Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where no good deed goes unpunished and no bad deed goes unrewarded!
Wait. Have I got that right?
Oh well, la di dah.
I work very long hours at the Vo-Tech. I don't see how the other teachers can walk out as quickly as they do. I mean, if you've been teaching the same doggone thing at the same doggone time every year, aren't you bored to tears? I could not stand to do that.
However, after weeks and weeks of 12-hour days, a girl can reach her breaking point. And so I resolved to try to leave school every day at 4:30, whether or not my work was done. This is a nine and a half hour day, so it should be enough.
We had a faculty meeting yesterday afternoon. It ended at 4:15. "The pox take this place," I told myself. "I'm going home."
Out to the parking lot I went, got in my economy car, threw it into reverse, started out, and heard a sound kind of like I'd backed into a crusty snowdrift.
Except it wasn't a crusty snowdrift. It was a Mercedes Benz parked behind me in another teacher spot.
It's usually so late when I leave that the parking lot is clear. I'm not used to looking behind me for other cars. Ergo, I scratched the headlight and front bumper of a friggin Benz. Not another beat-up economy car like my own. A late model luxury model, pristine and gorgeous except for the damage I'd done.
The damage to the Benz was visible, but nothing was dented or broken, so I decided to wait until morning, find out who parked in Spot ##, and 'fess up.
So of course I spent an anxiety-ridden evening, expecting two things:
1. To be chewed out by the owner of the Benz (I could not for the life of me figure out which of my colleagues could possibly afford to drive a high-end sedan).
2. To be stuck with a huge bill, because let's face it: If you spit on a Benz it's gonna set you back $500.
This morning I got the secretary to look up the parking spaces, and I found out the car belonged to Mrs. X, a highly-regarded history teacher. First thing during homeroom, I called her.
I said, "I backed into your car. The headlight and front bumper are scratched."
She said, "Oh, I didn't notice."
I said, "Well, it's not the kind of thing you would notice unless you were specifically looking at the front of your car, but it's damage, and it's bad enough that it will need to be fixed, and I'll pay for it."
She said, "Wow. I really didn't notice. And don't worry about it. I'll let you know when I get around to it. And it might be a long time before I even bother to look. But thanks for telling me. It might have been weeks before I even looked at the front of my car, and then I wouldn't have known at all how that happened."
And I said, "Some people might take advantage of that, but I'm not one of them. I'd feel bad."
She said, "I believe in karma too."
The moral of this little fable is to be honest about the bumps and scrapes in life that you might otherwise be able to avoid. But I still have my doubts about a happy ending. Mrs. X will definitely need a new cover for her headlight, and some serious buffing. My estimate is $500 or more. But I guess it could be worse. I could have plowed into the Benz instead of grazing it -- and then, given the auto insurance rates in this state, I'd be getting up at 4:00 a.m. to walk to work.
Tonight I tried again to leave by 4:30, but I didn't get out until 5:30, at which time my Dodge was again alone in the lot.
Maybe I should just work late every night.