This morning, as usual, I picked up my building ID, two sets of keys, my pocket knife, watch, and a few other odds and ends I carry with me every day. The morning progressed as usual right up until the point I stopped to fill up the Jeep’s fuel tank. That’s when I discovered my wallet wasn’t among the items of kit that I had stuffed into my pockets on the way out the door.
As they saying goes, you really don’t miss something (or realize how often you need it) until it’s gone. Instead of the day progressing normally, there was no fuel, no breakfast bagel, no stop for a mid-day doughnut, no pausing on the way home to pick up fresh greens for the tortoise, and no stop at the last chance liquor store for my Wednesday powerball ticket. It doesn’t quite rise to the level of infuriating, but the simple act of leaving behind a small piece of leather with a few pieces of plastic and a bit of green paper inside certainly has the the effect of being an outsized pain in the ass.
I’ve never really given much thought to the virtue of ApplePay, but it’s safe to say I have a new healthy interest in adopting a payment method that involves something I don’t leave the room, let along the house, without having on my person.
1. Being the “dumb guy” in the room. I’ve met enough brilliant minds to know mine isn’t one of them. I’ve made my peace with that. I’m satisfied with having a respectable amount of general knowledge in many areas and a deep knowledge of a few threads of the arts and humanities. It’s my niche. But every once in a while you walk into a room, spend nine hours listening attentively and walk away realizing that you don’t have a damned clue what anyone was talking about. On those days the best you can manage is to smile, try to nod at what feel like appropriate intervals, and pray that no one asks you any questions. Days like that suck.
2. Being a piñata. We all have plans – a basic script by which we’re expecting to live our lives. For most of my working life, my plan included working 40 hours a week. With the arrival of sequester and furlough I made my peace with the new plan being 32 hours a week and adjusted accordingly. Now that furlough is ending, I’ll again adjust accordingly – insecure in the knowledge that “next year is going to be worse” hanging over my head. If there’s anything I hate it’s being jerked from pillar to post repeatedly like some kind of half-assed piñata.
3. Artesian Water Company. Nothing quite like getting a email from your overseas landlord wondering why he’s getting a notice that the water company is about to discontinue service. When I called Artesian to calmly ask WTF, the customer service representative cheerfully told me that the account was two months past due. Oh really? Not according to my account of statements and bills paid. But hey, I think I may have uncovered a slight problem with their doucheconoe business process that says bills can only go to the registered property owner instead of the guy actually living in the house and paying the bill. Asshats.