Saturday, January 23, 2010


I'll totally admit that I'm a bit of a whirlygig and am always racing from project to project and place to place. An old boyfriend swore that I built a nest where ever I landed for more than ten minutes and I suppose he's right. Just looking at where I plopped down to write there is a glass of water, a banana peel, the coat I was taking to the closet when the spirit moved me to blog and a book.

I may not always look organized on the surface but my system works for me. There are a few things I pride myself on - somethings I that I can control. I've never run out of gas (knock on wood) or lost my keys (except for the whole gunpoint incident).

When I get to work I always hung them on the end of a wire file rack. They'd hang there where I could see them out of the corner of my eye, the Jesus flashlight and Hatch key chain and keys to my truck, house and three jobs swaying slightly every time I opened a drawer or grabbed a file.

Last week I got a new computer at work - a laptop with a docking station! Gone from my desk was the clunky monitor which hid a multitude of desk top sins. This prompted a desk purge. Since I'd been at Second Helpings the longest I've inherited eleven years worth of files. I shredded six bags of papers - did we really need the credit application for the oven we purchased in 1998?

This two-day project left enough room in my drawers for the files which used to live on my desktop. My desk looked like it came from the pages of an Ikea catalogue. Kim would be proud. Everything had a new home. Everything but my keys that is.

You guessed it. My keys disappeared from my desk. Gone. Vanished. And I didn't discover that they were gone until everyone else had long left work. I spent an hour dumping out my purse, taking everything from every drawer, emptying the trash and recycling and crawling over every inch of the office. I also searched my truck - in the dark below zero degree parking lot.

I finally gave up and called my boss to tell her I was going to drive the company car home. Ever since the locking myself out of the house in my pajamas incident I've had house keys stashed with various neighbors so getting in the house was no problem.

I just walked in the door when the alarm company called to report the alarm was not set. Damn it! I'd used the garage door opener to leave the building and had not set the alarm. I thought about letting it go, but decided that missing keys + lack of alarm was probably not a good combination. So I bundled back up and headed back downtown. As I was about half way there I realized the car was beeping. Lights were on and seat belt was buckled. What else could it be? I looked at the gauges with a sinking feeling. There probably should be some bars or something showing the level of fuel. Nothing. Running on empty. As much as I love my city I recognize that there are areas of town I should not be stopping in at 11:00 p.m., and I was driving though one of them.

Since I'd run out without my purse I just kept driving toward work. I'd be damned if this was going to be the day that I ran out of gas AND lost my keys. The car is a Prius that powers down when it's idle. Every time the engine switched off at a stop light I was sure it was out of gas.

I pulled into the dark parking lot and used the garage door opener to get back in the building. The door is huge, big enough to get our box trucks under. As it was going up and back down I had to kept a watchful eye to make sure no one darted into get out of the cold.

I walked up to my office to grab petty cash to buy gas when I noticed light under the woman's room door. I have those lights on a sensor to turn off after ten minutes of no motion. I hadn't been in there for hours. So I did the only sensible thing. Swung the door open and looked.

Someone had switched the switch from 'auto' to 'on.'

Now that I had myself fully creeped-out I set the alarm and darted out to the car. I drove to the nearest station, which was in an even worse area than I'd driven through. A police car followed me in and sat there while I paid and pumped gas. Thank you sir!

I went to bed with the certainty that someone had grabbed my keys by accident and they would turn back up. No such luck. I did have several helpful folks ask if I'd left them at home or in the truck. Um, no. I drove to work and let myself into the building.

Ironically on January 1st I'd made a list of things that slow me down. I'd replaced my home printer, moved the clothes to the basement and signed up for home recycling. Getting a spare truck key was next on the list.

I called the dealership where I'd purchased the truck eight years ago to ask about a new one. I was prepared for it to be over $50. Guess what? $9.5o! I'll take two please! Driving a nine year old truck with no bells or whistles is finally paying off!

While they were being cut I wandered into the waiting room. There was a popcorn machine, diet Pepsi in the cooler, WiFi, cable television and magazines! I was disappointed that it only took ten minutes for the new keys. I felt like I owed them money when I walked out.

My keys have still not turned up. Another strike against a clean desk.


Anonymous said...
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Cliff said...

I came here to tell you how very entertaining this post was and that you should look thru your purse again. BUT I see I need to go and learn about how to get high yield investmenst so bye.
btw you're lucky, I had to have my newest van towed to the shop some 25 miles away just to get a new key for the ignition. Seems their computer (stationary) needed to talk to the computer in our car. Old vehicles rock.

Gette said...

Amen to what Cliff said

Granny Annie said...

Surely someone will suggest that you have your locks changed. It is not a good idea to have someone out there with your keys. Perhaps it is Anonymous wanting high yields by investing YOUR stolen money!

Live Well, Laugh Often & Love Much said...

Got to love Cliff.
Glad to read that there is another me out there in this world.


LZ Blogger said...

Nora ~ My keys have to be in only one of two places... either on my wash basin or ine my pocket... toher than those two places... I would be where you are... looking for the keys! I hope that all is well! ~ jb///

Rachel said...

Nora, this was an entertaining story. Amazing how your keys managed to walk off like that. I was on pins and needles afraid you'd run out of gas in a bad part of town! So glad that wasn't a part of your story!

I agree with Granny Annie! I'd change my locks!