Some days I seem to have it all together and feel confident that I'm cooking along. Then a day like Thursday happens that wrecks me to the bone and I realize that it's a continual process that cannot be accomplished when one gets too confident in our ability to hold it all together. I can't take it for granted that I'm doing so well. If Thursday is any evidence in my performance - I'm not doing well at all.
A bit of history:
Remember the weekend that I trained in Athens and then picked up Biggest Sister and we drove to Savannah for the Pastor's Retirement? Sure, you remember :) Well, I neglected to mention at the time of that post (because I was ticked with myself at my carelessness and a bit embarrassed) that I received a speeding ticket going through one of the very small towns in the middle of nowhere. I will not name this town by name because I don't want any tracings back to me here (you'll understand by the time I get finished with this story). My assumption is that the officer saw my car (bright & shiny red Mustang with custom license plate) and figured that he could make a bit of extra $$ on my ticket. He says on the citation that he clocked me doing 62 in a 45 MPH "construction zone." My radar detector NEVER went off to alert me to a radar/laser and I had already slowed down a lot becasue of the comment(s) that Biggest Sister had made about me going too fast. I may have been doing 50 but I would bet my life that I was not doing 62.
At the time of the citation, the office was what I considered somewhat rude to me and extremely condescending. He made reference to my car which I felt was innapropriate. He did also mention that the court date was so and so (I wasn't listening because I was so mad) but I did hear him say that at court, I could appear before the judge and ask for the citation to be dismissed and if I had not received a speeding citation in the previous 6 months, that he (the judge) may consider dismissing the citation. I remember saying to Biggest Sister that I'd just pay it because I'll be damned if I was ever coming back to this place.
I called MusicMan on my cell phone to vent my frustration about not being able to challenge the radar and knowing that he made it up and being ticked at his pulling me over and treating us the way he did. MusicMan proceeded to look up this small town on the internet and we learn together that this place is less than 8 square miles in size. We know what county it belongs to and what they think makes them special. Basically, they are a speed trap that feeds their entire annual budget on the fines that they charge people riding through their street. Reading several message boards and the comments about the monkey circus they run there helped confirm our suspicions about their budget. How can a small town of less than 350 have 3 "brand new" police cruisers wth state of the art detectors?
Fast forward two weeks:
I called the phone number on the citation to find out how much the fine would be. According to the message on the answering machine (which does not allow you to leave a message), the office hours of this small town City Hall/Police Department are on Thursday and Friday for 2 hours from 4 till 6. I was welcome to call back during that time. WTF? I'm working during those hours. So, I stuck the ticket on my desk (admittingly within anther stack of papers that I planned to get back to).
Another few days went by and I thought I remembered the recording saying that the office hours were from 6-8 and I happened to call at 7:30 one night. The hours were from 4-6 so I had missed the opportunity to learn the amount again. It stirred up a lot of negative energy within me and I just wanted it to go away. I stuck the paper back again into the pile and remember looking at the citation thinking to myself, "I have until the last week of September to pay the fine."
Thursday morning started out GREAT. I had a Dr's appointment in Cartersville and donated blood and came back home. I wanted to confirm the office hours so I would be sure to call at the correct time. Imagine my horror when I picked up the ticket and read that the court date was that afternoon. Yeah, I know. I don't know how I got mixed up with the dates. Not only had I not paid the ticket, but I didn't even know how much the ticket was going to be.
What was I going to do? Failure to appear and failure to pay would result in immediate suspension of license and then who knows after that. Small town politics? They do what they do because they can. Lord! I was no mad at myself. How could I have dropped the ball on this? And how was I going to fix this in five hours?
To be continued.......