Fail to Prepare…

Why is it when you make one little mistake the Universe decides to ensure that this tiny little mistake doesn’t stay small and inconsequential but takes on a life of it’s own until you are left quietly rocking and sobbing uncontrollably in the corner??

Take this morning I had a meeting at work. It was with an external agency and I was as excited as I was terrified. Having any sort of meeting is still a new experience for me and so I have had a few sleepless nights and spent about a week planning every small detail including trying on at least 3 different outfits to make sure I portray the appropriate level of carefree professional. I had Googled the time to destination, found my Sat Nav. Everything was a go.

This morning, I logged out of my computer giving myself at least double the time to get to my final destination. I nipped to the loo, only (and this may be a little bit of an over share) I have inherited my mums ‘nervous tummy’ and so I was slightly longer in the loos than planned. Although a little more stressed as I now only had had 20 minutes to do a journey Google had predicted would take 12 minutes. I grabbed my handbag, my notes for the meeting and a working pen and fled the office. Into car I plugged in my Sat Nav and panicked a little about it’s inability to find the exact location but assumed I would be safe by going to the “center of the area”. It was on an industrial state, what could go wrong?

At this point I did consider heading back into the office to print off some Google directions; something I usually always do, and I still don’t know how I failed to on this occasions! In fact I am usually so panicked that I ‘walk the streets’ to the venue and back with little Street View Man so I know exactly where I am going – I don’t know if it being a local place gave me a false sense of security?? Anyway, for the first time in my life I hadn’t.

I decided not to go back into the office. I knew it would take a while to re-load the computer, download the details and print it all off; especially considering the archaic systems my office currently runs on. Time I would rather spend getting there on time. I knew most of the route and so I thought drive, and then if I can’t find them give them a call on my mobile so that could direct me in.

About 7 minutes into my journey I realised I may be arriving a few minutes late to the meeting, and so I pulled over to give them a heads-up (at this point I was still going for calm, collected professional!) This is when the universe decided to kick me for the first time. I could not find my mobile. Turns out in my hurry to be on time I had left it sitting on my desk. At this point the panic was rising, however in a ‘gift’ from the universe at least my Sat Nav had decided it was going to work and so began to direct my to my ‘destination’. We arrived at ‘the destination’ in record time in fact I was early for my meeting. It would have been perfect only it wasn’t my location. Taking me to the middle of the area based on post code had landed me in a completely different industrial estate, I had no idea where I was, no idea where I was going and no phone to call anyone for help.

I got out of my car and walking into the nearest office building, where two men were sat talking. I told them I was lost and where I was trying to get and it turned out that I was in completely the wrong part of the city. Luckily the guys did know where I needed to go and so he talked me through the directions and drew me a little map. I asked if I could borrow his phone to call the company and advise them I may be a few minutes late. His reaction was comical; I think he may have been less surprised had I asked if I could eat his head. He spluttered out I was only a few minutes away and it wouldn’t take me long, but I kinda pushed the point a little and finally he conceded. Message about my delayed arrival left I thanked the two guys and flew out of their office. Back to the car and set off on the journey. I remembered the first few roundabouts fine but on approaching a set of traffic lights and being unsure as to whether I should go straight on or turn left I reached for the map he had drawn… only I couldn’t find it. I am certain I had it in my hand when I left the offices, but I still have no idea what has happened to it. I cannot find it in my car!

I went with my gut and headed straight across. At the next traffic lights I thought my luck had changed; there was a sign to the industrial estate I needed – I was saved! Or not.

Turns out after the sign telling me to turn left there were no other signs. I creeped along, annoying all the drivers behind me (side note: does anyone else think we should have those flashy message things on our back windscreens that the police have? I would love to be able to flash up signs that said “sorry, I know I’m being annoying but I’m lost” or “I’m driving extremely slowly as I am trying not to run out of petrol before I reach the petrol station as I didn’t have as much fuel as I thought” Just me?)  looking for the sign for the industrial estate – I remembered the guy in the office saying it would appear out of no where in this little housing estate, that I would think I had gone wrong and then it would just appear on my left. I saw a courtyard and looked around (to my left) for the sign. I couldn’t see anything telling me this was anything other than a group of houses and so I pressed on. I assumed that if this was the place I could just double back. I got to the end of the road and realised that the courtyard I had seen had to be the place so did a U-turn and set off back down the road. A man jumped in front of my car waving his arms.

Genuinely, this man went mental getting me to stop my car. I wound down the window and looked at him.; turns out it was a one way street.

I asked him for directions to get back to the beginning of the system and was told I had to go “left, then right, then second left, the another right, over the river…” I think it was about here I lost the will to live!

I would like to tell you that I followed his directions and found the place; bet your not surprised to learn I didn’t.

I gave up and went back to a section of road and knew and found my way back in, only this time pulling into the courtyard.

I was quite impressed to only finally arrive 10 minutes late for the meeting, and although I didn’t share the full horror that I had getting there sharing some of the story certainly broke the ice.

However, the best bit and probably the bit that will have jumped out to the people who I told this story to… turns out the industrial estate is in fact extremely well sign posted and on my way around the one way system for the second time I noticed a lovely large sign point directly at the courtyard; on the right!

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6 thoughts on “Fail to Prepare…

  1. I felt like crying for you as I read along. I used to be the most organized person but now it seems as though I’m always one step behind and scattering papers in my wake.

  2. It feels so horrible because you’re so ultra responsible. I can totally relate. Many people would be 10 minutes late to a meeting and not give a damn.

    I’m impressed you turned it around by being able to recount your adventure as an icebreaking story. Good for you.

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