Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I'm Late! I'm Late! For a Very Important Date!

Gather 'round everyone, while I tell you the (picture-less) tale of Jessica and the Horrible Not-Workday.

It all started when she was a bit ill - nothing too serious, but maybe should stay home from school instead of going her first day back after break. This does sound rather suspicious. It is the truth. So she made the mistake of emailing her contact teacher and telling her of the situation, adding that she wasn't certain she was still contagious and could still come into school if needed.

The teacher suggested that she go the doctor to determine if she was okay. Only problem: she doesn't have a German doctor and the internet did not point her to any walk-in clinics. Happily her family is made up of medical professionals and so she asked them. They told her that with regular hand-washing and good hygiene, it shouldn't be a problem. So she tried to go to school.

The first problem came with the trains - she usually takes the :08 train into school, because they run every hour. That day (yesterday), however, she thought she'd get to school a little early and attempted to take the quarter-hour train, unsure if it was actually right but almost late for it anyways, so she couldn't stop to ask anyone. She listened carefully to the incomprehensible overhead announcement and didn't hear the name of her stop, so panicked, decided it was going the wrong way, and got off as soon as possible. It turned out that she got off at the littlest-used stop in the city, from which there were two trains: one train went back the way she'd come, and the other went the she wanted to go, but wasn't coming for another hour. Her class started in forty-five minutes. The train ride to school is only twelve minutes or so, meaning that as long as she could catch the right train it was no problem to get there on time.

So she took the train back the way she'd come and hoped she was in time to catch her trusty :08. No such luck, that train had already left the station. Frantically reading the train schedule, she ran for the next train and got on it, breathing hard, only to find she hadn't needed to run because she had a few minutes before it started off. She calculated times during her short ride and concluded that she couldn't get to the school in time if she walked. Thankfully there was a taxi stand just outside the train station, so she could take a taxi to school. Far too many euros and minutes later, she arrived at the school three minutes after classes had begun.

Normally this particular teacher was a little late, but today it seemed she'd gotten in on time. Jessica hurried upstairs and into the classroom, where she apologized and took up a place in the back. The teacher then told her that the students had a test and she wasn't needed in the class that day.

Emotions somewhere between frustration and hilarity, Jessica spent her next free hour productively and then headed down for her last class of the day. When she arrived the wrong teacher was there and the students informed her that their grade now had a different schedule to follow: that particular hour was French. Thoroughly deflated, Jessica went to go find the teacher of that class only to discover she had left a bit earlier. So, Jessica went to the store and took the train back home. This morning she learned that she did indeed need a certificate to come to school, now that she'd informed someone at the school that she was ill, and so she is writing this post and procrastinating the terrifying phone call to a doctor's office in German to ask if she can be a patient there.

Terror. Terror. Terror.

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