"Any C-level parking area" near my building essentially means I can park in the Van Allen Parking Deck, which is a little bit of a haul—about two blocks further from my office than where the bus drops me off, which is within one block of my office—although there is a Wolfline bus stop right near that parking deck that I can hop on to take to a stop right across the street from my building if the timing's right.
As a complete aside—as if I haven't already digressed enough—if I bought a parking permit to park at work, this parking deck is also the one I'd park in. And for that privilege, I'd pay $312 a year. Now you see why I take the free bus.
I never could understand having to pay to park at your place of employment, although I know many places that require it. To me, that's like asking the management company of a farmer's market how much it is to rent some space to sell produce, and her answering, "It's two dozen apples, six dozen oranges, and a peck of pickled peppers per pay period."
One of the first things I did this morning was to do my weekly weigh-in with the two colleagues to whom I'm accountable. I'm not going to talk about their progress in here, so all I'll say about today's weigh-in was that I was the biggest loser. Another two pounds gone.
Of my five scheduled meetings, I attended four, missing one of the two that overlapped in the morning. I attended my own department meeting, and skipped the department meeting of my sister department, which I attend as their "beat reporter."
Before a lunch time meeting, I ran home to grab a real quick bite and returned to campus at 11:15 only to find zero parking spaces available in the deck. I would be absolutely livid if I'd paid for a $312 parking pass and couldn't find a spot, as I'm sure must happen on and off, if not regularly.
To that end, I parked on the street behind my building where there's a two-hour free parking limit that is heavily patrolled. Leaving my car, I noted that I had to be back to move it by 1:20. I ran inside to attend my11:30-12:30 "Lunch & Learn" presentation by three management leaders in our organization who recently attended the EDUCAUSE Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference in Baltimore.
Later in the day, I attended an NCSU Mobile Web team meeting, which went from 2:00-3:00, and just as the meeting was ending, it occurred to me that I'd never moved my car! Shortly after that, I left for my annual eye exam sure that I would find a ticket flapping on my windshield as I approached my car.
To my absolute astonishment, there wasn't one. I looked twice down into the crevice outside of the windshield where the windshield wipers are connected just to make sure. And then, when I started down the road, still in disbelief, I turned on my windshield wipers to make sure it wasn't stuck down in there or something. Living right.
Let me start off by saying that I absolutely love the practice at which I get my eyes examined—Triangle Visions Optometry, off Highway 54 in Durham.
Today's experience had me seeing red, however. I was there way too long, arriving a bit early—at about 3:30 for my 3:40 appointment, and finally leaving there close to 5:30. That's just too long. Not to mention paying over $500 for two little pieces of glass to help me see better.
With that said, the people there "get" customer service, and I was regularly "checked in with" to apologize for the wait and to see if I wanted anything, such as crackers, water or coffee, which did indeed lower my frustration level. And to acknowledge the cloud's silver lining, the waiting time did provide some blog fodder.
While in the lobby waiting, I witnessed this exchange as a mother and son came up to the desk to check out:
Lady behind desk, to the mother: "Do we need some contacts today?"
Mother, indicating son: "He only needs a 6-month supply, because he's been bad. I need a year's supply."
Once called back, the lady that does all the pre-work, which consists of a lot of things and whom I think of as the equivalent to the hygienist in a dentist's office, sat me in an examination room turning me to face a nearby wall. While pointing to a framed diploma hanging on it, she said, "I want you to look right here at this poster."
My mind went into all caps mode as I thought, "POSTER? YOU'RE CALLING THAT A POSTER? IT'S A DIPLOMA. SOMEBODY PUT IN UNTOLD HOURS TO EARN THAT. IT'S NOT A POSTER. IT'S A DIPLOMA!"
When I finally saw my eye doctor, who is wickedly handsome and extraordinarily personable, we started off with a very interesting conversation about blogging and tweeting (he remembered that I'm an avid blogger as I'd once pointed him to the entry about one of my previous visits in which I'd posted his pictures of my eyeballs), and he told me about an upcoming conference that he's attending, where they'll talk about, among other things, using social media in running an optometry business. wOOt!
As expected, my eyesight has deteriorated a little bit, but the doc assured me in the most empathetic way that my eyes were perfectly healthy in terms of any disease. "This change is simply a result of birthdays," he said, kindly avoiding an alternative sentiment such as, "Your ass is getting old—and your eyes are going down with it."
In yet another sign (as if we need another sign) that health care and insurance are out of control in this country, my new glasses (sans frames) cost me $508, broken down as follows:
- Progressive Lens: $395 - $150 = $245
- Glare resistance: $90 - 20% = $72
- Light weight lenses: $110 - 20% = $88
- Auto-tinting: $130 - 20% = $104
While checking out and paying today's bill, I noted a large sign on the wall that has replaced a huge family portrait of my eye doctor and his many children—six or seven, I believe. The sign articulates the business's vision statement, which of course made me smile thinking, "Clever as an eye practice to display a vision statement as opposed to a mission statement." Love the pun play on "vision."
I also noted this reference at the bottom of the sign, "1 Corinthians 10:31." I made a note to look that up when I got home.
After a frustrating drive (I got lost a couple of times) to Durham, I met Robert for a nice dinner at Elmo's Diner, for which he treated. Thanks, my sweet! I had meatloaf, mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole, and a dinner roll, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I only ate half of the meatloaf and half of the mashed potatoes and boxed the other half to go.
Once home, after a long, long day, I totally didn't want to, but I made myself go to the gym. I arrived there at a little after 9:00 and I did a vigorous 30-minute cardio workout on the elliptical machine burning off 575 calories. Yay, me!
Bubba was there tonight, over in the free weights area, and not unexpectedly, yammering—to two guys. I'm not sure if he was talking about the Dolly Parton Diet or the latest sign of the apocalypse, but I do know that his stomach is still eclipsing any results of power sets he might or might not still be doing for his arms and chest. I kept my headphones on tight, and avoided any eye contact in that direction.
Back home, I had a short instant message conversation with Robert, played a little online Scrabble, and then did about two hours worth of homework for class tomorrow, including updating the Wordpress blog I'm keeping for the class.