The Time I Hopped a Fence at Midnight and Sneaked into the Woods with a Girl … to Go Running

WHERE IS SHE?!

This is going to be tight. My feet turn with as quick a cadence as they can muster, protesting the workload.

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A blonde pony-tail bobs in front of me. I speed up only to realize this isn’t her. Breezing by, I continue my search. Where? Where?

The half-mile mark passes, and I’m nervous. I may actually lose. All because of this disgusting need to win. The same thing that’s driving me forward like a racehorse.

WHERE?!!

The club

We sit at a weekly club meeting. After regurgitating our ideas to obtain more funding and publicity, the topic shifts into running. My favorite.

Our president used to run, she says, until she got a knee injury. What a bummer, I think.

The publicity officer says she has recently become interested in running. We chat. Naturally, I propose we go running. It’s 7:30 p.m., but what is a midnight run? We’re all in college here. She agrees, as long as I promise to not overdo it.

That’s a promise I can never keep.

The meetup

We meet at the campus gym and depart. For a non-runner, she’s swift on her feet. The conversation flows as we complain about the lack of progress the club is making.

I decide to take my favorite running route, a greenway that winds by the main highway. It ends on a bridge overlooking traffic — a sight to behold late at night. It’s my secret getaway.

It’s only after we arrive at the gate that I remember the trail is on private property. The three-foot high gate is so minuscule I have blocked it out of my working memory. Whoops.

This girl is extremely trusting to follow me.

Through the woods

Objectively, this situation is everything a college-age girl is taught to avoid. She is by herself with a guy she only considers and acquaintance. In the dark. In the woods. Late at night.

She doesn’t know where she’s going. I tell her we’re heading 1.5 miles up the greenway, but she has no idea if it’s the truth.

I must appear very innocent at face-value, because I wouldn’t have said yes.

To make up for it, I decide to scan for kidnappers that may decide to attack us from the tree line.

There are no kidnappers, which bores me, so I propose a race. She vehemently shuts down the idea of a race.

I push the issue again, not about to give up easily.

She says no. We’ve already been to the bridge, and now we have about 100 feet before we leave the woods. After that, we have just over a mile back to the gym. Let’s make it a good night, she says.

I refuse to listen. “I’ll even give you a 90 second head start.”

“A two minute head start!”

“A three minute head start!”

No. No. No.

I swallow.

“I’ll give you…” I pause, and audibly gulp this time, barely able to comprehend what I’m about to say. “A five minute head start.”

At our current pace, I need a sub-six minute mile to win. That’s high school cross country pace.

She gives in. My stomach turns. I really had not expected that to work.

This is going to hurt.

Ready set go

Despite devious urges, I decide against a hollow victory. Making sure to enunciate each Mississippi, I agonizingly count to 300.

Then I go.

Quickly my thoughts shift to how much this hurts.

Where is she? Where is she? Where is she?

My legs really burn as I pass three false blonde ponytails. Who knew midnight was such a popular time for blondes to go running?

The route goes uphill. My calves start shrieking.

I swear off competing. As with most of these promises (drinking, eating sugar, sleeping in), I will not follow through. But for now, it’s helping ease my anger at how hard I’m pushing myself.

WHERE?!

My quads can’t take the banging much longer.

Finally, I see her. Just ahead. And just beyond her, the gym, which is the finish line. As if someone put a jet engine behind me, I push even faster forward.

RUNNNNNNNNNN!

Terrified I’m not going to pass her in time, I begin audibly wheezing. The summer humidity has made it hard to consume enough oxygen, which is causing my legs to burn ever hotter.

This is going to be close.

The next challenge

She’s extraordinarily competitive, so it is no surprise she’s furious I beat her. Both of us are gasping, but she manages to convince me to a re-match.

Kickboxing. Drunk off adrenaline and victory, I agree.

Little did I know it would make me unable to run for a week.

Image from: Pixabay.com

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The Time I Biked Blind and Deaf, Uphill, In the Rain

“I run because if I didn’t, I’d be sluggish and glum and spend too much time on the couch. I run to breathe the fresh air. I run to explore. I run to escape the ordinary. I run…to savor the trip along the way. Life becomes a little more vibrant, a little more intense. I like that.”
― Dean Karnazes, in Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

At this point, my contact lens has fallen out and a fire truck is shrieking by. Despite this, and despite the fact that I’m sprinting uphill, I barely register the acid burn in my legs. All I can think about is my phone.

I don’t want to lose yet another phone to water damage.

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Backing up

For several years, my parents held on to the idea that I would move back home after finishing school in the city. Despite numerous protestations, I could do nothing to shatter this fantasy. Additionally, my mother’s promises of free meals, cheap rent and hometown familiarity did nothing to persuade me away from D.C.

There are many reasons for this, but at the top of the list is bikeability. I absolutely love my lack of an automobile.

Everything about a car-free lifestyle it speaks to my philosophy of movement. I am forced to use my own body for propulsion. I am required to interact with fellow city-dwellers, on the street, in the bus, among the bike lanes. I am required to maintain high levels of kinesthetic intelligence as I careen down the hills of Northwest D.C., dodging dogs, car doors and potholes.

So many potholes.

In a car, there is no wind in your face. There is no gut-wrenching cold air in the winter. No draining heat in the summer. No feeling at all.

There is no … life.

There is, however, shelter from the rain. And in the D.C. summers, due to the extraordinarily high levels of humidity so characteristic to this swamp-town, there is often rain.

Red sky in morning

I leave my internship in typical fashion: excited to replace the static seat of my chair with the dynamic seat of my bike. The ride home is largely uphill and takes about an hour — one of my favorite times of the day.

I walk out the door and notice the climate. A pre-storm deadness hangs in the air.

I choose to ignore this and instead focus on the small patches of blue sky that remain. An hour is plenty of time to make it home.

The first thirty minutes are fairly uneventful. This part of the ride is downtown, which means the road is flat, but I have to contend with stoplights every few minutes.

No rain or wind yet.

After navigating through a traffic circle, I veer out of the heart of the city to begin my long ascension home. The next twenty minutes will be a steady pedal-mashing session.

The music blaring in my ears drowns out the noisy gusts of wind.

Pitter patter

Due to the lack of bike lanes on this road, I’m forced to pedal on the sidewalk. I would feel guilty, were it not for the three accompanying cyclists who routinely join me. Dog-walkers, out of the way.

Today, though, there are no cyclists. No runners either.

Strange.

I fail to notice that there are no longer patches of blue sky. They have been replaced by gray Cumulonimbus clouds, bulging with rain.

I’ve never been to Seattle, but people often describe an ever-present haze so minimal natives don’t bother to don raincoats or umbrellas. How different that sounds from the East Coast, in which the sky bottoms out for twenty minutes, without warning, drenching everything to the core before moving on.

Half-way up the hill, the rain hits like a thunderclap.

“My phooooonnnneee!” shrieks my internal monologue. I carry a small book bag on my back. Tissue paper is more waterproof.

I pull off to the side to take shelter underneath a tree. This proves futile. D.C.’s rain is either full-on or nonexistent. The tree does me no good, and I realize I need to get to the next bus stop to take shelter under the plastic awning.

I launch myself back on my bike and begin galloping uphill.

I can hear my phone drowning.

Blurry

With the adrenaline coursing through my body, my heart rate increases, my breathing becomes deeper and my eyes become wider. While the former help with forward motion (good), the latter leaves my contact lenses exposed to the outside air (not good).

A lens peels off my eye.

Gone.

“That’s what you get for waiting three weeks past the expiration date,” I can hear my mother’s voice say dryly.

My saving grace is that there is no one else dumb enough to be out in this weather, which means, as long as I can stay upright, I don’t have to worry about wounding any innocent pedestrians.

Loud

I can see the bus stop about 200 yards in front of me.

I can feel my phone gasping for air.

I can hear it moaning at it’s own doom. No … wait. That moaning is something else. I realize a fire truck is coming up the street, sirens blaring.

The noise becomes loud to the point of comedy, passing me as I pass the 50-yard threshold. Half a football field to go until I can rest … and then frantically check to see if I can enact CPR on my phone.

Laughter

A quick look through my bag reveals I had nothing to worry about. The phone is safe. I’ve reached the safety of the bus stop, and in a devilish coincidence, the rain has begun to subside. I know in five minutes, it will have moved on entirely. Such is the nature of D.C. afternoon storms.

I look out, barely able to make out the blurry images of buildings and trees. My ears are ringing from the onslaught of the siren. My legs burn from the 10-minute all-out sprint session. My entire body is drenched.

I begin to laugh at the absurdity of it all. Why would I ever trade this for a car?

Image from: Pixabay.com

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The Time I Almost Got Stuck in New York on a Class Field Trip

We’ve been in Manhattan for five days, and my small town self is finally adjusting to the pace. Naturally, this is the day we fly home.

Any protest to ending the trip would be pointless, as I’m one of 70 high school students on a field trip. We have zero swaying power over the itinerary.

We pack our bags.

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As we stand on the street to wait for the bus to JFK, I look around. Will I ever stop being overwhelmed? The visual. The auditory. The olfactory. It’s all violently in your face.

Whoever came up with the term “concrete jungle” was brilliant, I decide.

Jamba Juice

Unsatisfied with the culinary options near our gate, we trot through the terminal until we find a Jamba Juice.

I sit at a table with two friends, recounting our time in the city. Neither of them want to live here. Too much noise. Too many people. Me … not so sure.

I check my phone. Forty-five minutes to departure. Only a fifteen minute walk to our gate, I estimate. We’ve got plenty of time.

I notice the battery is dying.

I turn off my phone. General dissatisfaction with the city continues to be our topic of choice.

Red alert

Twenty minutes later, I turn on my phone. The text messages and missed call notifications start pouring in.

What in the world? The messages appear in reverse-chronological order, which makes interpretation confusing. No context. Clearly, though, someone is panicking, because there is an inordinate amount of exclamation points.

I unlock my phone to investigate.

I become aware that “Boarding Time” and “Departure Time” are non-exchangeable terms.

Everyone is on the plane, I realize, and we have five minutes to cover a distance that took us fifteen minutes to walk.

I panic.

I look at my friends, who are now clearly concerned. I take a deep breath.

We must run, I tell them. We must run now.

Unashamedly leaving our half-consumed Jamba Juices on the table (ain’t nobody got time), we grab our luggage and begin to imitate Black Friday shoppers.

Tick Tock

I become aware that this is the first time in my life I’ve experienced tunnel vision. It’s strange the things a panicking brain will focus on as distractions, I pontificate.

I snap myself back to the task at hand, seriously questioning whether we will make it. There is so much distance.

I want to look at my phone to check the time, but I know I can’t. No time.

Run faster!

I suddenly realize we are going the wrong way. I briefly consider mentioning this to my friends, but I decide this is a time for show-not-tell. Without explaining, I turn 180 degrees, and sprint in the other direction.

One friend follows, one does not.

Thirty seconds later, I notice there is only one pair of footsteps behind me. We’ve lost Friend Two.

No — I twist to see her a few hundred feet behind us, distantly following. She has finally accounted for the change in direction. It may be too late.

“Wait for her!” Friend One exclaims.

“No time!” I say. I continue to sprint. Hashtags were not yet a thing, but this is an opportune time to make use of #Priorities.

Faster!

My focus shifts again, and I lose awareness of my friends are behind me. I’m vaguely aware of the sound of feet smacking the floor, but I can’t turn to look. Full speed ahead.

Faster! If only I could go faster.

The plane

We arrive. The gate is empty.

A very annoyed attendant informs us she has been waiting for us. She closes the door immediately behind us.

In this case, the use of the word “literally” before the phrase “just made it” is a correct usage of the word.

I can breathe. I allow myself to relax after we cross the threshold into the body of the plane. The entire plane erupts into cheers.

A few weeks later, this story makes it into the valedictorian’s graduation speech.

Image from: Pixabay.com

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The Time I Pretended to Faint in Front of a Congressional Committee

It is a refrigerator like most office refrigerators: full of rotting, musty, toxic sludge that results from weeks of unsuccessful attempts to bring healthy food to work.

Blueberries that can substitute for maracas.

“Orange” juice is no longer an accurate descriptor.

A fuzzy mixture of semi-solid grapes and their excreted juices … at least I think they are grapes.

Unfortunately, failing dieters routinely forgo their attempts to eat healthy, which means the office clerk has to pull out yellow rubber gloves and bleach about once per month. Otherwise the sludge will probably start spawning.

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At each monthly staff meeting, she shows us the hardened maraca blueberries. She swirls the no-longer-orange orange juice.

Please stop the sludge, she says.

Don’t Bribe Me with Sour Patch Kids:

The first attempt to bribe me simply plays to my ego: You’ll be good at it. It will be fun. You are a fun person.

Of course, I am opposed to the idea. Dressing up as a hazmat worker to prove a point? It will be funny, sure, but will it be effective? I have no problem making a fool of myself for positive change, but foolery for foolery’s sake … I’ll pass.

But after it becomes clear no intern wants to martyr themselves for the good of the office-kind, a second attempt arrives.

All the other interns have said “No.”

Be the mature intern and just do this. It will be great. Legendary, even.

I’ll give you a giant bag of Sour Patch Kids if you do this.

Wow … you have no idea how to bribe me.

Still, this is an opportunity. Perhaps instead of Sour Patch Kids, I can nab a sack of apples. Or better: avocados!

Nope. Avocados are a deal breaker.

We agree on a sack of apples. Good enough. After all, I am a lowly intern with little bargaining power.

We form a plan: 10 minutes into the meeting, I will hear the clerk call for a hazmat team. Dressed in an orange trash bag and carrying a box labeled “Nuclear Waste,” I will enter.

People will look stunned. People will then laugh. The point will be made, and maybe — just maybe — the rotting grapes will stop.

Forget Hazmatting. Let’s Go All the Way.

One of the worst words in our lexicon is “mediocrity.”

I become bored with the idea of a hazmat worker. I need to make an impression.

A few minutes of strategizing later, I have a plan: After walking through the door, I will pretend to pass out. The clerk can then make a comment about how “even the hazmat team couldn’t handle the radioactive waste this month.”

It will be bold.

It will be memorable.

I need to practice.

After confirming the plan with the clerk, I repeatedly practice falling to the ground. Luckily, I have a conference room all to myself so no one can hear me bruising my hips out of dedication to the performance.

Showtime.

Nine minutes after the staff meeting begins, I traipse down the hallway to listen in. The phrase “I called in a hazmat team” is my cue to enter, stage right.

I think confronting a lion releases less adrenaline.

Heart pumping, I do my best to focus on the clerk’s voice through the doorway. This is it. Is this what Broadway feels like? Lightheaded. Adrenaline should be illegal.

“… Hazmat team.”

Shaking from the norepinephrine high, I knock on the door.

It opens. The clerk — joined by 60 other sets of eyes — is staring at me, blankly. I’m impressed with her poker face.

I relax my leg muscles, relying on all eight minutes of training just for this moment.

The world tilts. The helmet flies off my head. The box bounces to the floor. The 61 sets of eyes fade from view as I begin to imagine the audience at the next Academy Awards.

This is some serious Meryl Streeping.

“And even the hazmat team couldn’t handle the mess.”

That’s it. Show’s over. Th-th-th-th-th-that’s all, folks.

As I get up, I can’t help but beam at my success. I have put in the work. I have made the time. Eight minutes of worry and practice all for this glorious moment. The curtain drawn, it’s now time for the encore!

Ready to deliver my acceptance speech, I look into the doorway.

I’m Not Going to Hollywood.

Nothing.

No smiles.

No clapping.

Not even smirking.

Panicking, I realize my rookie mistake: I have not thought about my audience! These are not helicopter high school moms jumping at the chance to offer their offspring encouragement for forming a sentence. These are Hill staffers — renown for their toughness. Their hard negotiation tactics. Their inability to be swayed by external interests.

The clerk isn’t the only one with a good poker face; in fact, they all wear the same blank stare.

Oh well, I think, defeated. What can one do? I pretend bow, which generates some half-hearted applause.

Not the ovation I am looking for, but, hey: I can now say that my work has been applauded by a Congressional Committee.

Worth It? Totally.

Later, I get one piece of solace from the clerk: The staff director, who brags about how rarely he smiles, who embodies the word “serious,” exhaled one, tiny giggle.

I want to thank my parents, my friends, my …

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Image from: Pixabay.com

The Time I Became the Most Unique Intern

As an aspiring triathlete, I constantly battle the clock. Fitting, because I do the same thing in races.

I bike to work. I engulf my lunch in five minutes.

I talk fast.

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I workout during most lunch hours. This is a battle to speed walk to the nearest office shower, change out of a suit and tie, throw my stuff in the locker, fly out the door, work out as hard as I can for 40 or so minutes, get back inside, smile sheepishly at any coworkers I see in the hallway, take a cold shower to cool off as much as possible, change back into the suit and tie, and return to my desk to gulf down a post-workout meal.

I sit and sweat at my desk for the next three hours.

No, I’m not a Vegetarian

Bring enough salads to work, and you will become the “salad guy.” Green food is foreign to most office drones who live off tacos and sodas from the cafeteria.

“Are you a vegetarian?”

There’s chicken right here on my salad.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you eat anything besides salad.”

I had an apple and hard-boiled eggs for a snack. Does that count?

“Are you headed to the cafeteria to make some weird meal?”

Do the 15 other people in line for the salad bar get the same question?

“You’re like a rabbit.”

Rabbit food. That’s my favorite, given that rabbits are so strongly associated with masculinity.

Lunch Workouts Make You Sweaty

As kids, my brother and I harassed our father for his inability to stop sweating for at least an hour after his workouts, regardless of how much time he spent showering.

I hate karma.

It doesn’t help that I’m required to wear a suit and tie to work.

But I can’t say seated all day. I have to move. Even if that means I’m going to show up to work twice with wet hair.

“Wait, didn’t you bike here?”

Yes, but it was downhill. Plus, that was four hours ago.

“You’re so motivated.”

No, just bored.

Walk These Halls

I don’t go running every day for lunch. Sometimes I go through a bodyweight circuit. I get back from a round of pushups, lunges and dips. Sweating, as usual.

A coworker asks about my run. I make the mistake of telling him about my workout.

“You are, without a doubt, the most unique intern to ever walk these halls.”

Walk these halls. It sounds so regal.

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Image from: Pixabay.com

The Time I Got Free Salad Because I Ate So Much Salad

I’m here … again.

It’s the second time I’ve been here today. The employees look me over in slight disbelief.

Wasn’t he here three hours ago?

Yes, I was. And, yes, I’m getting the exact same custom salad.

My bank account is bleeding money, but I make no attempt to avoid this debtor’s prison. The roasted sweet potatoes taste so good with the avocado. I’ll spend a year paying off extra debt for that.

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Going for Gold

“You again? Is this your second time here?”

“Third. I’m going for a record.” I figure it’s probably best to casually play off the fact that I’ve spent more than $30 here in the last 12 hours alone.

Smiles. He’s doing a terrible job hiding his disbelief.

They must be putting nicotine in the chicken. How else can one explain the addictive nature of this place?

You Again:

We’ve moved beyond disbelief into an expected friendliness. When they hand me my first salad of the day, they tell me they’ll see me this afternoon.

Yep, they will.

When I arrive in the evening, they ask me how many times I’ve been here today.

Twice. Sometimes, thrice.

When it’s my turn, the eyes no longer widen with shock. The expression has been replaced with friendly wrinkles around the eyes. Oh, it’s you again.

“Three sweet potato scoops?”

Yes please!

They ask me about my weekend plans. My exams. My next trip to see my parents. The last time I called my parents.

I may as well work here. I could probably recite the menu.

Two employees pretend to fight over who will serve me my custom pile of vegetables, meat and arugula today. My friend, who I’ve recruited to join me in line, remarks: “You must come here a lot.”

A Flick of the Wrist

She waves me onward.

But I haven’t paid yet. I feel guilty for not paying. Capitalism is built off of mutual agreements over price. While I don’t enjoy the daily depletion of my bank account, I have accepted this is the cost of my addiction.

No, you’re good she says.

The problem is that she looks guilty as well, even though it’s only resulting from her attempt to keep things discreet. No need for other customers to ask questions.

But as humans, we’re trained to detect non-normal behavior (thank you, Lie to Me). Her suspicion arouses mine.

Take your salad and go.

There are hundreds of people in this world who would grab this kale monstrosity in a heartbeat, grateful for the break their bank is getting. Why do I feel such guilt?

It’s yours.

I smile, say thank you and leave without paying.

This is exhilarating. I suddenly want to start healthy catering business. After all, who doesn’t prefer a Mediterranean wrap over pizza?

Could this happen again? I have to go back to see.

Eh, who are we kidding. I’d go back anyway.

We’ve Been Here Before

This is the fourth time in a row I’ve gotten a free salad. The balance of goodwill has seriously shifted in one direction — and it’s not in my favor.

I actually feel genuine guilt when I walk out of the store. How will they pay their employees? Aren’t salad materials expensive? Whoever was nice enough to chop these roasted sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces for me surely deserves adequate compensation.

I should make them all cookies or something.

Is that appropriate for a place that sells salads?

I drop what amounts to a 50 percent tip into the jar. In reality, I’m getting a 50 percent discount, but I decide to suspend reality for the moment.

The next day, they let me borrow their first aid kit when I trip and fall on my elbow while running.

Student loans seem far less daunting now. I’m mired in the debt of goodwill.

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Image from: Pixabay.com

The Time I Missed Work and No One Noticed

This summer may as well be a vacation. I intern from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., three days a week.

Other than that, I have zero commitments. I have never lived here before, so I put most of my free time toward making friends and exploring the city. No family to report to. No curfew. It’s mostly me, my new friends, and a lot of running and other forms of exercise.

My supervisor and I have already bonded at how we can plow through a pack of gum in a few hours. We both have the jaw muscles of a snapping turtle.

Life is good.

Are you asking me or telling me?

It’s 2:55 p.m., which means it’s time for me to pack up and head home. I pause at my supervisor’s cubicle before heading to the elevator.

“Anything you need from me?”

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“No, you’re all set! See you Thursday.”

Thursday? I’m supposed to come in tomorrow.

I let it slide. Unlike me, she’s in the 3 p.m. slump. Mistakes are bound to be made in the midst of brain fog.

I push the “DOWN” button, and smile at the thought of my upcoming five-mile run. This city is so nice in the summer.

My brain obsesses over the Thursday gaffe. I may be an intern, but this company values me enough to notice I’m not where I’m supposed to be.

… Right?

Time to A/B test this thing.

I have been fired and they didn’t tell me

7:30 a.m.: I wake up, shower and get ready for the day. Luck favors the prepared, and I should be ready to dash out the door cursing the fact that “I overslept.”

8:00 a.m.: This is it. If you wait another minute, you will be late. I stay seated. If this were a game of chicken, I would win.

8:30 a.m.: I open my laptop, and get my phone ready for the deluge of attempts to find out where I am.

8:45 a.m.: Nothing yet. But sometimes my supervisor doesn’t arrive until 9. Also, I’m not self-involved enough to think the company can’t function without me.

9:10 a.m.: She must be really behind.

9:30 a.m.: Well, if she showed up late, she probably has to play catch up. She doesn’t have time to figure out where I am.

9:40 a.m.: You would think, though, that she could have asked HR or the intern coordinator to determine my location.

9:45 a.m.: Maybe she’s sick.

9:47 a.m.: Or maybe my absence has caused her so much work she can’t even find the time to talk to HR.

9:52 a.m.: She had a big project prepared for me today, and I didn’t show up. No, that can’t be right. My imagination is too friendly with hyperbole.

9:55 a.m.: She’s on the phone with the client, who has said they are firing us because we cannot deliver.

10:00 a.m.: I’m fired. They’re so mad at me, they haven’t even bothered to tell me my position has been terminated.

11:00 a.m.: That was unproductive. Craigslist has nothing listed for summer internships. I’ve already paid my entire summer’s rent. Looks like this is a summer vacation.

12:02 p.m.: May as well go for a run.

12:05 p.m.: Geez, it’s hot out here. How do people manage lunch runs?

12:10 p.m.: I can’t stop thinking about getting fired. I’m in no mood to run, anyway. It’s too hot.

2:00 p.m.: Still nothing.

3:00 p.m.: Nothing.

3:30 p.m.: Nope.

4:00 p.m.: Zilch.

4:30 p.m.: Nada.

5:00 p.m.: The prodigal son was welcomed home, I rationalize. Perhaps if I go in tomorrow and apologize profusely, I may be able to return. After all, I’m unpaid. It’s not like they are losing anything.

5:05 p.m.: I ask my roommate if my apology sounds convincing enough. He doesn’t have any feedback. Screw him.

5:20 p.m.: I had no idea there were so many ways to apologize. I am suffering from information overload. Thanks, eHow.

6:00 p.m.: I’m tired of rehearsing this apology. Plus I’m hungry.

10:00 p.m.: I can’t sleep. I’m fired. I can’t sleep. I’m fired. I’ll never eat again.

A cog in the machine

I get assigned a project on Thursday. Afterward, my supervisor and I go to lunch. This is it. This is the confrontational speech. I mentally rehearse my apology on our way to the diner.

She doesn’t bring up yesterday’s debacle. Neither do I. Perhaps, we have silently agreed to put the past in the past.

A month later, I tell her what happened. I can’t stand the guilt.

“That’s too funny! I never noticed.”

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Image from: Pixabay.com