I’ve had a very long day, longer than I would have preferred or could have prepared for. It’s involved several forms of transportation across the state and away from work, which sounds like a relief until you realize that I was on an absolutely unnecessary business trip that involved too many hospitals of the same name. Let me expound.
Yesterday for Watson Elementary’s middle school commencement–assured to be a marvelous affair year after year–there were meant to be multicolored streamers available for decorating the gym walls. These streamers were nowhere to be found, told us Principal RILEY Stirrup early this morning, who had ordered the streamers via http://www.endlessssupply.com, one of our company’s biggest online-delivery-service clients. This delay, this one instance of misplaced customer dissatisfaction, was enough to set Wally on one of his the-customer-is-always-right skirmishes, and I, of course, was the first person he saw to help.
Since 7:30 a.m. it has been a relationship-reaffirming road trip with my boss and me and our two-stones-worth of fancy paper.
“Do you think we should stop for some breakfast before we hit the highway?” he started off.
“Did you recruit me so that I could help you make this decision?”
“No, I just thought we might need it.”
“We need this car, but is that something you think we need to go get?”
He glanced sideways. “If you don’t want breakfast, then fine. I’ve always been kind of a go-getter, but we can wait if you’d prefer.”
We were off on a tangent and then on the road.
Now, something worth understanding about where I live is the roadwork.
Wally took a detour from Exit 48 to 49.
The overpass at 49 was closed down to one-way traffic.
We sat staring at a red stop sign for 5 minutes before they waved us through. And Led was on the radio during that wait.
At 12:30 we reached the school. At 12:43 we got the chance to hang a left and actually go into the driveway. At 12:52 we found a parking spot.
The doors to the administrative offices were locked because their walls were being repainted–no surprise there. We dropped our parcels outside the door, and then we just had to find where our executive officer was hiding. Where do you imagine management would be at this time?
Why, the hospital, where else? St. Andrew’s Hospital, according to the lady cleaning the halls at the time. (JANET R.? I didn’t ask for a name.) Try the emergency entrance desk for directions; Mr. Stirrup had a concussion this morning.
Sad news, but we there was no time for comfortable conversation. I punched it into Wally’s truck’s GPS’s search bar, and guess how many addresses came up?
It’s four. (Yes, four. See, three too many. 1+3=4. QED.) And we had no idea which one this “Mr. Stirrup” was at.
The first we went to was actually a cluster of satellite practices.
The second one had nobody by the of name Riley Stirrup.
The third was closed for construction. It looked kind of shady.
The fourth and final one, which we crawled into, was the largest of them all. There the receptionist (TERRY?) told us that they did have a Riley Stirrup but that he wasn’t expecting guests. We told him that we didn’t expect him to be in the hospital, and at that he let us go up to his 4th floor room, suggesting we take the stairs.
“Mr. Stirrup?” Wally opened with, along with the door.
“Yes?” Riley said, sitting up and closing his magazine on a finger.
“I understand that you never received the party streamers that you ordered from http://www.endlessssupply.com? Well, my associate and I happen to be suppliers for that service, and we just delivered your streamers this afternoon.”
“We were going to send someone to the hobby store or something, but I guess that works.”
“Appreciate it, thanks, guys.” He then lifted his magazine once again.
We saw ourselves out the same way we came in, namely a state of–now extreme–hunger. We picked up fast food and drove home in silence.
I asked Wally when we got back at the warehouse if he was satisfied with his work for the day. “Gotta do whatcha-gotta do,” he said and walked away.
I questioned Wally’s true feelings when I found out later that he was closing down the http://www.endlessssupply.com account.
What I want to know is this: why St. Andrew? Because after some quick research, I found that Andrew is the patron saint of fishing and Germany, neither of which have much significance for the area. Maybe the hospital founder was an Andrew, or maybe they started small and drew more people in. I don’t know. I’m just exhausted right now. Deflated. I’m so not with it that I could report myself missing. In fact I just might do that and hide in bed for a few days.