Frustrations…

Warning: Murphy’s Law on the rampage!

I wish that I could say that I am always cool, calm and collected, but I am not, and the week before Father’s Day was one of those weeks. Does that mean that everything that could go wrong did? No, but my frustration-meter got pegged early in the week, and even though several things did go right, my frustration-meter didn’t get completely reset. By Saturday, my frustration-meter was primed to shoot through the roof, and it did – HARD.

If you are not familiar with Murphy’s Law, it says “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time“.

Frustration:
: a feeling of anger or annoyance caused by being unable to do something : the state of being frustrated

: something that causes feelings of anger and annoyance : something that frustrates someone

: the act of preventing the success of something : the act of frustrating something

Orlando…
Driving in the Orlando area is a nightmare any time, and particularly during “rush-hour”. The problem is that “rush-hour” is almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Yes, there are “lighter” times, but eight o’clock AM isn’t one of them. Most of the motorists are pretty good, but it only takes a couple of speed-demons to make driving a real nail-biter.

Tuesday…
I had a urology appointment scheduled for 9 AM, and where I have to go isn’t exactly “just around the corner“. It is 37 miles of driving on the two busiest highways in Orlando, I-4 and the 408 cross-town turnpike. It would help matters if I-4 was eight lanes in each direction, but it isn’t. Most of the time, it is four lanes with periodic exit and entrance lanes. It is an hour drive on a good day, so I allow an hour and a half just in case.

I got there at about 8:30, and by the time I walked into the building and went upstairs, it was about 8:40. That facility now has electronic check-in KIOSKS, so I went to check in. I was told I didn’t have an appointment. I had a text-message appointment-confirmation, so I went to the desk, where I was told that my urologist had called in sick. There were two clerks, and both had a computer and a phone, but they hadn’t bothered to call the urologist’s patients. WHY???

I was told that I could come in the next day at 3:20 PM. I had gotten up early to get ready and make it on time, all to have both my time and my money (fuel) wasted because two clerks couldn’t be bothered to call that urologist’s patients. Who do the clerks think they work for?

By the time I got back home, I was mentally-shot for the day.

Frustration #1…
Do your job!

Frustration #2…
You don’t have the right to squander someone else’s time and resources!

Wednesday…
I had planned to do my laundry Wednesday, but instead, I had to drive back into Orlando for my urology appointment. Traffic isn’t “quite” as bad that time of day as it is early in the morning, but that is a matter of degrees.

On the up side, I got a MUCH better parking spot that late in the afternoon. I was also my urologist’s last patient of the day, so she was not in a hurry to get it done and over with. She had plenty of time to review my records and for us to talk some things over. She also did her usual thorough “well-male” exam. After I got done with her, I stopped by the lab for bloodwork and to pee in a cup. Because it was late in the day, I got right in and right out of the lab.

Background…
I am a Veteran, which means that I am prior-military. When I was in the service, being late was NOT an option. Oversleeping your alarm-clock was no excuse for being late to work.

Saturday…
A group of us were planning to get together and have a picnic in one of the state parks. There was just one “minor” problem. It was Father’s Day weekend, and it seemed like half of Florida was intent on going to that same park. The park is north of Orlando and I live southwest of Orlando. I had looked at a map and planned what I figured was the most direct route. That morning, I got up in plenty of time to get ready so I could make it to the park when we planned to meet. I loaded my stuff in my vehicle and headed out. I also programmed my GPS to take me to the park. Shortly after I headed north on I-4, I heard my GPS say “Take exit…“, but I was in the wrong lane to exit and I hadn’t planned to go that way. A couple of minutes later, I realized that I had forgotten something vital to my planned activities, the backpack with my bathing-suit and towel. SO, I had to turn around and go back home to get the rest of my stuff.

Frustration #3…
I really hadn’t planned the BEST route, so I missed the exit.

Frustration #4…
I forgot something and had to turn around to go back and get it.

Frustration #5…
All of the above meant that I was running late, something I hate to do.

When I headed out the second time, my frustration-meter was already in the red-zone. I should have stayed home that time, but I didn’t, because when I commit to doing something, I will do everything I can to keep my commitment. I won’t go into the nitty-gritty of the rest of the day. I did make it to the park we had planned to meet at, but it was full. By the time the organizer moved the picnic to another park, even farther north of Orlando, my frustration-meter was through the roof and my vehicle was almost out of fuel. To make matters worse, communications was almost nonexistent because I had no cell-phone service in that area. That was even more unfamiliar territory, so I fueled my vehicle and went back home to cool off. Had everything gone as planned, I would have still had enough fuel in my vehicle to drive for another couple of days.

Frustrations had been building rapidly all week. I had bought stuff for the picnic that I had no use for at home. I had to buy fuel for my vehicle that I shouldn’t have had to buy that soon. Yes, I am still human, and when things don’t go as planned, regardless of whose “fault” it is, I get frustrated.

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time”.

Steve

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