I gave a speech in northern New Jersey today. The speech went great. Getting there was a different matter.

I had a car service booked to pick me up at 7:45 a.m. for a 10 a.m. speech. Normally they show up 15 minutes ahead of time, so I was ready by 7:30 to give us a cushion, since the traffic report said it would take 2 hours at rush hour.

Then I waited and waited. I called dispatch, and got put on hold, then had someone answer who tried to track down my driver, but that took a while for them to get through. Meanwhile the minutes were ticking away.

I (and dispatch) finally found out that the driver had gotten a flat tire. That was in the process of getting fixed, and they could send a replacement car, but of course that was going to take quite a while too. So I got in my own car at a little after 8 a.m. to drive to a 10 a.m. speech two hours away. You always lose time in transit on the NJ Turnpike, and I did too.

So, irony: I was late to my own speech on time management.

It has happened to me before (I joke about it in my TED talk). I imagine it will happen again. I’d sent an email to the organizers and my speaking agent, and they all worked it out so the group could re-arrange the morning schedule. I spoke at 10:30 instead of 10. All was fine.

So at least that wasn’t disastrous, though we shall see what mood my 7-year-old is in when I get him at camp. He opened his lunch and apparently found an ice pack but no food. I know I packed it – I did that last night and put it in the fridge…so where did the food go?? Mysteries. The camp called while I was giving the speech so I couldn’t pick up the phone. They fed him a camp lunch (they do have a purchase option) but given his “selectivity” I suspect it all went in the trash. So I will pack a hearty snack for the car and prepare for the complaints.

Life goes on. Two days until the weekend!

6 thoughts on “Irony

  1. “All was fine” and “Life goes on” sound like such a measured, calm-cool-and-collected approach to this situation.

    And the fact your son opened up a lunchbox and found only an ice pack! I find this absolutely hysterical (I’m sure it was not to him as the recipient of said lunch).

    Also ironic – about 30 minutes ago I was reading a non-fiction book where the author spoke about a faulty GPS that caused her to be late for a speech she was delivering. Same thing – they rearranged the other talks.

    I guess “All’s well that ends well” as my grandmother used to say.

    1. @Elisabeth – we still don’t know where the lunch went. I took pictures of it this morning in case it disappears again!

      1. We have mysterious things happen in our house too, quite frequently. We have six kids ranging from 7-22 (gasp!) and have learned we have a seventh entity named, “Not me!”.

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