Amazonian jungle last week, I tossed it on the table and walked out of my office.

The building security guys said they couldn't open it and someone who works in my office and had a badge coded for our swiper had to open it. So feeling like a total dumb-ass, I put my tail between my legs and called a couple of the lieutenants who work for me to find out how far away from the office they were and if one of them was available to come bail me out. One came to my rescue and arrived about 25 minutes later. He was very courteous in NOT pointing out what an idiot I was, but the smirk on his face said it quite well.

It was getting so late that I was afraid I would miss the last bus home. Normally I wear civilian clothes to and from work because they're warmer, but I said to myself, "Self, you've gotta be back here at 6 a.m. in your uniform tomorrow so you can be at the Pentagon at 7 a.m. You're gonna have to drive to work, and you're gonna need to be in your uniform first thing, so just wear your uniform home tonight." And so it came to pass that I skipped my routine of changing out of my uniform into my warmer civilian clothes for the commute home.

Another speed walk in the freezing cold took me six blocks to the Metro station. Off the Metro and onto the Loudoun County bus, I was mentally focusing on the positive, counting my blessings and being glad I caught the last bus home. Well, that's not entirely accurate. I made it to the last bus back to the commuter parking lot at Dulles North, not to "home."

I stepped off the bus back into the bitter cold and felt warmed by a sense of joy as I gazed across the parking lot to my car... one of the last cars left in the mostly empty parking lot... There is a light at the end of the tunnel! My suffering horrible day is almost over! (There were other not-so-good things that happened earlier in the day that I skipped over to keep this short.) I couldn't WAIT to get in my car and start the seat-warmer and crank up the heat.

After briskly walking across the parking lot to my awaiting chariot home, I put my hand on the door handle... nothing. I lifted my hand up and put it back down on the door handle again... nothing. As you may recall from a previous post, my car has one of those RFID keyless entry systems. I don't even think about it being there. I just walk up to the car, put my hand on the door handle, the doors unlock and the car goes, "beep beep," I open the door and get in.

Then the lightbulb went off over my head.

My fancy RFID keys only work as long as they're IN MY POCKET. More specifically, in the pocket of the CLOTHES I'M WEARING, not in the pocket of my blue jeans sitting back in my office in Crystal City.

I'm not proud of the choice of words that came from my mouth at that moment.

Once again feeling like a complete dumb-ass, I informed my wonderful wife what had transpired. She said the boys were still awake waiting for me to come home, so she would put them in the car to come rescue me. It didn't take long for me to start shivering while standing there in the parking lot, so I started jogging laps around the parking lot. That's how my wonderful wife and boys found me 15 minutes later... jogging around the parking lot... in my khakis... wearing my comfy shoes... body numb from cold... with snot running down my face like a river...

HOWEVER (comma) I'm trying to focus on the bright side and count my blessings. I made it home safely. I gave my building security guards, my lieutenants, my wife, and my kids a source of amusement for the evening. And I got some exercise.

But what it really comes down to is this. I did it all for you. I played the role of the sacrificial anode. I jumped on the grenade. I kept Murphy occupied all day today so that each of you could have a hassle-free day. I figure Murphy can only be so many places at once, and he was pretty darn busy with me today, so...

You're welcome.


Kel said...

Well thank you, although I am sorry to hear that you had such a terrible day. Wow...I can't think of one that would top that.

Thanks for the comment a few days ago and Happy New Year to you as well! No, no ideas of where we are headed off to next but I wouldn't mind somewhere warmer than here right now!!

I hope tomorrow is a better one! Take care.

Hilary said...

Aww poor you. The wait for your wife to arrive must have felt like forever. I'm glad you're home safe and sound.. and amusing. :)

Ret ANAV said...

And I thought you were a good source of a chuckle when I was your ANAV :)

Fret not...today is a brand new day. The Force will guide you. Have a great day!

(Oh, and it's been in the high 20's/low 30's every morning this week in FL!)

Nereus said...

Thanks for taking one for the team! I worked swing shift and on the west coast so, Mr. Murphy was lurking about again by time I got to work :) Since the RFI key thing has been a repeated deficiency that has stranded you in less than optimal climate conditions, why don’t you purchase a dog tag chain and wear it dog tag style ? That way no matter what your attire, you arrive at the car with the key. I don’t have any ideas about the swipe card other than one of those annoying lanyard things that snaps back when you are done using it. And from your description of crystal city badges, you have enough flair as it is. I guess the pleasant memory of your LT opening the door for you will re-enforce the card check prior to exiting . Thanks for serving and for stopping by and commenting on my blog. I have reconsidered my options and the demise of my blog was short lived.

Sagey said...

The funniest part of it all was after we handed off the car keys to Blunoz, ES yelled out the window "Don't lose your car Daddy!"

Hilary said...

LOL at Sagey's comment. :)

Anonymous said...

You're right. I'm glad I wasn't drinking a cup of coffee when I read this. Sorry you had a bad day... Better tomorrow!

Tanya said...

OMG...I'm so sorry about all that transpired...but OMG...HAHAHAHAHAHA. It totally sounds like something I would've/have done...shoot, sounds like the last few posts I written. Hope it's a better day!

Tabor said...

If I was ever in the same situation I would want you around because you certainly can keep your sense of humor. Sorry I let Murphy out, I try to keep him in the kitchen drawer, but he is a sneaky one.