I worked from home today because of a 6am conference call to educate members of the new Atlanta sales office on our investment products. I figured, it wouldn’t be too difficult to take an early morning call if I was conducting it from the comfort of my own home. But when the alarm went off at 5:45am, I berated myself for easily agreeing to such an early meeting request. “I’m a product manager, not a fucking trader. Never again. Never, never again.” I shuffled over to my laptop and dialed-in.
Five hours later it was time for lunch. Having relapsed with another case of the sniffles and coughs, I had been craving a steamy chicken noodle soup. I took off in my car down Geary. I wanted to try this Vietnamese restaurant called ‘La Vie’ that had gotten stellar reviews.
The Pho Ga arrived promptly as I was the only customer in the restaurant. I squeezed as much juice as I could out of my lemon wedge, doused the soup with several whacks of the hot sauce, and slurped away. Mmmmhmmm good. I could feel my face flush. I dabbed at the corners of my eyes. And I gave my nose a hearty blow. I love spicy. I felt better already. This ought to shake the sniffles and coughs right out of my system.
A police officer walked in and said ‘howdy’ to the people working the restaurant. “Just checking in…seeing if everything’s alright.”
He waved to me and I waved back. “Hi, happy Friday, officer,” I murmured mid-slurp.
He smiled and waved to me again as he proceeded to exit. With one leg out the door, I called out, “Officer, excuse me. Can I ask you a question?”
He turned around and re-entered. “Of course.”
“Well, umm, I got a ticket a couple weeks ago. I’m going to go to court today, schedule a court hearing, and try to contest it. I called up the traffic department and that’s what they told me to do, but I just wanted to confirm with you before I make the trek down there today.”
He went on to ask me a couple questions like where I got the ticket (this area – I live just down Geary) and what it was for (not completely stopping at a flashing red light). He said he wished I had the ticket because maybe he could help. Luckily, I happened to have it with me and handed it to him.
He took the seat next to mine, ordered a Coke, reviewed the ticket, made a few phone calls, and dismissed it. HE DISMISSED MY TICKET! At that point, I wanted to hand over the speeding ticket I got on my way to Burning Man to see if he could dismiss that too, but I restrained myself.
I was elated by this huge stroke of luck. I continued to talk to him about being a police officer, growing up in San Francisco, on and on. I could tell he enjoyed my company. He asked if I was parked nearby. When I told him my car was right outside the restaurant, he offered to fill my parking meter for me. I pulled out my wallet to give him a few quarters, but he refused. “No, no, you enjoy your lunch. Let me take care of it for you.”
He returned and we continued chatting for another half-hour. Then he handed me his card, wrote his cell number on the back of it, and said, “I’d love to take you out to lunch or dinner sometime. Feel free to give me a call anytime.”
I wasn’t surprised. I mean, this stuff happens to me all the time. Like all the time. I was just so happy my ticket was dismissed. In fact, all this good luck made me want to go out and buy a lottery ticket!
I slurped up the rest of my chicken noodle soup, licking the bowl’s edges for the remaining droplets of fiery hot sauce. My waiter came over and I asked for the check. “No check. No worry. Gary pay for you.”
No way, I was already in too much shock. I was completely, utterly flabbergasted. What a lucky day. I knew I should’ve ordered some spring rolls with my soup!