Judging solely by the number of Starbucks “You are Here” mugs that have been added to the Clark collection, you can tell 2015 was one travel-filled year. (And not for leisure.) How many have we added? Fourteen. As in, this year, between Kenny and I, we have business traveled to 10 cities we’d not been to (or through!) before, plus the four Walt Disney World parks ones we picked up on a long weekend there in May. And this doesn’t count a replacement mug for the New York City mug I broke – I am getting that in December to celebrate my last work trip of the year.
Making the point another way: Kenny and I have not been in our house together for two consecutive weeks since June.
I am freaking tired!
Like loopy tired.
Like I-was-well-rested-in-the-year-following-my-kids’-births-compared-to-this tired.
And, lucky for you, dear reader, I have a pretty hilarious story to show you just how fried I really am.
On Monday, my flight was delayed to the point that I got stuck on a red-eye that delivered me straight into a 10-hour meeting (15 minutes after the scheduled start time.) No, I didn’t sleep on the flight. I am the worst on red-eyes. And no, my room wasn’t ready, so I had to put on my work clothes in the Hilton’s lobby bathroom. For the benefit of my co-workers, I did slap on some deodorant. I am nothing if not classy. (Big props to my boss for having the world’s largest Dunkin’ Donuts coffee waiting for me!).
Fast forward to last night. I thought I’d be “efficient” and stay at an airport hotel by JFK so I didn’t have to get up super early and commute to JFK from Manhattan – figured I could use an extra night’s sleep after the red-eye debacle. The super short version? Let’s just say I am more of a Manhattan vs. Jamaica, NY kind of girl (who knew!?). The slightly extended version? I didn’t realize my super-chatty-to-the-point-of-creepy cabbie didn’t turn on the meter until it was way too late, at which point I pulled up Google maps to make sure the blue dot was actually following the route to my hotel (it was). I paid him $70 in cash after 1.5 hours in his hot, smelly cab (which should be fun for reimbursements), and went into the hotel lobby, which, until this point was the light at the end of my hot, smelly cab ride tunnel.
I was greeted by a dude holding a pizza (presumably to deliver to a guest), while the gal behind the counter argued with her boyfriend about cheating on her. Oh yea. Boyfriend was there, too. And lucky for me, his drawers were hangin’ out the top of his pants. Nice – a room and a show. Totally a value-add. They should market this.
She said, “One second, sweetie.”
Not to her real “sweetie”.
I mean, why waste the term of endearment on THAT CHEATER, right?
She then turned her attention back to her man and I stood there with the pizza guy like a jackass. I wasn’t sure what to do. I wasn’t crossing her – I saw her in action. Hahaha. Luckily, another employee came out and helped me. He offered me some take-out menus before before physically going up to the fifth floor to check on my room to make sure it had been cleaned (always a great sign), and I was on my way.
Let’s just say the room didn’t make my night any better, but given the ISIS / Times Square video that was re-released about 30 minutes after I left my Times Square hotel, I figured I could hack some (potential) fleas and a lumpy pillow.
Morning came and I took the hotel shuttle to the airport. All of that was mostly uneventful, and I left JFK on time. Unfortunately, we got delayed in Seattle for a bit, then went on our way.
I realized about mid-way through the 23 minute flight from Seattle to Portland that I hadn’t really eaten all day. Great.
By the time we landed in Portland, I was super hungry. As in – I needed to eat before I got home hungry. Against my very best judgement and in the face of all of the signs the universe was sending that I just needed to get home and relax for five minutes, I swung through the drive through.
The guy said, “Ok, that will be $10.47.”
I paused for a moment and thought, “That sounds really expensive.” but just went with it because we don’t often frequent drive throughs. Inflation’s a beast, right? Haha.
I pulled around and handed him $11.
He handed me $3.53 back and proudly counted out the ones as he handed to me.
As I pulled away, it clicked that he gave me crazy change for a $10.47 bill paid for with $11.
I started to pull into a parking spot and was going to walk in to return the money.
Then I thought – yes, I literally gave it this much thought (which may explain why I am so tired! haha!) – “Well, I don’t want him to get in trouble, so I will go back through the drive through.”
And I did.
Rolled right up to the speaker and said, “Hi. You gave me too much change, so I am just in line to give it back.” Like the slightly smug do-gooder I almost was.
Until I looked at my receipt.
And realized DUDE SAID $7.47, not $10.47.
So, he had, in fact, given me just the right change.
In fact, he was probably thinking, “Why the hell did this lady give me $11 for something that cost less than $10?” which could explain his over-exuberant dollar bill counting when he handed me the change. In hindsight, it was probably a math lesson from the drive-through dude.
There were two cars ahead of me.
No one behind me.
I DID consider backing out of line.
But then I thought that might be on video, and going viral for awkwardly trying to back out of a semi-circular drive through lane isn’t really on my bucket list.
And after telling the guy he screwed up over the drive through loud speaker, I couldn’t just do a drive by and yell, “Never mind – you were right!” through the open window. After all, he’d worry for the rest of his shift that his register would be short and I would be ‘wanted’ for stealing extra change. There would have to be a giant mea culpa with some receipt evidence… no, just too much of a super long story / song and dance.
So, you know what I did?
I donated a dollar to the fast food place.
I drove right up and said, “This was folded up with the other ones. Have a great day!” and drove off. Because it was, in fact, folded up with the other ones.
Needless to say, I can never go there again. Not once more.
And now, I will go enjoy a lovely dinner with my family and retire early. For the benefit of everyone around me. Except maybe that fast food place. They made out like a bandit. If bandits were after $1 donations.