Monday was one of those Mondays

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 29, 2004

It was Monday all day Monday.

I am not certain when the calamity of errors actually began but my recollection is that it started sometime shortly after my feet hit the ground that morning.

Now before I am branded as a person who possesses &uot;the sky is falling&uot; outlook on daily life, please let me clarify that I am generally a very optimistic individual; one that typically wears a smile on his face even when it is raining on my parade.

Well, Monday tested that optimistic outlook.

Perhaps the first indicator came at the coffee pot in our break room.

Innocently enough and by the sake that I happened to be the first one in the office that day, I made the coffee.

No trouble filling the carafe with water or emptying same into the coffee maker.

But my luck changed when I read the directions on the package of coffee grounds.

Specifically, the direction that &uot;this package makes one full pot of rich, deliciously dark coffee&uot;.

There must be some mistake, I uttered to myself, no chance this penitence of coffee grounds can make a REAL pot of coffee.

So, I emptied two packages of coffee grounds into the filter, turned on the machine and awaited my cup of deliciously dark coffee.

As it turned out, the directions where correct and, in turn, the coffee I made was nearer to espresso than what I had expected.

Perhaps a reflection of my thrifty nature, I poured a cup of the overly strong, supremely caffinated coffee and carefully took a sip.

As the caffeine began to course through my body I noticed that our main laser printer was beeping, blinking and generally indicating that it was less than operational. I immediately started working through my normal checklist of how to fix something when you have no idea what is wrong.

I turned off the power.

Turned the power back on.

Unplugged the network connection and re-plugged same.

Opened every door and moved every lever I could find on the printer.

No luck.

So, in an effort to preserve my sunny disposition, I decided to walk away from the printer for a moment in hopes that the pause would either:

one, give me time to think of another printer &uot;thing&uot; to unplug or two, would simply give the printer time to &uot;fix&uot; itself [I told you I was optimistic].

Ten minutes later, the printer was functioning again in spite of my novice interventions and I was back on my way to another sunny day.

A few minutes later, I learned that our main phone number was rolling over to our fax machine after one ring.

I had no idea what had caused the problem but knew it was not normal.

If you can imagine, this circumstance required every employee to attempt to answer the phone on the first ring and we get more than our share of calls.

I implemented my ritual of plugging and unplugging but to no avail.

A few hours later, a repairman had the problem fixed in less than a minute and all of the sudden my day was looking up.

The next sign it was a Monday came in the form of footprints.

First, let me explain, we are in the midst of a fairly extensive remodel of our building; ripping out walls, painting, adding-on, new carpet and tile, etc.

Part of the remodel includes the leveling of our floor with a mixture of something appearing to be equal parts of skim milk and cream of wheat cereal.

Unfortunately, one of my co-workers did not notice a big pile of this gooey mixture on the floor, walked right through the mixture and then went on about his day.

If you have not already gotten ahead of me, the gooey mixture was tracked throughout the office.

Footprints on the new carpet.

Footprints on the new tile.

They were everywhere.

After a few deep breathing exercises I learned in my wife’s childbirth class, I investigated.

Now by this point in the day, I have consumed more than a couple of the super-caffienated cups of coffee making my disposition even more edgy than normal.

Sensing the peril that would soon occur, another co-worker intervened, and volunteered to help clean the mess; being a person that has good insight and a clever mind, she did not offer me another cup of coffee.

After a few more deep breathing exercises, I walked back to my office to check email.

And that is when the next shoe fell.

Our internet access was down.

Once again, I started plugging and unplugging firewalls and modems.

And magically, it worked.

But only temporarily.

A few minutes later, our internet access failed again.

Expecting that my plugging and unplugging fix would work again, I started working through my process of doing so.

It did not work.

I tried it again.

Still no internet access.

A call to our internet service provider let me know that the problem would be fixed &uot;sometime&uot; soon.

A couple of hours later, the problem was resolved.

I decided to call it a day sometime around 7 p.m.; assuming that most things were again right with my world and eager to get home and tell the story of what was a Monday to my wife and two dogs.

My wife, Catherine, is by training and personality, a psychologist which came in quite handy indeed on such a day; the two dogs were, I expected, there for moral support.

My Monday ended without a hitch and with the solace of knowing that Tuesday was right around the corner.

Tim Prince is the publisher of the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at