My day began ominously as I had a required event at 7 am. For the individual who usually has literally nothing required on his schedule, this was quite a chock to my system.
In order to prepare effectively, I set my alarm for an early 6 am wake up, which I subsequently ignored until 6:14 (Bad Decision #1). In a rush to get in and out of the shower, I made a quick mental inventory of my morning routine which I would not participate in (Note, because I rarely leave my house before noon, I had quite an extensive amount of paring down to do). I immediately eliminated anything taking place after I was dressed (including preparing and enjoyiong a delicious bowl of steaming hot oatmeal garnished with a generous sprinkling of Domino brown sugar. This was Bad Decision #3; Although it had no direct fallout, I think that the impaired decision making from this point on was a result of Quacker Oats deficiency).
I also eliminated shaving from my routine (Bad Decision #2; fallout of BD #1). A few minutes later I am sitting in line at said required event, waiting for my number to be called (literally and figuratively). When I finally am ushered into the official prep room for my "Respirator Fit Testing" (read: glorified how-to on how to put a simple mask on your mouth). However, as our lovely assistant was passing out masks, she hesitated by me, look scrutinizing at my chin, and stretched a skeptical index finger towards my face. She proceeeded to gently push on the hair of my chinny-chin-chin. Literally. She then informed be that because I was not clean shaven, I could not participate in the fitting (What? I swear these masks came in small, medium and large. I promise my man-stubble will not interfere with the proper generic sizing of my mask).
Nevertheless, I obliged, left my group behind me, and proceeded to exit the building. Feeling, limber, I decided that I should climb down the four stories (BD #4) instead of taking the elevator because I am still a young buck (okay, so I got lost and couldn't find the elevators. Sue me, I didn't get my morning sustenance). Once in the stairwell, I quickly realized, this was not an ordinary stairwell. That is, I could get down to the third floor, no lower, and I passed a door that clearly led out to a rooftop terrace (and I'm not talking about one that would likely have a pleasant view in Italy. Like the little Red Bar on the door kind).
Anyways, I tried to exit on the second floor. Of course, the door was locked. I tried the third floor. Locked. The fourth floor, from which I entered. Locked. Luckily, there were some uber-strange hallways connected to the third floor. I walked down the hallway (yes, there was a weird hallway in this parallel stairwell universe) continually waiting to get mugged. Finally I found a door that would open into the back of what looked like a physicians office on the third floor. Fearing I would end up Being John Malcovich, I stepped through the door and found my way to the elevator bank.
Oh, that I would my adventure be over. I found the elevators, gleefully stepped on, and travelled to floor number 1 (BD #5, not really my fault though). Anyways, once on the bottom floor, I realized. Hmmm, either I ended up way far away from where I started, or I am not on the floor I want to be on. I think the tunnel resembling the sort of thing you travel between airline terminals in should have been a give-away.
To bring a rambling story to the end, I finally ended up finding another stairwell, which I hesitantly entered and found my way to the lobby after a few brief embarrasin run-ins: 1) you know those bloody hospital doors, that you have to press a button before you open them? Yeah, well sometimes its not crystal clear exactly what one should do. 2) Anytime you are dressed in street clothes and have to travel through a hallway where everyone else is dressed in surgical scrubs (and those dang masks that I had too much stubble to be fit for) its probably bad news. I suggest averting eye-contact and running towards aforementioned door.
Finally, I made my way into the daylight and had a moment, pretty much identical to Andy's after obtaining his Shawshank Redemption (well, minus the rain, feces, and shoes in a plastic bag).
Nonetheless, I learned my lesson today. And that is, of course, when a Quaker offers you a delicious bowl of hot, steamy, quasi-liquid/quasi-solid hearty goodness, you do not turn him down. And if you do, prepare to face his wrath.