Monday, October 03, 2005

A Costly (and Stupid) Mistake

This past Wednesday, 21 September, was 'Back to School Night' at my school. This was an evening when parents come to meet with teachers, look at their child's books, and basically get a better sense of what is going on during the school day.

As a homeroom teacher, I had to give a 1/2 hour presentation to my students' parents, after which I was ambushed by the parents of my students from my other classes (math, english, science) with questions and requests for special attention for their child (these requests of course came from the parents of those children with whom I have the biggest problems because of their behavior. Figures.). By the time I got out of school and home it was after 10pm. As if I wasn't already exhausted after being at school for over 12 hours, I had a parent meeting the next morning at 8am to discuss a student who is having some problems in math.

Before you begin to wonder, 'what the f*ck is she going on about??', this is all to give you a sense of where I was mentally by the next morning, the morning of the costly (and stupid) mistake.

So...on Thursday morning I managed to get up early (or earlier than usual) so that I would get to school before 8am. I was feeling pretty good about being a bit ahead of time instead of rushing. I got my stuff together, and then went to the door to leave. I usually just then grab my keys as I walk out the door, but this time I picked up another set, as I was looking for F's car keys (he had asked me to close the sunroof on his car before it rained). I was annoyed because I couldn't find the car keys, and so I just put that set back on the hook, went out the door, and closed it behind me.

As the door shut, I realized with horror that I did not have my keys in hand. I stood there, not believing what had just happened. But I had to get to work and to this parent meeting, so I just continued downstairs. Well, I got to the front door of our building, and tried to open it, but it was locked, and when the door is locked, you need your key to open it.

Now I started to panic.

I was trapped - I couldn't get in my apt, and I couldn't get out of the building. We have only 2 neighbors in the building: J, who lives next door, and the dentist, who has her office on the floor below us. It was only 6:45 am, and the dentist wouldn't be there until at least 7:30am, so I couldn't wait there for her to let me out. I hated to ring J's bell at this hour, but I had no other choice. Thankfully, she was home (and awake), and she let me out.

I left F a frantic message, realizing that he couldn't come back from Frankfurt that night because he was going to Hamburg for a work function. So he was my 'secretary' (his words) and he arranged for a locksmith to come at 5pm. J would let me in to the building, and we would wait together for the locksmith.

The locksmith did come - he was a portly fellow (big like Brian Dennehy) who put on a good show - grunting and shaking his head and tsking at me about how difficult this job was. Anyway, after 25 mins he gave a big heave against the door and went flying through it. Luckily the door didn't sustain any damage.

My wallet, however, did . The picture you see above is the bill for my mistake. It cost 120 euros just for this joker to show up. I am looking into the possibility of having a key sewn into my flesh so I never forget my key again.


Anonymous Gabi said...

I can wholeheartedly empathize. The same thing had happened to me years ago and it turned out to be even more expensive as it was a week-end. For those reasons only it's worth learning all about lock-picking, you'll probably find more info at Good luck!
P.S. It was great seeing you in Düsseldorf!

10:52 PM  

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