Friday, August 27, 2010

It's Big So Everyone Can See

Oh, dear. This morning has been very, very funny.

Yesterday afternoon, our receptionist asked me if I could go pick up a check from Wal-Mart at 7:30 in the morning since I lived closer to it than she did. It was a check for the March of Dimes, and since our company is a big partner with them, we are on a first-name basis with the regional representative, Abby. Wal-Mart was donating $1,000 to the March of Dimes, but Abby actually lives in another town and wasn't going to be able to pick it up, so she asked her go-to person, (also our receptionist) Melissa, to do it. "Why 7:30 in the morning?" I asked Melissa. She didn't know, but I didn't have a good excuse to not do it other than 30 more minutes of sleep which seems really petty and ungrateful when someone is donating $1,000 to babies. So, I said yes. I realized on the way home that I neglected to consider that Ryan and I's one carpool day (now that he is back to school) is Friday. I had to ask him to get up early with me if we wanted to carpool, which we did.

We were on schedule (somehow) as we drove past the insane traffic that was headed into town for work (thankfully we were heading out of town), but Ryan mentioned he would probably have to call in and let them know he was going to be late just because of the traffic. He dropped me off at the entrance of Wal-Mart and I walked briskly towards customer service, as instructed. There was a re-grand opening ceremony getting started that I had known about through the chamber of commerce partnership. As an ambassador for my company with the partnership, I am supposed to go to these events, but I had declined this one as it was 7:30 in the morning! Little did I know I would be here anyway. I asked the lady at the desk for the person I was supposed to ask for, "Sara Richards" (name changed to protect the... ahem... innocent). She asked me to wait a moment and she went off in the direction of the 100 or so people gathered around a man speaking at a podium in the produce section. Right then they started praying. They had brought someone in special for this... I was very touched to hear the prayer, it was a very good one. However, about 5 minutes into the prayer, the employee helping me motioned for me to come to her. She whispered and pointed out Sara Richards in the crowd. I thanked her and headed into the crowd to get closer.

I was beginning to feel like this was a bad situation. Why had Sarah asked me -- err, Abby -- to come at 7:30 in the morning if she knew she was going to be in the middle of a ceremony??? Maybe she just sucks at thinking ahead, I thought. When the long prayer was over, everyone turned towards the flag and said the Pledge of Allegiance. Then, a lady came up and sang the National Anthem. It was all a very nice ceremony, but I was preoccupied. How was I going to get to Ms. Richards without causing a stir? She was standing kind of at the front, so I was afraid she was part of the important ceremony people and I called on all of my social rules knowledge to weigh whether it was appropriate to tap her on the shoulder or not. Ryan was waiting in the car -- he probably was getting more concerned by the second and definitely later to work.

All of a sudden, I heard the speaker say, "Abby Perkins with the March of Dimes. Abby, are you here?" I didn't have much time to think, but I raised my hand and went up to the front, telling the speaker that I wasn't Abby but I was here on her behalf. A lady handed me the oversized check and shook my hand. I looked down at her nametag. It read, "Sarah." I must have misunderstood who the employee who had helped me was pointing at. Who knows who the lady in pink was that I had targeted! They took a couple of pictures, I smiled big. Everyone was clapping. Oh gosh, I am going to be in the paper, I thought.

Well, I got the check. And after standing there with it under my arm and clapping for a bunch of things, worrying about what Ryan was thinking, it was finally over. They cut the ribbon, everyone clapped, and I split. Well, I went as fast as I could without making it look like I was running away with the check. Ryan was standing outside the entrance on his phone. I heard him say, "Tell Steve I'm going to be about 30 minutes late." And he hung up. I showed him the big check and told him what had happened and he laughed so hard, which was a great relief to me. He said it was worth being late because it made such a good story. Bonus: I love him.

I'm really glad I opted to put my makeup on in the car ride BEFORE getting to Wal-Mart!

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