Do you ever let insignificant frustrations put a damper on your day? From time to time, I guess we all do. I think of myself as pretty laid-back and easy going. It takes a lot to push my buttons. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking the same thing the Honorary General will think when she sees what I’ve written. I guess a more accurate statement would be, “For anyone other than the Honorary General, it takes a lot to push my buttons.
Unlike the general public, the Honorary General has known me since childhood. She should and does know the kinds of things that set off the alarms in my head. Consequently, I have higher standards for her. Actually, all of the stuff I write about in my blog is 100% factual (based on my limited perception). It is not fiction as Treva maintains. Sometimes I can’t believe my ears concerning her need to offer wise counsel and redirection.
Yesterday evening I was working on a document that I needed prepared for work. “Why are you doing that?” was her first question. I answered her question and she asked a second question, “Isn’t there anyone else you work with who could do that?” When I offered the explanation that some of the information is stored in my head, she countered, “So, if you want it done right you have to be the one to do it?” I didn’t answer her question, but I did let the concept roll around in my head for awhile. I don’t think I come across to other people that I’m reluctant to delegate.
Yesterday when I returned from Dallas, I told my boss that I only had 9 ½ more years to do this. He smiled and commented that I must be having a bad day. I routinely remind that him I have 10 more years left. However, when I’m frustrated, I will shorten the projected retirement date by six months. Consequently, depending on what’s happening, I’m closing in on having less than a decade left before I launch on a new career.
I have maintained for years that life is too short to live in Dallas. There is something about the concrete jungle and the congestion associated to the Metropolis that I find confining. Truthfully, the thing I found bothersome was insignificant, but it left me frustrated.
I’ve mentioned before that I am frugal. I seldom give myself permission to be needlessly extravagant when it comes to finances. That is true of my personal finances and it is true of my work related finances. I always travel via Priceline if I can make it work for me. I routinely get an incredible deal on a very nice hotel room and I do it for a fraction of the regular retail cost.
I generally bid on Priceline, but when I made my room reservation for my overnight stay in Dallas, I looked at “Express Deals” before opting to bid. As it turned out, there was a four-star hotel in the section of town I wanted to stay for a hugely discounted price. Of course, I didn’t know the name of the hotel until I made the purchase, but the cost was low enough that I opted to purchase direct rather than bid.
When I received confirmation of the hotel, I told myself it was both good and bad news. The Hilton Anatole Hotel is nice. I’ve stayed there a number of times. I could have done worse. The downside was that you have to pay for parking. Did I mention that $19 to $20 a night to park you car seems like gouging the public even if you did get a good price on the room through Priceline.
I arrived at the hotel just as the 5:00 traffic was beginning to build. Pulling into the drive, I made my way to self-parking. Taking the ticket from the machine, I saw that the rate to park was $19 a day. It was a long way from the parking lot to the registration desk and I bemoaned the need to pay for parking with every step.
The desk clerk who took by driver’s license and credit card to sign me in, looked at his computer, looked at me and then said, I’ll be right back. I watched as he went to two different computers before returning. He didn’t ask which I wanted first, but he said, “I’ve got good news for you and I’ve got bad news for you. The bad news is that the hotel is completely full and we don’t have any more rooms. The good news is that we’ve secured a room for you at a different hotel.
I didn’t get rattled, but I was less than thrilled. Did I mention there is nothing like getting back into Dallas traffic at the end of a workday? I was thrilled (well, not so much)! The desk clerk had secured a room for me at the Hyatt Reunion Tower. I’ve stayed there many times and I really like the hotel. When I stay there, I generally manage to talk the desk clerk into assigning me a room near the top with a view of the city. I always voluntarily promise that I’ll stay inside and not go out the window.
When I stay at the Hyatt Reunion Tower, I always park on the street. It negates the need for paid parking. Getting booted from the Anatole would have been a WIN/WIN if it weren’t for the traffic. Oh, yes, I guess there is one other downside. The closest on-the-street parking is actually about 2 ½ blocks away. You have to negotiate getting through Union Station and then walk through the tunnel under the train tracks to get to the hotel.
Making it to from the Anatole to the Hyatt was almost effortless. The GPS routed me a different way that I would have normally chosen to travel. I managed to find a parking place without difficulty. In no time, I had erased the inconvenience of getting booted out of the Anatole.
I don’t know how long I had been in my room. I had worked (real work) on my computer for a period of time. At some point, I realized that I didn’t have my cellphone. I thought I remembered having it in the hotel room. I looked everywhere I could think to look at least twice. Could I have left my cell phone in the car? I certainly hoped so.
I retraced my steps. I walked through the hotel, down the escalator, through the tunnel, and out the door of Union Station. What was going on? There was a bus parked alongside my car. In fact, my car was the only car parked on the entire block. Had I missed signage that said “No Parking?” The alarm bells in my head were beginning to sound.
There was a police car parked in the street behind my car and behind the bus. I cautiously approached my car from the curbside. I opened the door, looked in, gave a huge sigh of relief and recovered my cellphone. I then refocused. I looked at the vacated street. I looked at the policeman. I looked at the bus. I looked at a second official looking car as it pulled up behind the policeman’s car. I asked, “Is it okay for me to park here?”
The police officer said, “Sure” and asked if my name was Stephenson. I said, “No”. He asked if I was the owner of the car. I responded that the car belongs to my work. He then asked, Is that “Children at Heart Ministries”? I said “Yes”. He then said, “Your car has been involved in an accident. I need to see your driver’s license.”
Walking to the other side of the car, the first thing I noticed was that the rearview mirror on the driver’s side was hanging on by the wiring. The driver’s door and front left fender had been dramatically altered. A Dallas City bus had sideswiped my car. It was one of those days that I allowed insignificant frustrations to put a damper on my day. It was a day that it would have paid to pay for hotel parking.
All My Best!