Wednesday, April 7, 2010

One of Those Days

I try not to be a complainer -- I prefer to look at the sunny side of life -- but today was just "one of those days"...

I drove to Houston for a business lunch and a demo of one of our products. I arrived safely and early -- a good start! I took my sports car to lunch so our customer could have a ride; we'd previously talked about our shared love for cars and manual transmissions. I let him drive to the place the three of us (including my Houston co-worker) usually go: a place that serves crawfish by the pound. The three of us polished off our 10 lb of crawfish, and Mr. Customer broke a landspeed record or two in my car on the way back to the campus for the demo. Again: so far, so good.

The demo did not go as planned. My co-worker had prepared extensively, but something went wrong, and nothing went as we'd planned. Mr. Customer wasn't upset; the two of them have a good friendship since they used to work together. Still, not ideal. Mr. Co-worker promised to get to the bottom of the issue, and we all parted ways. I started the drive back to Austin.

I stopped several times to take photos of wildflowers (I'll post pics or a link later, but there are over 100, and I'm too cross-eyed to sort them out now). It had been raining, so I soaked my shoes and the bottom of my jeans, as well as attracting a cloud of insects every time I left the car. No biggie; I'm the one who wanted the photos -- I can pay the price.

Around the halfway point, I noticed (via my car's computer system) that one of my tires was really low -- 9psi, to be exact (35psi is recommended for my tires). I pulled over and looked, but the offending tire didn't look flat. I reached into the car to grab my tire gauge. As I pulled it out, I heard a small "tink tink tink" noise. It was the business end of the gauge bouncing across the parking lot. It broke as I pulled it out of the car, I guess. Niiiiice.

I called my husband, who quickly determined that there was a Discount Tire in Brenham, the town I was just entering. That's where my tires were purchased, and they offer free tire repair. He called them, and although it was 10 minutes past their closing time, they agreed to stay and fix my tire. Hot dog! By the time my honey called me back, I could see the store front from the road. They were friendly, professional and fast and they stayed late to fix my tire for free. Is there any more I need to say to recommend them?

As I drove through a town a few miles down the road, it was sunset, and it was simply impossible to see anything -- not stop lights, not road signs, nothin'. I was mentally rehearsing my conversation with the imaginary police officer ("but officer, really, I couldn't see the sign!") and peering carefully at everything. As I was on my way out of town, a police car turned around behind me. I wasn't speeding, and I made sure not to speed, but he turned his lights on anyway. These guys hate sports cars, I was thinking.

"Ma'am, are you aware you don't have a front license plate?" he asks me.

For the love of Pete, can't you come up with anything better than that? "Yes sir, but I wasn't aware I had to have a front plate," I said, feeling my roots grow blonder by the second. I all but batted my eyelashes.

"Yes ma'am, Texas is a two-plate state." Heh, that rhymes, Officer. "I see your car is a 2005 model; have you owned it since it was new?"

"Yes sir." And it's never had a plate. It doesn't have a place for one, dude. Whaddya want me to do, superglue it onto my bumper?

"All right, let me prepare your paperwork and I'll get you right back on the road."

5 minutes later:
"Here you are, ma'am. This is a warning, as it says here. You can keep this and show it if you're pulled over again." Really? How long will that fly? Another five years, y'think? "Have a good evening, and drive safely back to Austin."

So while I could dwell on the negatives from today:
  • The demo, for which I drove 5+ hours, didn't go well.
  • I got a flat.
  • I got pulled over in Podunksville, Texas.
  • My brand-new shoes are soaked and covered with mud.

I prefer to look at the bright side:
  • Mr. Co-worker has already figured out the problem and is ready to demo again.
  • My tire was fixed and I didn't have to drive home on the spare.
  • I didn't get a ticket.
  • I got some great shots of flowers, fences, cows, trees, and the sunset.
When was the last time you had "one of those days"? Do you turn it around at the end of the day or grumble about it?