Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Rain, the Badge and Other Things

This was the scene on Thursday afternoon at Broadway and Wilmot.  I took it to show you, as part of my photographic obsession with Arizona weather, that even during the monsoon it isn't always cloudy.  There's a reason the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce claims 360 sunny days a year.  They're only fudging a little, counting days in which the clouds are mostly just over the mountains, or only significant for part of the afternoon.

I have a story for you tonight that, like many stories, is probably more entertaining to read than experience.  It starts with a weather report, from my beloved husband.

John works at the extreme northwest edge of Tucson.  This morning, as we conferred on the phone about issues related to our refi (a whole 'nother story), he mentioned that he was seeing rain clouds coming in from the south.  His concern was that he didn't want to leave the weedwacker out in the rain, even if it meant my going home at lunch to bring it inside.

I didn't take this seriously. I moved my chair to where I could see the accounting department's large, somewhat distant window, and reported back, "The clouds in this part of town are light and fluffy.  I don't think it will rain before five o'clock."

Today, 12:50 PM.Ha.

Lunchtime came.  I dropped off paperwork at the Wells Fargo near St. Michael's.  Then I crossed the street and took a few picture of the clouds from the church's parking lot.  Very pretty clouds left large, dramatic shadows on the Catalinas.  But it still wasn't gonna rain before five.

Ha. Ha.

I tried to go to Souper Salad for lunch, but there was a notice on the door that they'd decided to close the location after fifteen years rather than renew their lease.  So I ended up at McDonald's instead.  After lunch I headed back to the office, parked in my usual place, and hoofed it to my new entry point into the building.  I gave a wide berth to a smoker who was hanging out there, and instead brushed against an agave plant with my left hand, impaling myself on a thorn. Blood starting running down my fingers.

I  used a napkin to sop up the blood, and reached into my pocket for my plastic security card and ID badge to get inside.  It wasn't there.

It wasn't in my purse.  It wasn't in my car.  It wasn't in the Souper Salad lot.  It wasn't at McDonald's. 

And by this time, it was pouring rain.  I was looking for the badge in the rain.

Broadway and Wilmot, 12:53 PM.  Where did the mountains go?The photo to the left was taken in roughly the same place as in the first picture.  Where did the mountains go?

The rain only got worse after that.  Look at the next picture, taken about two minutes later.  Mountains, nothing.  Where did the world go?

I was still looking for my badge, but losing hope.  Watching the water swirling into a rain gutter, on its way to refill the aquifer, I could easily imagine the name badge going down with it.

As I checked the St. Michael's lot for my security badge, I ran into Alicia, the parish administrator, coming back from lunch herself.  She let me call my office, and loaned me her umbrella.  Not having any accounting department numbers with me except my own, I called one of the numbers in the book--or thought I did.

"Bueno," a kid answered.

Nope, that wasn't the company switchboard!

I tried again, left voicemail for my boss, thanked Alicia, and headed back to work.  I still didn't have a card to get in.

Heck, where did the world go?
Fortunately, there were employees standing outside, some of them smoking, watching the rain.  I explained about my card.  Nobody moved to let me in.

"I don't recognize you as an employee," one guy said.

I explained that I was in the accounting department.  I would have told him to call my boss, but having gotten her voicemail, I figured she was in a meeting.  I was about to suggest that the guy call anyone else in the accounting department, or an IT guy who knows me, when the man said, "Oh, Accounting!" and carded me in.

The wet rat eventually made it back to Accounting, to the amusement of all.  I was told to email a certain guy to get my card replaced, for a $15 fee.I did that.  Then a woman called me to say she'd found my card while she was at lunch.  "It looked important, so I picked it up," she said.  Gee, thanks. Although I arranged to go pick up the card,  I figured that I might as well get the new one anyway, That way I'd have one with the kind of clip it's supposed to have, instead of a clip taken off an old convention badge.  And I'd have a spare in case of problems.

When I returned to my desk from a brief meeting with my boss, there was voicemail from the security badge guy.  I was still responding to that with voicemail of my own when I heard a voice behind me.

"Now that your hair is drying out, I recognize you."

It was the guy who hadn't wanted to let me into the building!  He was smiling.  My new badge was in his hand.  He was the security guy with whom I'd just played phone tag!
Nevertheless, I went to another office complex a few miles away to pick up my old security badge.  The woman who'd called me was just leaving, but gave me directions to Suite 210.  I messed them up, and barely caught her co-workers on their way out.

Then I went back to work.  I caught my arm on another agave plant on the way in, and made myself bleed again, but only a little.  Then I swiped my old card to get in.

Last pic of the day.It didn't work.

What did I just do with the new one?

Thinking that it might already be 5 PM, and that particular entrance might not work after five, I went around to the other entrance.  On the way, I found the new card, and deduced that the old one had probably been deactivated.  I got back upstairs with no further problems, cut up the old card and threw it away.

And when I left for the day, about 45 minutes later, I took one last picture.

Five o'clock had come and gone.  The weedwhacker was still outside.  And the sun was trying to break through the clouds.



gaboatman said...

Sometimes it's just gonna be like that, Karen, LOL!  What a day!  Now, once the weed wacker is dried off, take it over to the office complex where you work and get to trimming on those agave plants!  Sounds like those plants just jump right out at you.

sakishler said...

This is quite the classic. Thank God you're a writer. :)

ryanagi said...

LMAO! Sorry to laugh...but Oh MAN what a day! You poor thing! Hmm. This gives me an idea. More later...