duck-shaped pain

17 April 2001

When you put the espresso maker on the stove, it's usually a good idea to put water in the bottom. Water + coffee grounds = coffee, you know. What is not a good idea at all is to turn up the heat in the hopes that this will cause liquid of any sort to spring out of the espresso maker's empty water container. All it does is make smoke appear. It also makes disassembling the whole thing in order to determine what went wrong difficult, since you have to deal with hot, angry metal and smoky, burnt coffee.

Plus, it makes you late.

Not like that turned out to be a big deal later, but this morning, I was obsessed about being on time. I was supposed to meet this guy at the airport so that he could give me some bulky, expensive piece of equipment he had borrowed from our office. I talked to him yesterday, and arranged a time and place to meet him.

So I went there. I was on time. He was not. His rental car was there, but there was no sign of life. I waited, thinking he might be in the bathroom or talking on the pay phone or something, but, no -- no guy, no place. I went in to the rental car counter, and they told me he had checked his car in earlier and had left. They had no idea where he was, but they suggested that he might be upstairs, at the gate. So I went through security and walked over to the waiting area. No guy. Not like I knew what he looked like, nor did I know his full name, but I kept looking for a guy who seemed like he had just spent three weeks out on a drill site. That strategy didn't work, so I resorted to asking. "Hey, are you Insert Name of Guy Here?" Nobody was.

I went down to the airline counter. No one had left any boxes around. I had Insert Name of Guy here paged. No reply. I was starting to get panicky. This was an important piece of equipment, and I had no idea where it was. I looked around the entire airport for a box (itís not a big airport). No box. No piece of equipment.

I drove to work very quickly, thinking he might have tried to call or something. I kept worrying that maybe I had remembered the wrong time or the wrong parking lot to meet this guy. All sorts of things could have gone wrong. I get there. Check in, there are no messages. I ask the other guy who decided to come in today if he knows anything about it.

"Oh yeah," he replied. "I picked that up this morning around 8. Employer called me late last night at home to see if I would do it, so I met Insert Name of Guy Here at the airport before I came in. And then Employer called me again yesterday to double check that I was going out there."

"Wait," I said. "Employer asked me to do it yesterday afternoon. He was adamant that I do it, since I'm the only person who works here who lives out by the airport. And when the guy called to arrange the meeting, he wanted to know who to look for, so I said me."

Well, at the least the equipment got there okay. It was just sort of irritating, since this sort of thing happens a lot. Nothing like some serious memory problems to make work fun.

Dammit, it's hazy out. Today is a bad day for breathing. It's hot and very, very dry, and the air is laden with dust. This is a much heavier and denser dust than usual, and it's sticking to everything that contains even the smallest trace of moisture. Such as my face. Or my clothes. Some dust storm over in Mongolia is kicking up dirt and sending it over here just to annoy me.

On the positive side, I have wasabi peas once again. I was out. Now I am not.

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