Seriously, there are days when I think, “If I were just a hair more grandiose, I might actually believe my life WAS ‘The Truman Show’ because today is like an episode of a sit-com.”
This morning easily fit into that category.
At our house, we’ve been in the midst of a “battle royale” with our cable, internet, and home phone for weeks now… AT&T Uverse is AMAZING when it works, but the working part… well, that’s something they are still struggling with where we live.
Anyway, I had this big presentation for grad school this morning… Ironically, for work I did last summer. So, it’s strange to begin with… because it’s not every day you do a presentation with powerpoint slides you made a year ago about stuff you did a year ago. To make this extra fun, it was a “virtual” presentation… Which means I hang out by my computer, wear some headset that makes me look frighteningly like a telemarketer, and put on makeup at 10am to…. Sit in front of my computer. I basically felt like some combination of those people we hang up on at dinner time and a mail order bride.
After the last few days, I knew better than to even TRY our internet. For the record, we’ve had no service at all since about 2pm yesterday, I believe. No biggie- I’ve gone to the local coffeehouse a million times… and anyone who has ever seen me with “my kids” knows I have no problems looking completely insane in public. Therefore, I thought I had a pretty fail-proof plan- go to the coffee shop, get a coffee and a breakfast snack (‘cause you have to buy something), try to find a quiet nook, and do my presentation.
Being reasonably responsible, I get there about 15 minutes early.
There’s a line for coffee and possibly the slowest barista I’ve ever seen. Maybe she was new.
I felt bad for her. She was clearly stressing about getting the milk to do that foam-y thing…
Anyway, coffee and snack in hand, I find the perfect table. Pull out my compter, the headset, the wires, get everything all set…. Only to discover that…
THE INTERNET ISN’T WORKING.
I have about 3 minutes.
In the midst of this panic, I realize I have 3 minutes to make this happen…. And failure is not an option. I have some flash in my head, remembering a “free wi-fi” sticker on the window outside of the TCBY across the parking lot.
Like a true crazy, I abandon an untouched almond croissant and small cappuccino, throw my workbag over my shoulder, and RUN across the parking lot, computer open, to TCBY.
(In case you were wondering, I am NOT being dramatic for effect… I completely left it, and literally RAN.)
I pull on the door… It’s locked.
FANTASTIC- Now I’m really screwed.
A girl comes to the door… It’s 10:09. She’s very nice, and is all, “Sorry, we don’t open until 11, but I have some pre-packed pints if you want to buy those.”
I cannot even imagine what my crazed response was. I know it involved: “I promise I will buy something later” “internet emergency” and “does your wi-fi work”.
After several assurances from her that, “Yes, mam, it definitely works… you do what you gotta do.” I settled down at some outdoor table on the breezeway outside of the yogurt shop.
Then, the “WebEx” program had some 5 minute program download before it could open my “meeting”. It’s now about 10:17. I was supposed to be online at 10:10… my official “presentation” is at 10:20.
Oh, did I mention it’s about 90 degrees, and I can literally feel the sweat on my body…. You can hear cars passing and the honks of horns as people lock their car doors as they enter other shops…
…You get the picture… This is one classy operation, folks.
By some miracle, I’m “in the meeting” at 10:21. It wasn’t my turn yet… the IT people at my school were very nice making sure everything was all ready to go… My slides were magically up on the screen, we tested that I could move the slides forward and my mic worked.
A small miracle happened, and the woman from IT said, “Oh, we decided we’re doing only audio presentations… no video of you”… THANK YOU, JESUS!
Just after she says that, she says, “Ok, it’s your turn to present. Dr. Crossman, University President, will be hearing your presentation today.”
“Live, from the TCBY parking lot, it’s Tara Hinds!… to give a presentation to the university president!”
Fantastic. I’m hot, disheveled, and desperately trying to remember what was on these slides I haven’t seen in a year… I can’t even get the head of our program to respond to an e-mail most of the time, and yet, I get the president to hear my presentation…. Unbelievable!
15 minutes later it was done… It went very smoothly- he seemed interested in my topic and pleased with my work… he was easy to talk to.
But it was a wild morning, to say the least.
I was so gross- it’s a hot day.
I grabbed my computer, hopped in my car, and took the fastest shower in human history before heading to my internship…
Of course, on the way, I kept my promise, went back to TCBY, and got some Greek Yogurt for lunch. (I’m obsessed with Greek Yogurt right now!)
In a completely different outfit, over an hour after our first meeting, Yogurt lady asks, “Your presentation work out ok?”
“Yes, thank you SOOOO much… It did. …and I came back… kept my promise… Here to buy something.”
I got yogurt.
I tipped her a $5.
So, that was my morning….
How was yours?