what else could possibly go wrong?

Don’t answer that. I really don’t want to know.

It began with the coffee. The toggle (nozzle?) on the coffee canister was sticking, and I intended to do a fancy cleaning job, which would include pouring boiling water over it, into another cup. I was sure it would take the sticky gunk off. Or, at least, that was my unresolved theory. Then, someone came over to tell me that the coffee container wouldn’t turn OFF. I arrived to find a small steady stream of coffee coming out on the counter, so something seemed to be broken.

As I write this, we have not experimented to see if it will work, now that all the parts have been clean. Instead, I grabbed a spare, and used that. I was quite frustrated, however, because I had just brewed a new pot, and found that the coffee was full of grounds, from earlier that morning. But things were put back in apple pie order, and would go smoothly after that… right?

Not so much. My boss came to tell me something was wrong with the water line, so we had to dump ALL the coffee (I had just brewed a new pot!), all the tea, and we had to turn the fountain drink machines off. In addition, we couldn’t wash dishes, if the water wasn’t clean. Trying to make the best of things, we dumped the offending liquids, and hoped the fix-it guys would solve the problem before too long. What were the regular coffee drinkers going to do, when they arrived? Well, since the problem was local to us, I sent one pair off to the library to get coffee from Java City, and recommended Starbucks to someone who didn’t mind the walk to the Union.

Also, while on my break, I sent messages to a few friends that I had e-mail addresses for, so that they wouldn’t walk all the way up, in order to be disappointed.

By the time I returned from my break, they had the water line problem fixed, and my supervisor was brewing more coffee and tea. And then something went wrong with the coffee brewers (after the house blend and French Vanilla were made, though). So, no more coffee was brewed that day, though all the water was working again. And because the guys were working on the machines, not very many people venture close to the coffee, anyway.

Today was going to be better. And actually, it was, but it started off a bit rocky. I drove in by way of Perimeter Rd, made my first right turn… and found that the road up the hill was blocked. As far as I could see, and from what I was told later, a tree had fallen and hit some power lines. It looked like one large tree (right next to Earl Hall) had snapped in half (imagine a broken matchstick, on a large scale), and hit another large tree AND the power lines.

I turned around, to find a cement truck just randomly idling in my way, and had to wait for him to get going again. But since it’s summer, Clemson is working on quite a few roads, so I knew that Cherry Rd was closed, which was the shortcut to Bowman Field. That would bring me in on the other side of my workplace. Nope, couldn’t go that way. And the road in front of the stadium was blocked. Any way I viewed it, I had to go the LONG way around to Hwy 93, and only one piece of road would get me in.

That explains why after a longer walk than usual, I arrived at work to find the parking places empty, in front of the building. Most people had chosen other parking, rather than go the long route back, for closer parking. And did I mention that it’s in the high 90’s out, today, with a real feel of over 100 degrees, because of the humidity? Such a pleasant walk.  : )

Partway into the morning, I had a momentary scare when I saw more maintenance guys looking at the soda machine, and I prayed that the water line wasn’t messed up. Whatever was wrong, it wasn’t affecting the water quality, and they eventually solved it. I was so grateful. You see, when the regular coffee drinkers don’t come by, the day gets long and boring. No one interesting to talk to.

On the up side of things, though, we got to chat about the road blocks and the power outages, instead of the weather. I assume that tree was damaged by a recent storm, because we didn’t even have any rain yesterday. But at least half of the incoming customers had an adventure in finding parking to tell about… or their building was running on generator power, because of the power lines being down.

It had never occurred to me, until someone told me that, what would happen if there was a major power outage in a building that had all sorts of projects happening. Sure, we’ve had them during ice storms, but the last major one was during Christmas break. No one would have been at school.

Of course, the buildings would have generators, in order that all the graduate students and research assistants can keep up their work, especially at this time of year, when they have time, and no labs to teach. And, to keep the air conditioning running, thank heaven. It was so hot out today that the people who had PLANNED to sit out and enjoy the sun (we’ve seen so little of it!) because their buildings are freezing, gave up and came inside, because it was too hot.

And after everything that could go wrong seeming to hit almost at once, yesterday and this morning, my day got much brighter while I was on my lunch break. There’s nothing as fun as having friends stop in to see you, and several of my grad student friends sat down to chat with me, while I was on my lunch break. My day was on the upswing, after that, and I’m pretty sure that nothing broke, for the rest of the day.

Here’s praying for no more falling trees or power lines, and no more water line or coffee issues!

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