Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It makes me anxious

Today started out with some stress, became remarkably relaxed midday, and then hit the panic button again toward the end.

Stress Up: When I woke up this morning, after a night of heavy rain, I peeped out the front window to find that our street was starting to flood. Worried that it would be difficult to leave the driveway if the water continued to rise, I alerted the kids that we would leave early; the rain slackened and gave me pause, then started coming down cats and dogs again. When we pulled out about 20 minutes before our normal departure time, the depth at our driveway was around mid-hubcap. I killed time getting a drive-thru breakfast and depositing a check before taking the kids around to their school. The rain would almost stop, then come down in torrents, over and over, and the black skies didn't offer any hope it would be ending soon.

Stress Down: At work I watched the weather radar and got reassurance that the southern edge of the system would indeed move past us eventually. I got cracking and did my class prep. Then I found out that our panicky meeting about budget yesterday was a bit too panicky: (a) some expenses had been double-counted, and (b) we could staff courses for the spring without having to hire four more part-timers. Suddenly one of the dark clouds hanging over me for the next two weeks -- namely, how to find people to teach the classes we needed covered -- was unexpectedly lifted.

Stress Back Up: I got a call around 2:30 pm from Noel. "I need your help," he said. "I've lost my wallet." After I picked my stomach off the floor -- what could be worse than losing your wallet in a foreign country? -- I got to work thinking about how to deal. Get Noel the bank phone number so he can have them cancel the debit card. Research online to see if the two checks in the wallet can be pre-emptively stopped, preventing the need to close the account. (Yes, and stopped checks are actually free with the account we have.) Think about if there's anything else potentially damaging in the wallet. (Just a driver's license, but luckily because of the whole crossing-the-border thing, Noel's got a passport with him; he'll have no trouble flying back, although the drive back from the airport will be of questionable legality. Noel doesn't keep cash in his wallet, and he has about 50 CAD left, so with a loan of American cash from his friends up there, he should be able to pay the parking fee and make it home.)

The whole thing is less scary than it first sounded; the major upshot will be the need to replace the driver's license upon his return, and naturally there were a lot of minor cards that will have to be accumulated again -- private club memberships for the liquor-license restaurants here in town, library card, etc. But the danger of identity theft or bank-account draining seems low. It's too bad this annoying and frightening loss happened now and put a pall on Noel's last day at what had been shaping up as a highly successful and enjoyable festival. But it could be worse. Reflecting on that helps me take the stress back down a notch.

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