When you’re me (I’ll agree the odds of that are fairly low), one thing you should never have to worry about is non-job-related schedule conflicts. When you have half a dozen appointments per month (at most) during your own time, the odds are against lightning striking twice on the same day, let alone the same hour.
Yet here I am, with a conflict that’s not only inconvenient, but embarrassing.
Of course, pretty much everything embarrasses me.
Sunday morning I was getting ready for church when I got a call. It was from an elderly gentleman who’d gotten my name and number somehow. He had some documents in Norwegian, related to his family, that he wanted translated. He’s from my town, and he wanted to meet at a restaurant. I told him, off the top of my head, that we could meet Tuesday evening at 6:00.
After we ended the call, I checked my pocket calendar. What do you know – my annual appointment with my tax preparer is Tuesday at 6:30. There isn’t time for both things.
What was worse, I hadn’t thought to get his phone number (my land line doesn’t remember these things). And I could only remember his last name.
So I tried to find all the locals with that name in the phone directory. Of course I don’t have an actual phone book in my house. I used to be able to find numbers easily online.
Have you tried to find a number online recently? Most of the sites won’t refine the search in greater granularity (“granularity” is a great word – I learned it in library school) than the entire metropolitan area. The rest of them are trying to sell you people-finding software.
Then I checked my calendar again and heaved a sigh of relief. The “TAXES” note I’d made in there didn’t indicate the actual appointment, but was just a reminder to make sure my records were in order the week before. Dodged the bullet, I thought.
Only today I checked again. I was looking at the wrong week. It’s tomorrow I have the tax appointment, all right. So I’m double-booked after all.
If I can’t find this guy’s number to get a rain check, I figure I’ll show up at the restaurant and apologize, and reschedule then.
What I need is people. Handlers. A retinue!
I’m an artist. I can’t work under these conditions.