Cutting it fine

The success or epic fail of today was entirely reliant upon the vagaries of UPS and the Royal Mail – I really needed them to deliver my projects in time for me to get to London before 17:00. This was a dumb situation to get myself into, but into it I nevertheless got, and my inability to do anything other than wait made for a spectacularly annoying morning.

I didn’t sleep much last night, and was up pretty early, glancing out of the window every few seconds for any sight of a UPS van. My secondary project turned up in the standard post, which was a relief, but the big project – the one I’ve been working on for 4 months – was more important. I really wanted to get it in on time.

As the morning wore on I figured out ways to stay longer at home. If I caught the train at Leamington I’d have an extra half hour…and if I got the later train, then a taxi to uni, I could get another 15mins…or what about driving to London? But the latest reasonable time was 14:15 – anything over that and I’d really be pushing my luck.

I spent most of the morning pacing up and down, trying and failing to distract myself. A Parcelforce van gave me false hope by stopping directly outside – maybe UPS had farmed it out to another company? No.

Midday came and went, and I decided it was time to email my teacher. Should I submit low-quality inkjet prints of the book’s pages today, or submit a high-quality book tomorrow and lose 10% of the marks? Then I realised that if I went to London they’d have to re-deliver tomorrow, and I’d be in the same situation. So should I lose 10% of the marks for my secondary project too?

My answer to this was to repeatedly mutter ‘fuckmonsters’1 and generally bemoan my existence while staring grumpily out of the window. At which point there was the brown flash of a UPS van. It slowed down, as if looking for my flat…then buggered off.

Then came back. Thank the FSM. It was 12:45.

For obvious reasons I’d already written the evaluation of the finished book, and I was rather hoping it would match up to my expectations. After a brief and spectacularly explicit hunt for some scissors I discovered it did, so I emailed my teacher a ‘belay that message’, ran for the next train, got to London, got to uni, handed everything in, and the relief was ridiculous.

Now, obviously this was all a massive overreaction. These things are not that important, and I got myself far more stressed than was necessary. But I did anyway, and I am certainly not making that mistake again. That was not fun. I’m also aware I caught a huge break – UPS could have delivered any time up till 20:00 and, hell, the book was in Eindhoven thirteen hours before it arrived at my flat. Still, it turned out ok. Exhausted now. One more project to go.

  1. I love Twitter []