I Hate It When That Happens

You know how when you’re going to work, driving on the freeway?

You’re running a little late, so most of the worker bees are already off the road, at their jobs, so traffic is a little congested, but not too bad and you’re rolling along at maybe 45 MPH, and you’re trying to do the right thing, driving safely and leaving four or five car lengths between you and the car in front of you and you’ve got Delbert McClinton playing on the CD player and he”s givin’ it up for your love and you’re cruisin’ and groovin’ and suddenly from the next lane over and without any warning or signal somebody pulls into that safe zone and cuts you off in a great big SUV. Now you have to slow down but if you do, maybe somebody else will pull the same stunt and you’ll be the chump again, so maybe you’ll just tailgate him for a while, that’ll show him, but then you realize that just as his huge pigmobile has completely blocked your view down the road so you no longer have any idea what’s up ahead, whatever selfish roadhog is driving that big Personal Global Warming Device probably can’t see you, either and so what’s the point, you might as well just choke on it and back off, the Big Guys rule everything anyway. So you back off and keep driving and the big SUV gets smaller and smaller in front of you until you can’t see it or even remember it anymore and then through some miracle you find yourself in another lane that’s moving along close to the speed limit and you and Delbert are grinnin’ and rockin’ down the highway and you get cut off again by the same SUV.

Doesn’t that chap your hide?

And then you get to work and you have to make an important phone call to another office and it’s really kind of urgent that you talk to this certain person at the other office and they have a switchboard operator and when you ask for your intended party by name she says “One moment” and then you get the Muzak in your ear. While you wait you wonder how long a “moment” will be, but it doesn’t matter because you’re going to be getting on with your important call pretty soon. You smile as you think of that operator at that other company you call a lot, who, no matter who you ask for or what you say to her, always responds by saying “My pleasure.” Ha! Is she getting pleasure from being a telephone operator? You think of her squirming a little in her chair and this fantasy is just starting to get interesting when the voicemail comes on in your ear. Oh no! You have to talk to this person, because you need an answer on a very important matter and you need it by noon or preferably right now. You don’t mind leaving a message, but what if he doesn’t check his voicemail, or what if he gets your urgent message but doesn’t get how urgent it is? While you’re pondering this you hear the beep so you go ahead and leave your important message and hang up but then back in your own office you’re doing stuff and time is passing and you’re not getting any calls and it’s like an hour later and you’ve only got until noon to settle this matter so you call again and before you can stop her and ask if your party is even at work today she says “One moment” and the Muzak starts again. This is not what you wanted but maybe the guy will actually answer this time so you stay on the line and you hear a ring, a hopeful sign, and your spirits rise but no, it’s voicemail again. You don’t want to antagonize your intended party by leaving another message so soon after the first one so you quickly press “0” on your phone to get back to the operator but the system switches you not to the operator but to some woman in the mail room who has no idea why you’re calling her if you want to talk to him and she can’t or won’t transfer you to the operator so you hang up and call back and this time you don’t start by mentioning your intended party’s name but you say “I’ve already left a message today but I was wondering if Mister So-and-So is in the office today” and the operator, who is the receptionist, says she doesn’t know, and you want to say “Why don’t you go back into the office and look?” but you don’t say that because she has that same power over you that servers in restaurants have — you never know who’s spitting in your chicken piccata or letting you sit on terminal hold while your professional life trickles down the toilet, and so you meekly ask her to put you back into your intended party’s voicemail again and you realize you may never get to have your very important conversation, or at least not in time for it to do you any good.

That really planes my shins.

And you know how you have a blog and you write stuff for like five years, almost as long as a car loan, and for a long time you have a bunch of imaginary friends and you read their blogs and they read your blog and you comment on their posts and they comment back to you and you have some fun and some lively “discussions” and once in a while you actually meet one of your blog friends in person and it’s not always that great but sometimes it is, but you love all your fake friends so much and then you start making an occasional inappropriate remark on your blog and little by little your fake friends drop off and finally one day you write a post from your heart and it’s like totally politically incorrect and for the first time in five years no one comments and you realize you have no more fake friends at all?

I hate it when that happens.


UPDATE: Thanks to Bains, who rescued the previous post while I was writing this one. I love you, man.

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12 Replies to “I Hate It When That Happens”

  1. I know JUST what you mean about that friggin’ SUV and that … grrrrr … voicemail. Total identification, Larry. And I loved this post, my friend. You’re a very good writer. You had me sitting there on hold with you. I’m not sure if I’m all that glad you did, though…


  2. Larry! You know I love you. I just don’t work at a computer anymore.

    And the SUV thing! YES! I know! Gets my goat every time.

    Off the topic, but, I had a lovely dream that we were seeing an outdoor movie in the park together, eating brie, and chatting.

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