Wednesday, April 16, 2008

One of those crappy, tacky days.

Today, my friends, is one of those days. Pardon me while I kvetch.

My alarm went off at 5:45 a.m., like it does everyday. Monday I managed to get up at 6:05, Tuesday at around 6:25, and today? Today I hauled out at about 6:45. I left my place around 7:20 and headed to the bus stop. I got on the #148 and trekked downtown, having not eaten breakfast because I was rushing to get out the door. Stomach grumbling, I got off at the Madison stop and hit the Dunkin Donuts before getting on the Green Line. I ordered a coffee and a egg and cheese croissant -- knowing full well that this was a horribly unhealthy option, but in my state of hunger, it sounded delicious. I just wanted to shut up the stomach!

With my DD in tow, I boarded the Green Line, plopped down, and began digging through the bag. Luckily, I looked before biting down because lo and behold there was a GIGANTIC SAUSAGE PATTY in between my delicious egg and cheese. "Are you serious?" I mumbled aloud. I shoved the sandwich back in the bag and began pecking at my Blackberry to find the phone number to this unholy DD. After much surfing the web, I finally located the phone number and dialed.

"So are you coming back?" was the woman's response on the phone to me. "Um, no? I'm on my way to work. I'm coming back and giving you this sandwich after work, and I want a refund or some type of compensation. I do NOT eat pork," I said. "Just a second" she replied. After a bunch of static and some strange noises, a man gets on the phone. As it turns out, it was the man who jacked up my sandwich.

"So are you coming back now?" he said. Redundancy much? "No," I said. "I am coming back after work, I don't eat pork, this is unacceptable." He responded, "Well, I don't think I'll still be here then ..."

"Listen," I said, "Can you leave a note or something? I'll be back around 5 or 5:30, and I'll want a refund." He hesitated, "Sure, I guess so, if you have a receipt it would be easier."

"I don't HAVE a receipt. The lady didn't GIVE me a receipt. Can you please leave a note or something? This is ridiculous"

"Sure, fine, okay. Sorry." Click.

The moment the phone clicked, "Stand back, doors closing." I jumped to my feet, exclaiming vulgarities and trying to make it to the doors at the Garfield station before they closed. I failed, cursing some more. I think, It's okay. Just get to the next station, switch trains, and ride back.

The problem? The next stop was Halsted, in a completely far away place of the southside. And as much as I embrace all areas of Chicago, the southside is one where a 20-something white girl does not belong alone at any hour of the day. I felt like crying. My eyes were welling up. I never wanted to be that person who missed their stop and rode into the "bad" parts of town. And there I was. I texted my friend, then called her when I got to the next station. It put me super late to work, too.

I sat at the empty station, alone, waiting for a train to take me back to familiar territory. People started to appear at the station, looking at me curiously. They had to be thinking, What the hell is she doing here? I'll admit I was surprised at how nice the area was. There was a shopping mall and new buildings. But still, I was out of my comfort zone. Then, the train came, and I was on my way.

Of course, getting off the train at Garfield and seeing the #174 bus drive away was another blow to my morning. Two hours and so many craptastic things had happened. I was waiting for a car to drive by splashing water in a puddle all over me or to find out I had a huge hole in the crotch of my pants or to discover that there was mustard all over my shirt.

Sigh. It's just one of those days.