So I get up this morning and step through the shower, perform the rest of my ablutions with more than my normal vigor, and get out the door about 15 minutes early, planning to grab breakfast on the road, because we've got a big meeting between a couple of our clients and some other lawyers at the office today.
My drive in to work is uneventful. I stop to get one of those pint bottles of milk and some cereal at a convenience store (one in the chain of gas stations labelled "Git-N-Go" that're pretty numerous here in the Tennessee Valley) and, as I roll into the office, I notice several things.
First, the boss's car isn't in the parking lot. There is another car, one I don't recognize, parked near the telephone pole in the middle of the lot.
Second, the office isn't open. I can tell because the flag isn't flying. The boss is not one to let the authoritarian right and the war hawks have the flag all to themselves, and he always puts it out on a nice, sunny day like this.
Third, there are two people standing next to the door into the office.
Crap. Someone's dropped the ball somewhere, and I have to make sure that it wasn't me.
All right. So I get out of the car, leaving my breakfast in the passenger seat, and approach the two people next to our door. Yep, it's the other lawyer and the court reporter, both of whom drove up here from Nashville yesterday for this meeting.
Okay, all's not lost. It's not 9 o'clock yet. So I let them into the office, and plug all the lamps in (they have to plug in, one of them doesn't even have a switch) and then I go call the boss.
"You mean the meeting's at nine? I thought it was at ten! I'm on my way. Put 'em in the upstairs conference room. Where are our clients?"
So I unlock the conference room and try to call the motel where our clients are staying.
"I'm very sorry, sir, there's no one by that name staying here. He just called me to say that he's in front of your office right now, but he can't get in."
Seriously, that's what the guy who answered the phone said. They don't have our guests as clients, but incidentally, they can't get into our building.
So I go down to the parking lot. Good, the boss's car is here, but there's no new car. Our clients are probably on the other side of the building, parked on the street. It's back through the building for me. The boss is in here somewhere, but I don't see him.
I do see our clients as soon as I unlock the streetside door. Both of them are over 80, and I usher them indoors to meet the boss coming out of the downstairs conference room. He gets them seated in there, and I head upstairs to make coffee.
The coffee's percolating along nicely when I discover that our non-dairy creamers have become obstinate lumps in the bottoms of their bottles. So they'll have to make do with sugar and sugar substitute. Fortunately, everyone eventually takes their industrial-strength coffee black (seriously, I think the boss got some ultra-mega-jumbo strength coffee that makes, like, 100 cups or something on one filter pack) except me, and I manage to sneak out and get my breakfast so's I can put some milk in my coffee.
So, a bad start to a day that is rapidly shaping up much better than it used to be.
Still, my robot brain needs beer.