Never think you day simply cannot go from bad to worse. You are always one bad decision away from a frighteningly awful day. Case in point:
I was on my way to a client meeting this morning. It was in a part of Tulsa that is just darn difficult to reach from where I office, so no route is a “good” one. After evaluating the “less bad” choices I had, I chose a route and started driving. While I left on time for the drive, I chose the route poorly… and after a few miles I could feel the pressure of the dash clock on my car as it ticked the minutes away. I found myself sitting at a red light in the left-turn only lane at a major intersection, wishing I’d gone the long way around but avoided this particular intersection which is known to the locals as a time-sink of enormous proportions because the light timing is unreliable. After waiting through one full light cycle without a left turn arrow (oy!) behind a gentlemen who was obviously agitated by the situation (arms waving, steering wheel being pounded), it looked like all would be well. Then, sirens…
First one, then another firetruck approached the intersection and barreled through (during my green arrow, dammit!) and then an ambulance did the same. By the time all the emergency vehicles had cleared the intersection, the arrow was red again and I and the very agitated man in front of me got to wait through another full light cycle. By this time, I am certain to be late. And the guy in the car ahead of me looks like he’s about to have a heart attack he’s so upset. I feel a little bad for him, because he’s obviously in a hurry to get somewhere. Traffic behind me is built up into a long line of people waiting to turn left… and I notice that right behind me is a Tulsa police officer.
I am giggling a little at heart-attack guy in front of me yelling at no one from inside his car when the light cycle sends the through traffic ahead and SKIPS THE LEFT TURN ARROW again. I start to fish for my phone to call my client and make the “I’m stuck in traffic call.” I notice the officer in the car behind utter a choice expletive (thanks, Dad, for making me watch football all those Sundays… I can lip-read cuss words like a boss). Then, I notice heart-attack man GO THROUGH THE RED ARROW ANYWAY and make his left turn.
The officer utters another choice expletive, the arrow finally turns green, and the officer hits his lights and sirens to fly out around my carefully-executed-into-the-nearest-lane-with-blinker-on turn to go stop angry man and ticket him for running the red light. So… to sum up, if you intend to break the rules, no matter how good the reason seems to you at the time, you better check your six first.
For those of you expecting marketing or PR wisdom, I apologize. Regularly scheduled content will resume once I stop laughing quietly to myself every time I think of the look on heart-attack man’s face when he realized he’d pulled that stunt right in front of a police officer.