No matter how hard I try, I am up against forces external to myself that affect my success probability…despite good planning.
For instance, to be sure I’d have time to make the bus for my trip to the airport, I left work an hour early from work. I had 1 errand to run, pick up a prescription that had been faxed in to my standard pharmacy location just a few minutes from work before heading home only 7 miles by freeway away. Turned out my pharmacy was no longer there. It had been sold off and part of it was gutted under construction. The other part had been transformed into a natural medicine pharmacy. I was told the place had changed names, not changed nearly entirely! Anyway, there was a line of 4 people waiting to pick up prescriptions and it took 10 or 15 minutes for me to get to the pickup window. At this point, I think that if I leave at 2:30, I’ll still have plenty of time to make the bus. When I ask for my prescription, they tell me they just got the fax and it’ll be another 5 minutes. Doh! They didn’t ‘just’ get the fax, they only ‘just’ got to servicing it! It was pretty critical to me to get the prescription so I waited the extra 5 minutes and left quickly once the prescription had been handed out.
It was nearly 2:30…plenty of time to get home and walk to the bus stop.
Just before the I405 interchange from 520 heading westbound, there was a small backup of traffic. I thought it odd for the time of day, but it it didn’t appear to be too many cars so I stayed in the queue. It moved super slowly, but I was gradually able to get on the on ramp to I405 heading south. Then, emergency vehicles started coming. First, up the ramp behind me, then as I inched nearer to the I405 merge they came beside me. At that point, I was able to see what was slowing down traffic, a jack-knifed semi. It was bad and probably only just happened moments before (I’m not sure because the emergency vehicles were only just arriving and there were no police on the scene prior. I did not, however, see any people in the vehicles affected by the crash. Anyway, 20 minutes later and I was finally able to get around the scene at which point traffic was a non-issue. I made it home with 5 minutes to grab my suitcase and walk the 7 minutes to the bus stop….and if there is a single delay, I was certain I would miss the bus. 😦 So, while I started hauling ass to the stop, as soon as the elevator didn’t open immediately, I turned around and went back to get my car keys. The drive to the airport turned out to be pretty casual, check-in lines for my airline were non-existent, and security line ups were minimal (I didn’t take the one at the N gates, I walked a bit further up and got through in no time).
Now, all in all, everything is going well…small set back that I have to pay for parking. And even this morning wasn’t a huge negative, it’s just blatantly obvious that the Law is in full effect.
This morning, I had a conference call at 7am PST, while I am on MST so 1 hour ahead. I didn’t sleep well last night, sharing a room with a bunch of girls who were up a little later than I was. I got up before the alarm, showered, snuck out to dry my hair in the main hotel restroom, ate some kind of a breakfast from the Continental spread and then, of course….
15 minutes before the meeting, I try to VPN onto the corporate network. but no such luck. I have interenet access (which later would reveal was having trouble) but can’t figure out why I’m not getting access. 5 minutes to the meeting and I move myself into the business center. There’s a free desk, which wasn’t free when I want in for breakfast. I feel a little lucky and think I’ll use Outlook Web Access to get the Live Meeting information I need, no biggie that I can’t get onto Corp (it would suck later as I wouldn’t be as productive working remotely today). I try to get on OWA and discover the wireless access point is hiccupping. So, I change access points, and viola! everything works. I take a deep breath, realize there is a dial-in number I should have called already (it’s now 5 past the hour) and dial in. Everyone is on the call, which is good. I apologize for being late and the meeting begins; turns out I didn’t schedule a live meeting for this call so all of the earlier fuss was for not. I now have 2 hours to get that sorted before my next meeting.
Things are going well, the meeting is taking place, internet is restored, I hang up on my cell phone (to save me minutes) and dial in from my laptop. It was a smooth transition. Then, out of nowhere, a vaccuum is started and the maintenance person starts vaccuuming the business center! It’s 8 in the morning and I’m clearly trying to work. I was fortunate not to have been the one leading the call or it would have gotten in the way. When the vacuuming stops, a group of ladies walks in jabbering on and on, quite loudly. I suppose the fact that I have earphones in and am not saying anything suggests I am listening to music or something. Again, thankful not to have to be saying anything on the call, I waited them out. Now that the call is finished, it’s peaceful in here. I can actually try to think and get things done. 🙂
However, when my next conf call starts, I can bet there will be some sort of distraction to give me that little extra challenge in getting it started smoothly. 🙂