Saturday, March 12, 2011

Senior Citizen Discount

Granted, it was a long, harrowing day.  One of my very best friends in the world had already hung up the phone on me, at least, ten times and I was tired, worn out and frustrated.  I’m sure I looked like hell warmed over.  I was standing in the check-out line at 7:00 PM buying dinner for my family of seven. The beer was in the front of the items I was buying.  Following the beer were the fish, meat, shampoo, rabbit food and I don’t know what else.  I was prepared for the question from the check-out lady.   I expected her to ask for my ID concerning the beer.  I had my license ready for presenting.

The six pack of beer was the real reason for my trip to the grocery store.  The other things were just an afterthought (or a cover-up depending on how you want to look at it).  I knew that I had to feed the kids and hubby something so I went through the motions of buying some essentials.  The rabbits hadn’t had food for about a week, so I figured the rabbit food and carrots would make up for my total lack of responsibility.

Anyway, as I was saying, it was a long, harrowing day.  I have a crucial job for which I get paid the big bucks, (by the way, while standing in the check-out line I received an emergency phone call from my daughter Katie informing me that there were no wipes to be found and my daughter, Lulu had a stinky pull-up).

Where was I?   Oh yes, I was saying that I have an important job.  My job requires me to be able to juggle twenty tasks at once while writing $100,000+ grants with last minute deadlines.  Not only am I expected to juggle twenty things at once, but I must also remain friendly, kind and cheerful to everyone I meet.  (Did I mention that Lulu needed wipes?).  Where was I?  Oh yes, I was talking about my job.  Normally, I can juggle twenty things at once, but this particular day I was “in training” to learn how to input data.  In my office, I’m known as the data queen.  I even have a pin that says “show me your data.”   I live to input data.

Unfortunately, this same day there was a $25,000 grant deadline.  My former friend, Linda, who was taking the brunt of writing the grant, had called me a minimum of six times before 9 AM.  I explained to Linda that I was in data training for at least the next four hours, but would do what I could to help during breaks.  By 10:00 AM, my former friend Linda and I had exchanged words, hung up the phone on each other and vowed never to write another grant together for as long as we both shall live.  I was frustrated because I was unable to help her with her terminal computer virus that kept infecting the grant and she was angry that my data training was taking up all my time.  Things were getting ugly!  We were at a point where we needed a referee to handle our phone calls.  Meanwhile, the data guy was trying to train me and three other ladies with weak bladders.  Needless to say, things were going a little slower than he had planned.

By 5:30, when I left the office, I saw the data guy turn his car in the wrong direction headed away from the airport.  I wondered how long it would be before he came to the conclusion that he was going in the wrong direction.  At that point, I realized that we hadn’t even fed him lunch.  All he had to tide him over, should he become hopelessly lost, was a stale donut and a cup of yesterday’s coffee.  Oh well, it was too late to help the data guy.  All I could do was hope he would realize the Gulf of Mexico was west of the airport and eventually turn around.

Meanwhile, I was on the cell phone with my no longer former friend Linda crying and making amends.   After I had hung up with her, I called my babysitter to ask if Lulu was still there because I forgot who was supposed to pick her up.  She informed me that Lulu was indeed still there.  I apologized for being late to get her and rushed to pick her up.  When I arrived at the babysitter’s house, my husband was already there getting Lulu.  I asked him to please take her to soccer practice with him so I could go grocery shopping and make dinner.

I drove home, grabbed my checkbook and left for the grocery store.  So, like I said, I was in line at the check-out counter when I got the phone call about the wipes.  I thought I had some in the truck, so I didn’t get more.  I stayed in the check-out line with my checkbook, driver’s license and discount shopping card in hand.  I was poised to begin writing my check for the amount shown on the register when the clerk scanned my card, looked up at me and asked, “Do you have your driver’s license?”  Yes, I said as I handed her the license to show I was old enough to purchase the beer.  “Shall I take off your senior citizen discount?” she asked.    “Oh I’m sorry,” I replied in my most sarcastic voice, “I forgot to get wipes for MY baby.”  Then, I turned, made a beeline back into the store and rushed to the hair dye section.