What to do when your day doesn’t go according to plan

Sometimes your day goes according to plan and other times you’re powerless.

Recently, for instance, I planned to go to the gym in the morning, then stop at the grocery store and be home in time for lunch with my wife.

So on a 90-degree morning, I work out at the gym then drive to the supermarket, pick up some milk, bread and eggs, carry them to my car and press the ignition button to fire it up. The car doesn’t fire up. It merely makes a clicking noise, indicating that the car’s battery has either died or, at the very least, is feeling poorly.

Fortunately, I have my cell phone and an AAA card. I call the AAA number and a recording recites an interminable menu of options. As I am listening to the list a voice in my left ear declares: “battery, low,” which means my hearing aid is on the verge of no longer being an aid, but merely an expensive lump of plastic clogging my ear and making me even deafer than normal.

Selecting the right option on the menu leads me to another recording, which instructs me to enter my 14-digit membership number. “Battery, low,” the voice in my left ear repeats. Entering my 14-digit membership number connects me to a person, who asks me to recite the 14-digit membership number I just entered. As I’m repeating the 14-digit number, I glance at the phone’s battery power indicator, which indicates that only 17 percent of its life is left.

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While my hearing aid and my cell phone compete to see which one can commit suicide faster, the person at AAA asks a list of questions. “Battery, low,” the voice keeps repeating. The cellphone battery indicator dwindles to 11 percent.

Finally the AAA person says a truck will come out to jump-start my car’s battery in half an hour or so. By which time, I’m pretty sure, the 90-degree day will sour my milk, toast my bread and hatch my eggs. So I go back into the air-conditioned store to wait for the truck. While I’m waiting, the handle on my grocery bag breaks and the groceries hit the floor, scrambling five of the eggs. By this point, it occurs to me that I should call my wife and let her know I’ll be late for lunch. But now the phone’s battery is completely dead. And I wouldn’t be able to hear anyway because the hearing aid battery is equally dead.

Eventually the truck arrives, my car battery gets jumped and I drive home, having learned an important lesson about keeping my day from not going as planned.

Stop making plans.

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