Thursday Twenty Fifth March

A Very Bad Day

It’s now well into night - half past nine - and I’ve not eaten anything all day. I’ve had what you’d call a bad day, and I’m furiously angry, filled with quiet, subdued, rage - ironically, not at the police who I failed to evade, but at my work, Bronwen, and Valerie. And it’s all because I was trying to get fit.

It all started a few days ago when I decided that my exercise plan wasn’t working at all, as I was always too busy to exercise. It’s not that I’m slack - though that’s certainly part of the problem - it’s that I keep doing other things, which mean I haven’t got the time - I go to work in the morning, and at night I often go visit friends, or out to dinner, or a movie, or... whatever is happening that night, then afterwards, I pretty much go straight to bed - no time for exercise, and failing to get to bed on time gets me in trouble for keeping other people awake, who are then tired the next day, which - as we shall shortly see - is an extremely, extremely bad idea and can cause untold problems. So, in an effort to fix this, I’ve been visiting Maz each night when I’d normally go to bed, and going for a walk. It seemed to be going well, we were doing quite a few kilometres each night, but I wasn’t getting much sleep, and this had already contributed to me being shorter than I should have been with a friend when discussing a design issue, which in turn contributed rather much to her deciding I suck, and no longer associating with me.

Another result of this lack of sleep became apparent this morning, a little over half an hour after my alarm woke me, around about the time work called to find out where I was. After an eighteen second shower, five seconds dressing, thirty seconds answering the call from work and another two seconds finding socks, I was out the door and in my car. Regrettably, a few minutes later, I was driving along the right lane of the inner city bypass, perhaps a tad too fast (though entirely safely at all times, I’d like to say), and overtook a truck. Extremely regrettably, the car behind me was an undercover police car, who took offence at this. I just had time to squeeze back in front of the truck I’d overtaken, and the police car merged in behind the truck. I then spent the next several kilometres in a state of extreme stress, stopping at lights, getting stuck in traffic, and the police car always one truck behind me. I harboured a little hope that by some magic I might be able to turn off the road in such a way that they’d not be able to follow, all without so much as bending a road rule, but alas - I could not. I turned, they turned, they pulled me up. Still, it makes for a good story - failing to evade capture after ten minutes of my very own (ultra-low-speed) police chase. Rather sadly, the rest does not make for a good story.

It is alleged that I was travelling at one hundred kilometres an hour in a seventy kilometre per hour zone. That’s two kilometres slower than the police initially alleged I was travelling, or to put that another way, four demerit points and a three hundred and thirty three dollar fine, rather than six demerit points and a four hundred and sixty six dollar fine - so I thank them for that.

After the officer finished verifying that my open licence that clearly stated it was a learner’s licence was indeed a valid open licence, and had been for over ten years, I completed my drive to work, only to find myself called into a meeting to explain my lateness, and to be told that I have to do something about said lateness. While this is fair enough - they are paying me to turn up on time - it wasn’t really what I needed to hear this morning, and it doesn’t help that all my friends can turn up at their work pretty much whenever they want. Further to that, I normally arrive at work, and eat some cereal for breakfast while at my desk starting up my computer, reading my email, and generally doing my job. Should the phone ring, I stop eating and answer it. Should something urgent require responding to, I respond to it - but generally, I manage to finish my breakfast while sorting through the night’s emails and various alerts and system messages. This morning I’m told that work considers the time I start to be the time I finish my breakfast - making me considerably late, almost all the time - at least in their eyes. I’m welcome, apparently, to come in early and eat breakfast - but not welcome to eat it on work time. So, instead of having breakfast while I worked, I drank a coffee. I don’t see the distinction myself.

After this slightly less than ideal start to the day, it took my entire lunch hour to get to the nearest QLD Transport office, where I had to deliver my request to find out how many demerit points I had remaining, in person, along with the little ticket the “please wait for hours, we’ll be with you soon” machine kindly gave me. How archaic and annoying. It was also a little annoying to find I have three demerit points remaining. This is quite markedly less than the four I shall lose should the alleged speeding incident be found to have occurred. On the bright side, I had my learner’s licence - which I’ve had despite not being a learner-driver for over ten years - replaced free of charge with an actual licence, after years of having to argue with hire-car companies, police, and anyone else who insists you must have an open licence, that despite the large blue part saying “Learner’s Licence”, the small part that lists the classes of vehicles I can drive means it’s a valid open licence. The people at QLD Transport were amazed I’d been issued a faulty licence, and now I can get into night clubs without feeling quite so stupid.

The bright side having now firmly passed into the dim mists of a stressed, hungry day, I drove back to work, skipped the actual lunch part of lunch - taking a long lunch on the day I was late and had got in trouble for being late didn’t seem like a good idea - and continued working. Besides, the stress had ruined any hunger I may have otherwise had. I had a chat to Bronwen, who said she was busy tonight as she had to go see her parents, so I suggested to my flatmates that we should go out somewhere - basically anywhere - as I needed to get out and relax, but they have university at eight o’clock tomorrow, so said it wasn’t likely they would be able to. I then drove home, drove Valerie to some guy’s house so she could go see a movie (presumably an invigorating one where you don’t get tired?), and phoned Bronwen to find she was busy - out at a pub (perhaps her Mum is at the pub?). It’s a nice ending to a nice day.

So, ironically, while I wouldn’t necessarily say I like the police who gave me my alleged infringement notice, other than Sabine, they are the only people I’ve had anything to do with today who I’m not angry with. They were just doing their job, did a good job of it, didn’t penalise me for failing to stop for several kilometres, and may have erred on the side of caution with their assessment of my alleged speed, just enough that the infringement falls under a lower penalty bracket.

I had best stop now; stress is bad for one’s health.

In entirely unrelated news, I came home to find the kitchen is covered in colourful photos and we’ve a new stove, freshly installed today - but it has very low gas pressure, so takes ages to actually heat anything, and as a consequence, the griller doesn’t work. The installer is aware of this and coming back to fix it apparently. Still, it’s much better than the old one, and the photos certainly give the area a bit more colour and a happier feel.

Ten o’clock at Night

Disclaimer: I’m over my anger, and both Valerie and Bronwen are lovely people! But I figure I’ll leave the entry as it is, because that’s how I felt when I wrote it... So apologies if anyone was offended - as you can probably see, I haven’t had the best of days.