I’m leading an Alternative Break trip this spring (shameless plug asking for donations in return for silly challenges like speed-eating ramen, challenge of your choosing!) and I had two mandatory meetings related to that today. The first was by the organization at 4:00, and the second was my own meeting at 6:30. Both were so we could bang out the final logistics before leaving next weekend.
Since I normally don’t even get back on campus until 6:30, I left work early to take the earliest train back, which would bring me to campus at about 5:00. I checked my saved PDF of the schedule, checked the schedule again on the website, and arrived at the train station at 3:35 PM, ten minutes early for the train. No one was there, but 10 minutes is pretty early, I guess, and I’ve seen the train roll in late.
But by 3:50, I’m suspicious that something has gone terribly wrong. The marquee keeps telling me that the 5:20 train, my usual train, is on time. But what about my train? Isn’t it late?
I go inside the little station to find a phone number to call.
It is there that I see an updated schedule. Not even SUPER recent, but from January.
The first train to leave now leaves at 3:30 PM. I was not ten minutes early but five minutes late.
This was pretty upsetting, especially because I really thought I had taken every precaution to not miss the train. I trudged back to work and then left at my usual time to catch my usual train.
Despite my best efforts, I fell asleep on the train. Just like I always do, but half the time I don’t mean to! I had a late night last night and my morning commute is always very early, so I was sleepy and I knew I’d probably fall asleep. I set an alarm for 6:00 PM, which is a few minutes before we arrive at my usual stop.
My alarm rings, I see that we’re 2 stops ahead of mine, and I wait patiently. I see a stop, and I get ready for the next one.
Somehow… the next stop turns out to be the one AFTER my stop.
What in tarnation?!
I either blacked out when we reached my stop OR I blacked out for the stop before mine and mistook my stop for that one.
Either way, I was stuck going to DC and taking the metro back to school, adding an additional hour to my commute back to school.
Remember, I’m already late missing the first train. If I hadn’t missed my stop, I would’ve been just in time to make it for my second meeting. This is the meeting that I AM RUNNING and IN CHARGE OF.
I dash out the train and to the metro station. I know I don’t have my SmarTrip card on me, so I get in line to buy a farecard.
Among about a million billion tourists. During rush hour. Goodness gracious.
I finally get to the machine. “SMARTRIP ONLY”. WHY?! I get into another line, even longer. At the front of this line is a group of Chinese people who seem very confused and, more importantly to me at the time, very slow. I offered them help in Mandarin and helped them get on their merry way out of the line.
Of course, as soon as I get on the metro, I realize that actually… I do have my SmarTrip with me. At some point in my life, I decided not to be a complete moron and put it in my wallet. Genius.
I make it to school without a hitch after that point. It’s 7:15 and I’m running to my meeting. I get there just in time to see the last person leaving and my co-organizers cleaning up.
After all that, I completely missed both of my meetings.
Needless to say, I am not a happy camper. Even catching up The Big Bang Theory isn’t helping things much.
(Shameless plug: It might cheer me up if you helped donate to my cause! I’m curious to see how many people would donate just $1. Don’t be freaked out by them asking for your address and stuff; they just like sending thank you letters to you afterwards.
I definitely WILL do something when I reach $200, so leave a challenge suggestion when you donate!)