What I Hated the Least Today 149/365: Last Day

28 comments
UNDER SIEGE - SEND HELP!
UNDER SIEGE – SEND HELP!

My last day at work (for the moment, not forever) started early and poorly. The night before, my Wi-Fi had died in my arms and despite the tender loving care it promptly received, it failed to revive. I went to bed immediately after that since I had no clue what to do without Wi-Fi. (Feel free to judge.) I spent the whole night tossing, turning, having Wi-Fi-less nightmares and worrying about the patient, whom I left intubated and comatose. I woke up at 5 am, an hour before the alarm, and went to check the intense care unit straight away. There was no change.

I rebooted everything, again, and, in depths of despair, opened the Control Panel to run the network troubleshooting feature. I have my doubts about this one because whenever I can’t connect to the Internet, it asks me whether I wish to search for solution on the Internet. (Well, I’d love to, but you know, I can’t connect to the Internet.) During this resuscitation operation, the cat was chewing on my nightie and on wires spilling all over the place. Exactly at the point when I gave up, the modem’s yellow eye blinked and Wi-Fi went live.


My Wi-Fi proceeded to be significantly more alive than me, which I partly appreciated and partly hated. Since I had the time, I selected a thirty-minute yoga video to whose accompaniment to perform my usual morning torture. I reasoned it couldn’t possibly make me feel more exhausted than I already was, but I was proven wrong. On a more pleasant note, I allowed whole twenty minutes for painting a full face on my head and another twenty minutes to blow my hair completely dry, front and back. I normally don’t have the time, so I leave the back wet (if I can’t see it, it doesn’t bother me).

As it was my last day, I was carrying a heap of books, a pile of tests and other teaching resources to return to the teacher whom I was substituting. At the same time, I was supposed to hold oral exams that day. Now, the first task was calling for hiking boots and a backpack, while the second one required a smart dress and heels. I compromised, put on jeans and ballet flats but a nice blouse and blazer and took my two largest bags, dragging half my weight in them.


I arrived at the bus stop twenty minutes before the bus departure. I was semi-conscious by then, as I don’t see the need to be wide awake during routine tasks. I lit a cigarette, obviously, to balance out my previous rigorous yoga practice. A nice girl aged fifteen tops approached me and asked, very politely, for a cigarette. That woke me up and I suffered an acute fit of laughter. I countered the kid with a staccato series of questions and answers, including, Don’t say! Why? I don’t think this is going to work out. Buy your own packet for god’s sake. The girl just stared, having lost her speech capacity, and then walked away.

I seated myself and my oversized bags on a bench. A bus which wasn’t mine pulled up and belched out a dozen small screaming kids and their teacher. I clutched the metal grille which formed the bench I was sitting on and did my best to fend off the kid attack. It was worse than a zombie apocalypse. By the time they were done with me, I was painfully awake and traumatised. My bus was delayed, as it only leaves on time when I miss it, and when it did show up, an alien stewardess, who surely wasn’t even employed at the company, emerged from the door.


My distress, however I didn’t think it possible, further deepened. This was supposed to be the last day of my regular routine, I didn’t sign up for begging teenagers, murderous kids or Martian stewardesses. The stewardess’s name tag said Jane Charlotte Something. I knew she was an alien. I told you so. No one in my country has two given names (unless they are pretentious pseudo-celebrities) and no one in my country is called Charlotte (if you wish to name a Czech girl Charlotte, you name her Šarlota, which is a fully legitimate Czech variant that all your fellow countrymen will be able to spell and pronounce).

Charlotte introduced herself as Charlotte into the bus mic, further confirming her extra-terrestrial status by using her exotic second name as if she didn’t have a perfectly normal first name. She sounded like she hated her job. See, I knew she wasn’t a regular employee, as the company takes pride in employing only stewards who can maintain a fake smile throughout the whole day. Customers everywhere are not only entitled but outright expected to vent their frustrations on the staff, so when it was time for complimentary hot drinks, I asked for coffee, no milk, no sugar. I knew Charlotte would mess up. I was sorry for her by the time she returned to ask me what it was I wanted again.


The rest of my day didn’t suck (that much). A manageable number of students arrived for the oral exam and none of them forced me by the sheer power of their incompetence to abuse make a rightful use of my competence to fail them. A special thanks goes to the students who gave up and didn’t show up for the exam at all (you saved me work and saved my day, guys, kudos). My usual coffee shop, where I waited for my bus back, played nice chill-out music and my usual latte came with a complimentary choccie. It only does so on good days. When I discovered that the choccie contained hazelnuts, my happiness (if I had the capacity to experience such a thing) was complete. All came to a full zen circle when the return bus came staffed with Patricia, a stewardess so good at her job that I often wonder if her fake smile is real.

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28 comments on “What I Hated the Least Today 149/365: Last Day”

  1. The wifi!That’s so terrible … I feel your pain. How many times haven’t I snorted and scoffed at that message from Windows [would you like to search for a solution online].

    When names are spelled that way … sort of, out of line, so to speak … I, too, find that intriguing. There’s this nice woman at the bank, her name tag says Katarina. Back home, that would be the normal spelling of the name, but not here.

    Sweden loves statistics, so I go in sometimes, to look at what names are on top: right now, the most popular names for little boys are Kevin and Liam. Go figure … 😂

    I bet your cat is a very happy feline right now …

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    1. My Wi-Fi has fortunately fully recovered and much to my shock, it’s still working now during a strong storm. I’ll see how long it lasts. I’m already rummaging for candles 😉 – not for the Wi-Fi, but in case there’s a blackout.

      Katarina? Sounds very much like the hurricane. It’s perverse to give disasters people’s names. I don’t know how people with unusual names feel about them, but I know that I’m grateful that my parents had sense enough to give me a normal name adequate to the language environment where I live. It is probably annoying to have to spell your name wherever you go – spelling your name is normal in English, but in my language, it’s not. It’s a phonetic language, we spell things as we pronounce them, so a non-standard spelling is confusing.

      The cat is currently not that happy – because storm – but otherwise she looked well pleased with herself today. Especially after she dug her claw in my hand exactly in the spot where the finger ends and the nail begins. She was playing a bit rough…

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      1. That’s funny about the storms/hurricanes in the States; people make suggestions to each year’s hurricanes, and then they draw them out of a hat (or something). So … the hurricanes can have the oddest names. Katrina is not a common name, I think. The normal spelling of my name, in Swedish, would be Rebecka, but most of them spell it Rebecca. Except me, I’ve deliberately changed it to the ‘Hebrew’/biblical spelling. So … as a punishment for that, I have to spell it out each time ROFL.

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        1. I’m not sure I’d be that eager to name a hurricane. But I guess it has to be called something.

          I’m aware of the existence of various spellings of Rebekah, so I’d probably always double-check anyway… That’s an Old Testament punishment for an Old Testament name, always having to spell it out 😉

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  2. so you on vacation now? or you have planned something else to keep you busy for the summer? 🙂
    same here, fake smiles alaways bother me as well… so does broke wi-fi connection lol 😀 take care, Mara 🙂

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    1. Vacation? That’s a swear word I don’t know yet! 😉 Nope, I’ll be trying to get off the ground with my freelancing. Provided that my Wi-Fi allows 😉 Thanks for stopping by, and here’s to a strong and sound internet connection!

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  3. I have two Wi-Fi connections. When one goes out, I use the other. And no, I don’t have stashes of extra cash I like to throw away on such silly things. My phone company charges me less per month to have two connections than to have just one. I still can’t figure out their logic. But yeah, it sucks big time to be without Wi-Fi for even a few minutes, so I’m glad my phone company is stupid in this respect. Sorry for your temporary loss.

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    1. Two wi-fi connections?! Wow, lucky girl! I didn’t realise it was even possible. Not to mention the possibility of having two connections for the price of less than one. A very curious marketing tactics.

      My Wi-Fi loss was not that hard as it was compensated by my 4G on the phone still working. In case I needed to Google some tips as to how to amuse oneself without Wi-Fi and the like.

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      1. Oh, I should have mentioned. I have more than one phone number (for work). For some reason, a business phone line without Wi-Fi costs more than one that has it. It’s funny… for about half my life, internet didn’t exist, and I was perfectly happy. Now, I feel as if I can’t function without it. When there is a power outage, I often just go to bed because there’s nothing stimulating to keep me occupied (unless I can go outdoors).

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        1. I see! I should probably also get a phone number for work, as I’m now freelancing, but I’m scared of talking to people on the phone – or in person. Obviously I have a thing or two to figure out yet 😉

          That’s one option, to go out when there’s no wi-fi, except usually there’s a good reason for a wi-fi failure, like a raging storm…

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  4. when I saw it contains hazelnuts, I was for a moment concerned that the protagonist would be allergic to nuts. Relieved to find out that wasn’t the case!

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      1. it’s very kind of you to let me know that. I’m relatively new to your blogs so I was, probably unnecessarily, concerned at times. But look, you brightens my day more than I could myself. I appreciate it 🙂

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  5. Last day eh? You’ll miss the bus and the aliens I am sure but the thought of not having to get up and go through the morning routine you wont miss so much instead you’l create new routines or refer back to old ones. You wonder don’t you have we coped with life before wi-fi. I feel like I’ve had an arm amputated when mine goes down…..but as you say thank goodness for the 4G network…..a few weeks ago my download speed reduced to the point where it was so slow I could have hand delivered things across the oceans quicker than it was working and so I would in the middle of the night be out in my back yard using the 4g to send stuff……not good when its cold and raining……anyway have a great weekend……

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    1. I’m happy to report to so far I’m coping quite well without my commute routine 🙂 And with wi-fi. The mental image of you delivering our emails across the ocean in person is rather entertaining… The thought of having to go out to catch 4G is less amusing.

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