Friday, October 8, 2010

No Panic Attacks While Writing

That’s not to say that being a writer and dealing with the world of publishing isn’t stressful.  It is-  But in that low key, long term way that usually leads to ulcers instead of  flat out panic attacks.

In truth, I’d take an ulcer over anxiety freak-out any day.   I could never be an ambulance driver, for example.  Or any type of driver for that matter.

Apparently  getting my driver’s license in France means I have to drive everywhere now.  I’m what I like to call ‘directionally impaired’ and the tiny little swirvy French roads that are two lanes even though they should (logically, in width alone) be only one do nothing to help me overcome my handicap.  Not to mention the angry drivers who honk if I take too long to search for a road sign.

I had my first rendez-vous with my new boss this week.  I got lost.  Called my husband up who informed me ‘he is not a human gps’ but was kind enough to look up where I was on the internet and help me find my way.

I was late.  I couldn’t find a place to park.  Of course.   One way roads + tiny French cars that love to park bumper to bumper= never a fricking parking place anywhere.  While traveling the wrong way down a one way street, I saw a spot.  I had to back into it, over a small curb… at an angle.  And my car kept sputtering out (welcome to the world of the clutch system).

Restart

Reverse (btw the steering wheel is manual so I’m moving the two front tires by brute strength alone while sweating like a pig)

Car dies.

Restart the car (start to hyperventilate)

Reverse

Car dies.  (people are starting to pile up, waiting for me to move my ass)

By this time I was feeling like one of those rabbits who have heart attacks from stress.  Or those lizards whose tails fall off.  In any case, I’m pretty sure once I managed to park, I left a part of my ass in the seat.   I ran to the building, met my boss and we decided to walk together to the schools I’ll be working at this year.

As we pass by a car double parked in emergency parking space with the headlights, blinkers and windshield wipers still on she says “ what kind of an idiot parked here?”.

“Pfft.” I roll my eyes.  “Tell me about it. Those French.”

A second look at the car in question and I realized it was mine.

*sigh* 

What are your ‘never-no-way-in-hell’ jobs?

38 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

OH my gosh! You poor thing!!! I feel for you. I experience a lot of road crap here in AThens. t's hectic! LOL

Renae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Renae said...

I can only imagine what it's like to drive there. I frighten all with my skills here in the states. As for my no way in hell job...I could never do anything that requires me to work outside, I need to be inside in a climate controlled environment.

Jen Daiker said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one with panic attacks while writing!!! I've heard about driving in France and what a nightmare it is... I think Houston is a nightmare so I can't imagine!!!!

A job with phones, I did it when I was younger but the more and more I grow up the more I realize my fear of being judged while talking on the phone, silly I know.

Shannon said...

I can't imagine driving in France. I only spent a few days in Paris, but just the time spent in the cab was enough to freak me out.

As far as the panic attacks - I used to freak myself out, but I've learned to chill. Wine helps. Lots of it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

One day you will laugh about it. Probably a day far in the future.

Joanna St. James said...

ha ha I know exactly how u feel, I threw a no driving tantrum till the husband bought an automatic car and i once saw a little old lady driving the wrong way at a round about gotta love France.
my no no job would be sales, apart from how ridiculous cold calling is I got fired the minute I drew in a large acct for them so I missed out on a 5k bonus.

....Petty Witter said...

I saw you mentioned on Melissa's site and as I love visiting lots of other blogs I thought I'd stop by and say hello. Nice to have met you, I've enjoyed my visit.

Emily White said...

Oh that sounds like something I would do, and never mention to a soul. Eek!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Remind me never drive in france. I'd never survive.

I would never drive a semi. That sounds like a nightmarish job. Especially when you have to reverse that massive vechicle into the loading dock. And I would never be a bus driver . . . especially a school bus driver. ;)

Quinn said...

Loved the story. I mean, it must have been horrible for you, but I loved it!

salarsenッ said...

OMgosh, hon, it sounds like you need a Friday!! And a bottle of wine. Because of my kids being athletic nuts, we drive everywhere. Most of the time my hubs is at work. I've had that experience of getting lost, calling him, and him saying, "What do you want me to do? I'm not there."

Feel your pain.

Mohamed Mughal said...

What a day! Hoping your weekend is fun :)

Melissa Gill said...

Okay, I know it's not funny, or at least not to you when it was happening but I am LMAO! Have you ever considered writing a humorous memoir about your time in France?

Probably many people would say working at a call center, for an insurance company, dealing with angry doctors who think they shouldn't have to deal with you, a sucky job. And it is. But where else can you blog all morning, and write all afternoon?

Anyway, good luck with your driving.

Carolyn V. said...

Katie! That was enough to stress me out, just by reading it! Ahhh! (okay...I have to admit, I laughed at the last part.)

Have a great weekend Katie! =D

Tom M Franklin said...

i drove in scotland a few years ago. the main highways weren't so bad, and city driving was... interesting. it was on the back country roads off the highway that was a bit on the tricky side. the roads were about 1 1/2 car lengths wide and twisted and turned.

on top of that, we were late for our check-in. i was driving and knew i was in control of things. my wife, our daughter and her fiance claim it was the scariest ride of their lives. (our daughter swears that was when she had her first panic attack)

small, old city driving in france? maybe not. after all, the roads weren't made for car traffic (much less parking) and i think there's an entirely different mentality to the driving there.

however, the lights & wipers, double-parked? in front of the new boss? priceless.


-- Tom

Matthew Rush said...

OMG this is awesome! I thought it was just a great story for a sec until I realized this is real! You are freaking hilarious Katie. There is nothing healthier or more satisfying than being able to laugh at yourself.

Bravo, my dear!

Candyland said...

Oh no!!! Um, this is why I never leave the house.

Dominique said...

I'm not so much a fan of driving in the US. I don't think I could handle having to do it in France. Good luck.

By the way, there's an award for you on my blog. :)
http://mavieenviolet.blogspot.com/2010/10/some-general-randomness.html

LTM said...

omg--lol! I was totally dying at all the stops/car dies... BAH! You so funny~ as for the question... uhh...

Huh? ;p

(my tail just fell off.)

Old Kitty said...

Oh well done you for pretending that parked car ain't yours!!! Of course it's not yours - it's someoene else's!!

See, that's why I don't drive or don't ever want to. I think you do brilliantly cos you're in France as well so yay for you!!!!

I think you deserve some champers!! Take care
x

Nicole L Rivera said...

Your story reminds me of when I drive in Miami. That is a no-way thing for me. If I ever have to go down there my husband has to drive. It is awful. There should be a special drivers course for driving in Miami. Never, never, never.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Oh, my gosh! How awful for you! I would have been having a panic attack too. I hate driving, but at least i don't live somewhere like France. Montana is a bit easier I'm sure! :-)

Colene Murphy said...

Driving there sounds teeeerrible!!! You've got to get used to it after a while though right? Eventually?

Carolyn Abiad said...

LOL - Totally sympathc with the clutch thing. Must be something in the air because I wrote about Turkish monsters (drivers) for Monday...I'm going to link it over here.

My never-no-way-in-hell job would be at a daycare center. I can't handle my own, never mind someone else's!

Bon week-end! :D

nick said...

Ahhh! "What are your ‘never-no-way-in-hell’ jobs?"

What a coincidence. My post this week might just answer that!

BTW: Don't run over any Frogs.

Melissa said...

I swear I will never complain about driving in vancouver again! This sounds absolutely awful.

Kelly Dexter said...

Driving makes me anxious. I do not envy you. I could not have a job that requires massive amounts of driving.

randine said...

Oh my, that sounds terribly traumatic. I'm getting heart palpitations just reading about it.
I don't think I could handle living there.

Clara said...

Pretty much what just happened to you.I too hate driving, Im not good at it, and Ill have to do my test pretty soon, and Im feeling Ill utterly fail it. Sucks!!!!!!
Two words for the clutches: F you clutches! You made my car die like 100 times! Die, die die!

Nicole Zoltack said...

I don't like driving in the US, not sure I would want to tackle it in another country.

Hart Johnson said...

Urgh! I hate that--seems like when you're running late, everything piles on top of that. Maybe it bodes well, though--my current job started with a crazy, getting lost, being late thing, and it's turned out pretty darned well.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Oh, too funny! (In retrospect, of course, not at the time.)

But hey, I thought it was okay to park on the sidewalk in France? I know I was only there once, but that was my observation at the time.

And the job I would never take: Anybody who has to jump out of an airplane.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Oh God, this post took me back! Especially manual transmissions and non-power steering. And sweating while driving. I was always a nervous wreck driving over there. You know how people have "personal space bubbles," and when someone gets too close they invade that space, making us feel uncomfortable? I believe drivers have similar personal space bubbles. And the French drivers are WAY more comfortable with less space around them than I am!

Good luck with the new job! Je pense á toi!

Lenny Lee! said...

hi miss katie! yikes! i shouldnt be laughing but you got me laughing really hard when it was your car that you guy saw. miss vicki is having a contest for the worst day of your life. you just gotta enter it with this post. shes at
http://missvspeaks.blogspot.com/
...laughs and hugs from lenny

Jude said...

Goodness! Driving in other countries is nerve-wracking!

Also, I call my friends and use them as a human gps all the time hehehe :)

Teenage Bride said...

I am by no means laughing at you but you really do crack me up. I certainly would have had a major meltdown. My husband informs me all the time that he is not a human gps lol.

Sorry love.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Hee hee! And I thought the crazy soccer moms in SUV's were a nightmare. I guess southern california drivers aren't too bad then. So sorry to hear about your day...the heart attack rabbits made me laugh though.

Driving somewhere new makes my teeth sweat...I hate it. I often feel like one of those fainting goats...keeled over but not actually out.

Edge of Your Seat Romance

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