It came down to the wire. If one play would have been different the end result would have differed. What am I talking about? Is this a recap from a NHL game? A tale from a race? Were the bases loaded, down by three, with a full count in the bottom of the 9th? Nope, this story is of my drive to the police academy this morning.
I have always lived by the rule that there is noting worse than being late. I used to reflect that rule on everyone else and there was no greater insult than when someone was late. Over time I realized that I am the only one who is always early (sometimes 90 minutes early!) and have grown to realize that getting mad at others for being late is a waste of time.
Be that as it may I still have to be early. This morning, however, getting up was a challenge. I had a presentation last night and was my endurance is starting to waiver. Yesterday was my 15th presentation in 12 days so I think anyone would be tired and because of this getting up was a challenge.
The "snooze" button was hit on my phone every five minute for over an hour. I wanted to get up at 6:17 (I, for some reason, always set my alarm to a number that isn't a '5' or a '0') and eat at the Courtesy Diner before my presentation. 6:17 came, then 6:37, 6:57, and finally at 7:27 I got out of bed and knew I was in a time crunch.
Anxiety? Yes. Self disappointment? Very much so. Glad I have a new car with plenty power? You have no idea! I have never been late to a presentation and being late to a police presentation would not be acceptable. I quickly got ready and was out the door within four minutes of getting out of bed.
Have you noticed that any time you're running late traffic is always worse? I have and that rule played true as my car with plenty of power was useless as the traffic on Hampton was bumper to bumper. In fact, it was bumper to bumper all the way from Hampton, to the I-64 ramp and I did not get to use any power until I got on the exit ramp and then I floored it.
As I reached the top of the ramp the light switched to yellow. I am a stickler on this as yellow lights mean stop in my book because Saint Louis now has red light cameras at certain intersections and it seems each light's yellow is on a different timer therefore messing around and going through a yellow is not worth the risk. I also have the rule of not being late and that rule trumps the rule of yellow so I flew around the right hand corner and made it through as the light went red.
The time was now 7:48. My presentation starts at 8:00. I had to go from Clayton Road up to Page and then West about a mile.
Have you ever noticed that when you're running late all the lights seem to plot against you? Every light I hit went red right before I got to it. Aggravation was setting in and I watched each movement of my clock on my dash in dismay. 7:50, 7:51, 7:52 and then 7:53 came and I finally made it to Page.
While sitting at the red light at page I looked at my phone's clock and at that point in time my phone rang. I did not recognize the number, but using logic I determined that it would be the person running the CIT training and I knew he would call me to ask where I was. Sure enough my logic proved true and I said I was just about there.
The following two stop lights got a laugh by stopping me and I thought about going through one red because there was no traffic. But while my rules of yellow are my own the law is the law and my personal vendetta on not being late could not trump the law of red.
I pulled into the academy parking lot at 7:57 and I ran into the building and entered the room at 7:59. I noticed something as I entered the classroom and that was I had forgotten to take my sunglasses off! My regular glasses were in my car, but there was no time to get them so I did my presentation without glasses. Thankfully the font is large on my PowerPoint and making eye contact with the officers in the room was impossible because I simply could not see it. Perhaps this could be a presentation tactic should eye contact ever become difficult for me in presentations.
So, while I did cut it close my streak of being on time continues. I will be sure not to let this happen again because this type of drama is not something one should ever wake up to! And, if everyone did have my rules of being early, the roads would be a very scary place so for that I am thankful not everyone is a strict as I am on being early.