Anything Can Happen…

ImageWell, the day started off well enough. I went down to breakfast, as usual, which is included at this hotel, and a mighty fine breakfast it is. A variety of pastries, coffees, cereal, juices, breads, ham, cheese and more. There is one dish of scrambled eggs which I usually hit each morning. The bacon however, is grossly fat and underdone. In general, the Italians eat VERY fatty meat and don’t give it a second thought.

ImageI took my usual table… the one by the double open doors. And I don’t care how chilly it is in the early morning – it is so refreshing and beautiful!

BUT, right after I opened the doors and walked up to the buffet to get my breakfast, another couple took a seat across from me and shut the doors! “How rude!” I thought when I came back…

Really, if you don’t want to sit near the open doors, then for heaven’s sake sit somewhere else in the room. There’s about 400 seats to choose from already…

So I just waited till they left and flung the doors open again. So there!

ImageNow’s here’s my daily trick… I always get some of this beautiful ham and cheese and a roll or bread and make myself a sandwich for lunch. Really, there is so much food available- and I can’t begin to eat a proper breakfast – so I snag a sammie, a piece of fruit and a pack of cookies. All good.

So as I said, the day started out well enough – except for that couple closing the door…

After breakfast, I settled in to the lobby to work. I had a huge job due today and my employer is none too happy with me. It has been hard to get the work done and turned in on time with my move and trip to Italy. And believe me, I understand that is not my employer’s problem. It is up to me to work it out.

You know I mentioned having a meltdown in the hotel lobby the other day. Well that was over the lack of internet connectivity. Today I was in a whole different soup.

The job was due and my usual take is that I will turn it in if I have to walk through burning snake pits. ( I just made that up – I don’t think there is such a thing as a burning snake pit. But if there was, I’d walk through it with my deformed feet to get the job done!)

It wasn’t a bad day to stay in and work – it did rain all day. And I had  gotten up super early to crank out the job. It didn’t crank. So I went to the Beautiful Breakfast and then back to the lobby to work.

After about 5 hours I needed a break. It was drizzling outside, but I figured on walking to a cafe for a bit. I had my ham sandwich and just needed a drink.

Well, blimey, it’s Monday (lunedi) and everything is closed!! Drats! And every African in a 3 mile radius is trying to sell me an umbrella!

So I walked far enough that I was almost to the bancomat – which is something you have to do a bit of planning for. You can only take out so many euro per day and I have to pay for my apt in Lucca on Wednesday, so I figured I’d keep going until I reached the bank.

I made it and got my euros, but I was drenched. And the Africans kept finding me. But I couldn’t stop walking because I knew I needed to get most of the way back before I stopped for a break. Finally, a cafe near my hotel came into site and I stumbled in for a cappuccino. Bliss. Pure bliss.

Then it was back to the hotel for a break and back to work. I settled in the lobby again and kept my nose to the grindstone for hours. Finally, I had the piece in respectable shape and retired to my room to proof-read it and send it in.

I made a few changes here and there and then closed the document so I could attach it to the email I was sending to my editor. I dashed off a fanciful note and then…

When I went to attach the document, it was gone.

Gone as in disappeared.

Gone as in vanished into cyberspace.

Gone as in I am now officially in a world of hurt.

All I could think was… “this can’t be happening!”

I’ve fought my hotel, I’ve walked all over tarnation looking for an internet connection, I’ve slept the oddest hours ever… and now this blasted promo is gone.

Quick – I googled how to recover a lost document. Microsoft Word Help popped up and outlined 6 ways to retrieve it. None of them worked. And I’m still sitting here thinking, OMG… this really isn’t happening.

So I sent off an email to my editor with an apology – knowing it means less than nothing – and took off for a break.This time I grabbed an umbrella at the front door of the hotel and I actually went out with just my key. No sketch book, no camera, no notes and no nothing to entertain myself. It was good just to walk briskly and swing that darn umbrella with a bit of authority.

And yeh, it is still Monday and lots of stuff is still closed. So I had to walk a far piece to find something to eat, but oh well. I sat and stewed – and didn’t know what to do with myself without my usual “stuff” with me, but I managed.

Eventually I felt ready to come back to the hotel and start the retrieval process. I was exhausted but I knew I would never sleep as long as I could remember any of the copy I had written over the past few days. So I got myself set up in the lobby again and got to it.

Right about that time, the English family I’ve been talking to the past couple days came back into the hotel. They popped over to see me since they are leaving tomorrow – and they had a couple gorgeous peach roses to give me! How encouraging on such a let-down day!

12 year old Emily and almost-9 Oliver remind me so much of my own grands that I really enjoyed spending time with them! I told them about my work dilemma and they were quite sympathetic. But they soon went over to the bar for some refreshments and playing of cards to keep the kids entertained.

Then… I was trying to save a new version of my lost document on the computer and I saw a temp file that I hadn’t seen before. I was leery of even moving the mouse, but I scrolled to the right and there it was… the copy I had been working on for days. I couldn’t believe it.

So I saved it TWICE to be sure and went back and re-read it to myself. Not perfect, but still enough to meet the current deadline. I turned it in at exactly 5pm U.S. East Coast time, which is 11 pm here. I was ecstatic!

As soon as I could pack up I went over to the bar area where the family was hanging out with their kids. I know I lit up when I told them I had found my missing file and got it turned in – so they invited me to sit at their table.

From there the evening got fun again. Emily was playing the piano, Dad and Ollie were doing card tricks, and me and the Mom just chatted away. Mom Judy told me that Ollie had been quite concerned over my work situation and had mentioned it a couple times. How sweet is that?

We finished out the evening with a few drinks, a few card tricks, a bit of piano playing and an impromptu art lesson. It was great fun and when you are living life day by day – no matter whether you are in Italy or not – you just never know what the day will bring.

This has been a long-winded account of a most ordinary day. An ordinary day that had more highs and lows than I expected! Just goes to show you should always get up in the morning prepared for anything… because anything really can happen…

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeanie Ader
    Oct 01, 2012 @ 21:16:54

    After reading your entertaining version of what could have been a very bad day, I am feeling terribly UNclassy from writing my fit a bit earlier to the group. Thank you so much for sharing!


    • thesketchylife
      Oct 02, 2012 @ 09:51:45

      Oh Jeanie! You know our private forum is for all the cursing and gnashing of teeth we can muster! And you are always so clever about it. I love reading your posts, especially when you are an on an evil bent…


  2. ellynm
    Oct 01, 2012 @ 22:01:08

    I’m not sure how well-behaved piano playing children could possibly make you think of MY kids… oh wait, you were thinking of your other two grandchildren… nevermind… 🙂

    I’m just glad you found your document. What a relief! Now you just get to wait for everyone to piss on it. (Vulgar language to the rest of you, I know, but it’s copywriter speak. It indicates the annoying tendency for everyone who proofs it to “mark their territory” by insisting on several changes to the copy – no matter how small.) But at least it’s done and turned in on time. Good job!


  3. MaryBeth Tipton
    Oct 01, 2012 @ 22:18:38

    OMG. I think I might bring you some relief….even if it is just retrieving food and doing some cooking. I am exhausted just reading this! Deep breath. In and out. I will see you soon. Ciao


    • ellynm
      Oct 02, 2012 @ 07:59:34

      No way! Are you It-ly bound, MB? If so, that’s awesome! Mom tried to get me to go but there’s no way I can be an ocean away from my kids at this point.


    • thesketchylife
      Oct 02, 2012 @ 08:47:12

      yes, you will no doubt be a BIG help and relief and I will slow you down terribly! But we will work it out and it is, after all… Italy!


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