#3. Breakfast Malfunction
So you've woken up without incident. You've excreted and showered like a champ. Even gotten dressed. Now it's off to the kitchen for the most important meal of the day: breakfast. Just a little sustenance to keep you focused. You're no dummy. You know no one likes processing TPS reports with a rumbly tumbly. You pour yourself a bowl of cereal, get a spoon, and . . . oh dear God, THERE'S NO MILK! You've poured cereal with no milk, and now your cheerios mock you with their round cardboardy dryness.
My stomach is digesting itself as I write this. I know you're always talking about the need to plan ahead and, of course, you're right. In fact, I hope you've noticed the extra hours I've been putting in to stay on top of my assignments. The bad news is that with all the extra work, I haven't had a chance to go shopping. I'm guessing you can see where this is going. Yeah, I didn't buy milk. This cereal is not happening. I guess I'll head out and buy some milk, but I'll have to wait another hour for the supermarket to open and then by the time I buy it, come back and eat it, it will be like midday. So I'll see you tomorrow, and I'll buy some extra milk today in an effort to plan ahead and prevent this in the future.
#2. Ruined Clothing on the Way to Work
So you've made it out of the house. Congratulations, but the road to compensated labor is a long one filled with treachery and deceit. One of the most dangerous threats to the completion of your mission? Public transportation and its evil companions, seats and coffee. I see some of you already know what I'm talking about. (Because I have super blogging powers that allow me to see my readers. Duh. I told you I'd be King some day.) Anyway, for the rest of you, let me explain. It can be super difficult to drink coffee on a bus or train without spilling it on yourself. You hit a bump; a passenger with a backpack gets careless; or Starbucks accidentally sets your coffee from "way too hot" to "flesh-peeling-scalding" and you jerk your cup, dropping a big brown amoeba of an eyesore onto your shirt. Especially, if it's a light blue shirt. Spilled coffee loves light blue shirts. (I know these things for a fact. Again. King.)
Or maybe you successfully navigate your coffee, but the armrest catches your pants pocket as you sit, ripping a hole, or you sit in gum, or you didn't notice that the duct tape holding the seat together is now all over you. The point is, it's a war zone out there, and starting your day with ripped or stained clothing just guarantees failure.
Some people just want to fail.
So close today. Really. Was about to come in, but wouldn't you know it. Sat in gum and spilled coffee on my light blue shirt. Don't worry, I'm getting it all professionally laundered, but that could take all day. I know. I'm disappointed too, but I wouldn't dream of reflecting poorly on the office, looking anything other than my best.
#1. Seeing Your Ex With Their New Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Husband/Wife
You're almost out of the woods. Head free of fear; bowels voided and steam-cleaned; stomach filled with goodness; and looking your finest in stain-free clothing. This is the day you'll finally make quick work of the Penske file and maybe even clean your desk. You head towards the office and there it is: your ex with her new man. (Or your ex with his new girl if you're a girl, or your ex with her new girl if you're a lesbian or your ex with his new guy if you're a gay man, or maybe you're straight, but now your ex is gay and with their new partner, or maybe yours was an intergalactic romance with a species that eschewed traditional notions of gender, but you see what I'm saying.) They look happy. As happy or happier than when you guys were together. And now you're not together. Maybe you're even glad you're not together. Maybe you were even the one to break it up. Even so, that image will stick with you as it sears into your brain while you hide behind a newsstand to avoid being seen. And if they broke up with you? Well, then forget it. You're not getting any work done today.
For a time, you two were very happy.
Remember that time you asked me why I wasn't married, and if I were "some sort of a fag?" And then you laughed and walked away as I tried to explain? First, let me just thank you for taking an interest in my personal life. Also, I wanted to let you know that your question -which obviously had to be meant ironically if you want to avoid allegations of creating a hostile work environment- was really funny. Well, if you'd stayed instead of reading Money magazine in your corner office while occasionally sending me e-mails asking for ETAs on assignments, you would have heard about Rachel - the one who got away. Anyway, I saw Rachel this morning, sucking face with a Calvin Klein underwear model. I'm taking the rest of the week. Thanks.