Sunday, September 15, 2013

Summer of Excitement: Murphy's Law - [a case of the summer]

I don't want to short change the fun weekend I had or the exciting work week I experienced, but I just HAD to devote this edition of Summer of Excitement to Thursday -- the day that everything that could have possibly gone wrong most certainly did go wrong.  Let me give you a brief backstory.

On Tuesday my colleague received an e-mail from a partner saying that he would be giving a presentation on Thursday night and he wanted to know if she could help him set up for it.  She was unavailable, so I told her I could since I would be working in that particular office on Thursday.  On Wednesday all I was told was that we'd need to bring a projector and screen.

So I arrive at that office on Thursday and a little before lunch the partner asks me "So, do you have a projector?"  This was the first thing that went wrong.  I was (apparently incorrectly) under the impression that each office in our firm has their own projector.  As it turns out, this is the ONLY office that does not.  I reread the e-mail I sent and determined with a great deal of certainty that no reasonable person could have possibly interpreted from the wording of that e-mail that this office does not have their own projector to provide.  So I get on the phone with my office to see if we can have our projector and screen couriered to us within the next couple of hours.

And then the next hit comes.  My normal office does not have a portable projector screen.  We only have the one that comes down from the ceiling.  So following lunch, I had to run down to the local Staples and actually go out and buy their office a projector screen.  Sheesh.  But the pounding didn't stop there.  We plan to leave at about 5:30, and at 5:00 I'm told that they need 20 copies of this 56 page presentation.  Finally me and the partner decide that he'll stay and wait for the copies, while I head to the building that the presentation will be held at (about 20 or so minutes away) to set up.

So this building is part of a complex, where it and two other buildings share one underground parking garage.  I'm lugging my laptop bag and projector in one hand, and this fairly heavy projector in the other.  So I walk over to the elevator and take it up to the first floor.  I look around and am unable to see any names I recognize.  I then realize, of course, that I'm in the wrong building (thing that could go wrong #4).  I go outside, where it's rather hot and muggy (and I'm practically in a suit) and walk into the right building.  However, I quickly realize I'm in the wrong wing (#5) and must go back outside and walk around to the entrance on the other side of the building.  In the process, I apparently knock the keycard to my building off of my bag, so that's gone now (#6).  I get inside and find the right room, only for the partner (who had just arrived) to tell me "Why don't we just use the whiteboard on the wall?"  So we didn't even end up using the darn screen!  I'm counting that as #7.

The presentation went really well and it was actually quite interesting (and hey, overtime!)  But we could also hear a terrible, terrible storm outside.  So when everything ended at about 8:30 and I went to head home, I discovered that all of the essentially roads for me to get back to my house were closed due to flooding.  What should have been a relatively quick, 15 minute drive ended up being about a half hour.  Yikes!

Thankfully, it wasn't a bad day and I was dealing with extremely pleasant people.  So, I was able to have a sense of humor about it (although it did eat into a large part of my day and it was rather stressful).  But man, I REALLY could have used somebody throwing me a bone in at least ONE of those situations!

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