Take this weekend for instance. It's been a drizzly string of days with nothing but bad internet so I saw no reason not to pull on my ratty sweatpants with the words "Alpha Chi" (the name of a dorm wing I lived in during college) emblazoned on the hiney, a loose-fitting t-shirt, and a Hard Rock Cafe Dublin sweatshirt I bought in 2005 when it started snowing on me in Ireland. (You can take the girl out of Minnesota but you can't take the snow out of . . . wait, I never did figure out how to make that saying clever and applicable for this setting.)
|The sweatshirt in its infancy|
When I pulled up to the gate at work, I discovered I'd been locked out. (Yes, I drove all by myself!) Because the museum leases the property from a federal agency, both the feds and the museum peeps have separate locks on the gate. (The feds use a universal key system, so if they gave us the key to their gate padlock, they'd give us the key to a whole lot of other things too.) So there's one padlock for each end of the chain . . . not exactly rocket science. Except when there are new employees, or if another agency is working in collaboration with our feds, sometimes they get confused by this complex lock system and end up locking us out. Which is exactly what happened.
I spent the first half hour minutes of the three hours I'd planned to spend at the museum, on the phone, trying to get someone over to unlock the gate.While I cradled the phone between my shoulder and chin, I looked around to see what creature was making such a ruckus in the other room. Which is when I spied a squirrel dancing across the rafters.
After forty minutes the gate was open and the squirrel had gone on his merry little way. With the gate open, I hauled my load into the museum and started working away. Which is when all the people started showing up.
First a family with artifacts they wanted to donated. Then some volunteers dropping off more boxes. And another volunteer who wanted to test the alarm system and troubleshoot some electrical problems.
"Man, I better get out of here before anyone else shows up," I thought to myself. But I really wanted to finish the project I was working on. Which is when two separate groups of community members showed up to wander the grounds. Since one of the said individuals helped get the museum a large grant without which the museum would not exist, I was in no position to kick them out. And besides, remember the gate? I can't leave and lock up until everyone's cleared out of the parking lot anyway.
Once everyone had cleared out, the agency who'd locked us out and who had been using our parking lot, pulled up to the dock in their boats. For the next half hour, they worked to load their boats on trailers, effectively blocking the driveway and cutting off my escape route!
5 and a half hours later, it was after 4 p.m. and I'd only had a granola bar for lunch. Could it get any worse?
I looked down.
I'd been wearing my ratty sweats the entire time.