When it’s a hole in your jacket disguised as a pocket.
Today in the span of about 20 seconds I suffered not one, but two, near heart attacks, both due to my new rain coat. Allow me to explain.
Checks were piling up on my desk at work, so I decided to run the deposit over to the bank this morning before it started raining. The weather forecast called for high winds and hail, and since the sky outside was threatening to repeat yesterday’s performance, I grabbed my rain coat and digital camera for the short walk over to the bank.
I get outside, and I put on my coat so that I can easily get to a pocket to put the wad of checks safely away. I roll them up and stick them in an inside mesh pocket and then pull out my camera. So, I’m fiddling with the camera, adjusting the settings, and I’m looking around at the sky to see if there’s anything worth taking a picture of, and all of a sudden I realize I don’t know where the checks are. I can’t feel them in my pocket. I can’t feel them in ANY pocket.
Now remember, this is a new coat, so I’m not used to the hidden nooks and crannies of it yet. I’m looking for the secret, extra-secure pocket that I must surely have put these checks in, but this coat is pretty thin and light-weight, so I’m foolin’ myself if I think this stack of six checks is hiding anywhere within.
This was a classic instance of when your brain is racing a mile-a-minute, and a million conflicting thoughts are speaking to you at once. While I’m starting to panic, one voice tells me not to panic, that “you’re always overreacting in situations like this and it always quickly turns out to be okay.”
Another voice was sighing impatiently to myself, expressing amazement that I could forget where I put these checks just ten-freaking-seconds-ago!
A faint voice was quietly starting to panic as well, adding up the sum total of the checks (which I won’t mention since it will only make me look even more foolish.)
Another voice was lamenting the pain and humiliation of having to deal with replacing all the checks.
Yet another voice said, “See I told you not to juggle your camera and the checks while putting on your coat as you left the building.”
And then another, much louder voice, piped up with “OH-MY-GOD-THIS-POCKET-HAS-A-HOLE-IN-IT!!! THIS-POCKET-IS-NOT-A-POCKET-AT-ALL!!!!!! IT-RUNS-ALL-THE-WAY-THROUGH-AND-OUT-THE-BOTTOM !!!!! THE-CHECKS-I-PUT-IN-THIS-NON-POCKET-ARE-GONE!!!!! RUN!!! RUN NOW!!!!!
(Heart Attack No. 1)
So, I sprint back across the street and along the sidewalk the way I’d come, praying that the checks were lying where they fell and hadn’t blown away across the REALLY BIG parking lot I’d just passed by. A block away I spotted them still paper-clipped together and lying on the sidewalk and I snapped them up. I haven’t run that fast in a very long time.
(Heart Attack No. 2)
I will share with you the lesson I learned from this little drama: Always test drive your new rain coat thoroughly before using it to transport important cargo. And then when you do, guard that cargo as if your job depended on it.