I usually drive to work, but not today. No, today I decided to be like my hipster-friends who love the environment. They take the bus and the light rail and walk to work, and make it look really easy. I grew up in the South where you take your car everywhere. Why? Because it’s too dang hot to walk and because most cities in the South do not have trains like Chicago’s “L”.
So I leave with plenty of time, wear comfy, walking shoes, and was in a relatively good mood. When it’s sunny in Seattle, you can’t help but start your day with a smile.
As I round the corner, I see that my bus is pulling away from the stop and I tear after it, dropping many of my belongings in my pursuit. I tell myself that the driver didn’t see me, …because the bus DID NOT stop.
So there I am: sweating, turning to gather my trail of belongings, and checking my cell phone to figure out when the next bus is coming. Of course, I learn the next bus is running 30 minutes late. Damn! I’m initially thinking this shouldn’t be a big deal, ’cause I only had 7 miles to go between home and the office.
I arrived at work two buses and 90 minutes later… late, sweating, frustrated that public transit is not nearly as convenient as I’d hoped, and realizing I could have WALKED to work faster.
Then, just as I get settled into my desk, my arm somehow gets confused and spastically knocks my brand new, piping-hot cup of coffee right into my lap. I am now not only late to work, but have boiling-hot liquid soaking into my crotch. And, of course, I’m wearing light colors and the brown liquid is very visible.
I would normally request to go home and change, but given that would mean braving the buses again, on top of my late start, that somehow didn’t seem wise.
So the entire day I avoid eye contact with everyone as I briskly walk to meetings or to the breakroom for a new coffee. I figure the day can only get better. Then my boss walks up and says, “I’d like you to meet our new director…,” and I see both men’s eyes zero-in on my seemingly-soiled pants and get a very awkward, horrified look on their faces.
As I recover from that nightmare, I remember I have a meeting that afternoon in a different location …2 miles away, which means I must inevitably take more buses. I pondered walking for all of 2 seconds, but realized I’d be carrying my laptop and heels along the interstate–no thank you.
I had a feeling I should give myself plenty of time and left 1 hour early. And it was a good thing. So after venturing onto another bus, missing one of my stops, and changing buses 3 times, I arrived just as my meeting was starting and was drenched in sweat and still coffee-stained.
Thankfully, a coworker offered me a ride home later. It was truly the highlight of my day.