May 12th, 2012 - Technical Difficulties.

"On May 12th, 2012, a lot of wonderful things happened. Tübingen police managed to retrieve a 13-year-old child that was kidnapped from her family just the day before. In Stuttgart, 39-year-old Michael Bauer* won 50.000,00 EUR through a scratch-off-ticket. In the neighborhood of Reutlingen, Baden-Württemberg, 6-year-old Mario Luciano* celebrated his birthday. Over all, the day has been great for a lot of people...

except Kletti."

*Names changed.

It should've been a great day. It was my last day at work before a 1-week-vacation I had filed for months ago. In my office (I am the chief of supplies of a medium-sized financial services company located in Stuttgart City, Germany), there were only some minor things going on. Handymen were installing a new board on the roof displaying a company logo. 3 new company cars were to be delivered today. Almost no more supply requests in the pipeline. It seemed to become a very slow day on which I could prepare everything properly before going on vacation...

Well, at least those were my thoughts when I started my 1-hour-daily commute to my job.

I should've realized that my day was going to hell as soon as I got up and tripped over one of our cats, which resulted in me doing a head-first free fall down the stairs. Nothing happened. No bruises, no broken bones. I just was awake after that.

I headed out towards the bus stop. Since my wife needed the car I decided to be ecologically minded and do what many commuters do: Take the bus instead of the motorbike. I mean, it was a good idea, right?

WRONG! As soon as I came to the bus stop, the display there informed me that the bus line was not running today due to technical difficulties. No problem. I took a walk.

After 30 minutes of a brisk walk up and down the hills, I arrived at the train station, just in time for the train rolling in. I ran towards it, and slit into the door just before it closed. Getting a seat was an idea I could abandon at the spot. This wasn't a train. This was a bleeding sardine can.

1 hour later, I arrived in Stuttgart City. I fell out of the train and decided that now would be a good time to stop by my favorite coffee shop to get a nice cup of joe.

Another idea bites the dust.

When I got there, I had to find out that the health department closed down this nice coffee shop due to a rodent infestation the day before.

So, I headed into the office. No coffee, no cigarettes (I am trying to quit again) - my mood was already getting bad.

As soon as I got there (I hadn't even punched the clock yet), I saw the handymen who were supposed to work on the roof leaving. Why? Because security don't know their *** from their ellbow and kindly overlooked the memo from my department and from facility management informing them about the work. Lovely. Just lovely.
No coffee, no breakfast, me already sweating like a pig from the commute, I had to sort this mess up. Finally, the handymen could go to work - with only 1 hour delay.

I punched the clock and headed up. Got my mail. Checked my e-mail. Ok. Everything calm. Nothing big. Wonderful.

My phone rang again around 11 informing me about the delivery of 1 of the 3 company cars. Nothing big, nothing major, just a VW Passat for one of our sales reps. Dealt with that. Only to find out that all off the sudden the sales rep - who requested this car in exactely that colour was all of the sudden not convinced that this was the colour he selected. He made a big deal out of it in front of the guy delivering the car. Guys - how many shades of black are there?

Well, I dealt with that. The second car - a new Mercedes-Cargovan for Facility Management (the old one finally went into the happy hunting ground the previous week) was delivered shortly after that without any incident.

The third car I really was looking forward to. It was a Mercedes E-Class limousine for one of the company's executive managers. I spend the better part of 3 months configuring the vehicle according to the ever-changing wishes of that particular manager. And now, it was finally here. A dream in obsidian-black metallic. Avantgarde-package. The finest of the finest. Whew... I get goosebumbs just thinking about it.

Well, we just took the car over from the dealer, and we were standing in front of the building looking at the car. The manager smiled - he was happy with his new toy. I smiled - because I knew how much work it took to get everything right. But what do my ears hear? A weird noise from above. Followed by an "Achtung"-shout by one of the handymen and the really disturbing noise of metal crashing into metal.

What happened?

Well, one of the letters for the new logo, which was heaved up there by a crane, slipped out of the ropes securing it to the hook. As a result, the new Avantgarde-Mercedes was turned to a obsidian-black pancake. Only the Star (the typical hood ornament) remained intact.

Of course, we had to deal with this situation. Filing accident reports with the police, the insurance, getting our lawyers down here to check if the contractor was liable for the damage (you bet your hairy love-eggs they were)... By the time that was done with, it was 14:00 hours.

Here comes Tom, the talking tummy. In all that mess, I forgot to eat lunch. So, I headed over to the cafeteria. Of course, at 14:00 hours, they are out of everything - except for cold soup. No thanks.

I went back to my desk with a grumbling stomach. Responded to a couple of e-mailed requests and spent the afternoon writing down what the person filling in for me will have to attend to while I'm gone.

It's 1700 hours. I hurry out of my office. With any luck, I might be catching the 17:20 train homeward. I press the button for the elevator. Elevator comes, I go in, hit the button for the ground level, and the door closes. Elevator starts heading down. Well, it started. It never got there. In fact - the elevator, with me inside it, got stuck between the 2nd and the 3rd floor. Isn't that fan-*******-tastic?
I tried reaching our janitorial staff with my cell phone. What I didn't think of was that they take off around 16:30. The emergency-button in the elevator seemed not to be working - I pressed it repeatedly with no response.

At this point, I was freaking out. I haven't eaten anything yet, and I was trapped in a box with the positive outlook of remaining there until the next day or - worst case - even monday.

After 10 minutes or so, I heard someone talking over the speaker inside the elevator. The following is how the conversation went (roughly translated for your enjoyment. The actual conversation happened - due to the geographical location of myself, the elevator, and this story - in German):
Voice: "Hello?"
Kletti: "Hi. Can you help me?"
Voice: "Me not know. I no speaka ******* german."
Kletti: "What?"
Voice: "Me getting Boss. Holdink, please."

Another 5 minutes later:
Voice: "This is Stephan Ididnotcareforhislastname, Emergency Services. Are you stuck in an elevator?"
Kletti (thought): "No, you idiot, I am stuck in an airplane heading for the bermuda triangle".
Kletti (said): "Yes, sir. Can you send somebody out here, please?"
Voice: "Sure. Can you give me the address?"
Kletti: *insert address here*
Voice: "Ok. Which elevator are you stuck in?"
Kletti: "Number 4".
Voice: "Eh... Sorry, but we only have 2 elevators registered at that building. Is this *insert address with wrong house number here*?"
Kletti: "No, this is *insert adress with right house number here*"
Voice: "Ok, got you. We'll send somebody out right away."
Kletti: "Thank you. How long do you think this will take?"
Voice: "Not more than 10 minutes."


Guess what? 30 minutes later, I was still in that bleeding box. At this point, I assumed fetal position. I am normally not the kind of guy who falls into irrational fears, but I am a bit claustrophobic - AND 45 MINUTES IN A SHOE BOX IS NOT HELPING!!!

One hour after the elevator got stuck, the technician came and freed me. I headed for the station.

I got there and felt like the roman emperor Julius Casear. Instead of his more famous namesake, he once said: I came, saw... and didn't believe my eyes.

At this point, my only travel options were the 18:15, the 18:25 or the 18:55.

Let me correct that: the 18:15 was cancelled due to technical difficulties, the 18:25 was indefinitely delayed due to the 18:15 blocking the track and the 18:55 was still 55 minutes away - and chances were that they wouldn't depart in time, neither.

At 18:40, the 18:25 finally made station and I boarded. We left the station shortly after and made it all the way to... the point of the next technical difficulty. The engine of that train mailfunctioned around 19:10 near the town of Plochingen. So, we were sitting inside a large metal can, right in the sun, with no place to go. Needless to say: Still haven't eaten. At this point, I munched the only eatable thing I could find in the vast space of my back pack. But tictacs don't constitute a meal and they make one incredibly thirsty.

Somehow, the engineer managed to rig the engine so we could at least make it to Plochingen station - at a whopping speed of 2 km/h. We got passed by a snail.

As I glanced out of the window, longing for food and water, I saw the 18:50 passing us at full speed around 19:30. I should have ******* waited for that one.

We made it to Plochingen. From there, I managed to get onto an overstuffed regional train home. Got home around 21:00 hours - and headed for the first pub in sight. Beer. Meat. Fries. I needed that.

As I got home about half an hour later, I realized: I forgot my keys this morning. And my wife is working the late shift and won't be back for another 3 hours.

At this point, all I can say to this past day is:

Son of a *************, tittysucking, twoballed *****!
Kletti Kletti
1 Response May 11, 2012

I would have traded the beer for a double scotch rocks.. That can help three hours pass by! That really was a bad day...<br />
<br />
Such a well written story. The imagery was great :)