2.22.2016

A Day So Bad it Deserves a Post


Today, I'm going to tell you a story about last Wednesday. Sit back and grab a snack. I'll try to make it short and to the point, but there may be some rambling ahead. Don't say I didn't warn you. Also, this is not me trying to complain, because I know we all have bad days. I honestly just think the sequence of events is funny. Quite unlucky...but still funny.

Moving on...last Wednesday was one of those days where every single thing that could have possibly went wrong...did. Every. Single. Thing. I felt like I was in a sitcom, or some hidden camera comedy show. 

It all began with the night before. Shahid and I bought our plane tickets for Florida late that Tuesday night, and it took a bit since we were doing it separately, and prices were steady going up. We finished up with that around 12:30am, and then I could not sleep to save my life. I had a 5:30am wake-up call for Wednesday morning, and I think I finally fell asleep around 2:30...meaning I had roughly three hours of sleep. 

So, my alarm went off. I got up, and got ready. Right as I was about to walk out the door, I received a text message from my morning student saying that she had to cancel due to being ill. 

Ok...no problem. It should have been a good thing...because not only would I still get paid for that class, but I would also get to go back to sleep for a couple of hours. And trust me, I tried to go back to sleep...but it was impossible. I slept maybe 30 more minutes, but then I was just feeling so anxious (for a reason that I will explain in a later post) that I laid awake and stared at the ceiling until it was time to go to my next class. 
Now, the weather in Prague over the past couple of weeks has been a lot warmer. So, thinking that day would be no different, I grabbed my jacket and backpack and walked outside. Imagine my surprise when I was greeted by fairly heavy snowfall. (I hadn't opened the curtains that morning since it was so early and not much light would have came in anyway.) 

Now, the snow was nice and all the first time it happened...but it has not taken very long at all for this Florida girl to grow tired of it. Therefore, I wasn't too happy, and I felt completely unprepared. I ran back upstairs for a scarf, and then ran off through the snow to the bus. 

By the time I made it to my stop, the snow had picked up quite a bit and the wind was blowing. Also, this wasn't nice, fluffy, white snow. It was icy...which equals slippery. So, I carefully set off through the snow, hands numb and snow in my eyes and soaking my hair. This would also be a good time to mention that the class I was heading to (one of the seven that I have on Wednesdays), was a new class and I had never been there before. Which makes it the perfect setting for me to get lost. 

With a bit of determination though, I turned myself around and found the business where I was teaching. I arrived right on time. Soaking wet and flustered...but still on time. I practically had to beg for assistance at the reception desk (gotta love that Czech customer service), but after signing in I made my way to the correct floor and taught the two classes that I had there. 

After that, it was back into the snow to head to another place I had never been. I picked my way through the snow to the metro station, and went five stops to a part of the city I have never really been to before. When I got off the metro, I was about 30 minutes ahead of schedule, and hoping for a warm place to gather myself. Instead of civilization though, I walked out into a frozen wasteland, and the first thing I did was slip and nearly bust my rear. I stood up, brushed myself off, and was greeted by the site of a homeless man peeing on the wall.

So, I turned in the other direction, with no idea where the bus stop I needed was, and I was greeted by another trio of homeless men who begin yelling things at me. I had no idea what they were saying (because Czech), but I didn't stick around to find out. I wandered around and finally found my bus, and by then I was really soaked. The bus took about 10 minutes to come, but when I was finally on it I began to relax for the first time in a few hours. Then I realized...

I was on the right bus, but going in the wrong direction. I had gotten on the one that was going the opposite way of where I needed to go. Perfect.

I hopped off at the next stop, and tried to google directions from my new location while snow soaked my phone screen and my scarf attempted to strangle me. For some reason, my phone wouldn't give me any worthwhile directions, and I had to refresh my search several times for my phone to pick up my location. At this point, I had about 8 minutes left to make it to my class. The travel time it showed me was thirteen minutes. Before this, I had never, ever been late to a lesson. So I wasn't happy.

In my panic, I found the correct tram stop, but then proceeded to get on the wrong tram. The amount of times I screwed up with my directions that day was a record, considering I am usually fairly good about getting where I need to go easily. I was texting my mom and crying by that time, because I was soaked, lost, and running late, and it was all happening while I was running on three hours of sleep.

Needless to say, I found where I was going. The receptionist didn't want to let me in the building because she didn't understand why I was there, and my broken Czech was not enough to explain that I was there to teach an English lesson. Miraculously though, she finally pointed me in the right direction, and I made it to the correct floor exactly 10 minutes late.

I walked to the front desk, showed the girl my paperwork and told her why I was there, and then she told me...

"We don't have English lessons today."

You gotta be kidding me. 

I explained to her what I was told we were beginning today. She called all of the students who were supposed to be in my lectures, and not a single one of them knew about the lessons. The contact person had obviously not given them the update. Only one person would meet with me, and he made it very clear that he wasn't going to give me any longer than 20 minutes.

I struggled through a very awkward 20 minutes, and they told me I could leave so I was just about to when a couple of other students came to me and told me that the time for the lessons didn't work for them and I would have to come on different days. If you are a freelance teacher, you know how frustrating this is...especially if you work at a language school where your schedule is made based on your free times. I finally had to tell him that I would speak with my school and we would send a different teacher if necessary because these are the times I was told, and the times that they want don't work for me.

Here's where the day began to look up. I got out of there over an hour early, which would give me time to collect myself before my 4pm class, and when I walked outside the snow had stopped. Sure, I would look like a drowned rat for the rest of the day anyway, but at least the snow appeared to be finished.

But, with ceased snow comes muddy sludge, and the snow was already rapidly melting. So, I slipped and slid back to the bus stop. My bus came, and two young boys got off and immediately began kicking icy mud at each other. Of course, one of the kids missed the other and the spray of brown ice splattered all over my jeans. I should have been mad, but at that point I expected nothing less.

The End.

P.S. The rest of my day turned out fine. 
Vicky Hunt said...

I felt so bad for you that day and I didn't even know the half of it! Your survived though and now it's a funny memory. :) Well, maybe too fresh to be funny just yet, but someday! I love you!

Always, Mama

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