Thursday, March 3, 2011

Get It Right! by DL Larson

My calendar tends to dictate my life. Rather, the commitments I've posted on my calendar keeps me on track and on schedule. There are times when, however, my calendar is not correct. If the information I put on it is not accurate, unsavory results insue. Let me give you an example or two.

A few years back I received a jury summons in the mail. I marked the date when I was to call the court to verify if I would be needed. I jotted the info on my calendar and hung the summons on my frig for future reference. June 5th came and I called the number. As I waited for someone to pick up the phone on the other end, I reread the summons and gasped. I should have called May 6th! The automated voice didn't know I was a month late in calling for jury duty. I spent the rest of the day talking to folks and apologizing for transposing numbers. In the end all was forgiven. I didn't have to go to jail. I only had to serve two days of jury duty which meant sitting in a room with several other strangers and having an occasional chat with the judge and lawyers in attendance.

I thought I had learned a valuable lesson, but again my calendar tricked me. Or perhaps it was me who tricked my calendar! I was to attend a seminar downtown Chicago with another woman who had just started working at NIU. We had talked on the phone but never met. We decided not to go into the city the night before since the weather was nice and she had another meeting to attend. We still needed to beat the traffic and arrive before 7:00 a.m., and so we agreed I would pick her up at 5:00 and we would scoot into the city ahead of most of the traffic. I arrived a few minutes early, pleased that I wasn't late.

I knocked on the door. No one came. I peeked into a window and saw only darkness. Oh no, she wasn't ready. We were going to get caught in traffic and be in trouble since we were the mediators at this conference and should be the first to arrive. If we didn't leave in the next five minutes we would not make our meeting. I pounded the door rather firmly. A light popped on and I sighed. She was awake and coming toward the door, dressed in a robe and obviously still half asleep. We were in big trouble and I contemplated going on alone or having her grab her stuff and get ready at the hotel.

I had a moment's panic. Maybe I had the wrong address. Maybe this wasn't the woman I needed. The door opened and I said, "Lilly?" She nodded and relief spread through me. "Did you over-sleep? We need to get going?"

"You're Deb?" I nodded, glad to at least be at the right address. "The conference is tomorrow," she said rather nicely. "You're a day early."

Lilly called it our trial run and took every opportunity to share our story with others. I don't know how I got mixed up on the dates, but once again my calendar had failed to provide me with accurate information.

I'm really glad Lilly had a great sense of humor. I don't know if I would have been as gracious if some stranger woke me early in the morning.

So when folks make plans with me or I make plans, it's really not surprising that I repeat the date and time over and over just to make sure I have it right. I really don't want to be the ditz in the room, although I have to admit, on occasion, I'm pretty good at being an air-head.

I just tell folks I'm working on a character in my book. I want to get it right!

Til next time ~

DL Larson


Morgan Mandel said...

We have two calendars - one by my computer and another on the wall in the spare bedroom. Sometimes I forget to add items to one or the other, and that's one trouble starts.

I also had one at work when I had my job, but don't have the job any more. When I get another job, I'll have to bring one of my calendars for there as well.

I don't know what I'd do without calendars.

That's a good idea to have a character that is calendar challenged.

Morgan Mandel

Deb Larson said...

It could be a fun story. Thanks for sharing.
DL Larson