Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The price of being careless

I reached home from work at about 7pm and I was really hungry. I was working alone at the shop today and I didn't get a proper lunch even though I have a few chances to get some. Anyway, I brought some nasi himpit with kuah kacang. Not much but it'll do, since I'm thinking of going back early. Tomorrow is Chinese New Year and my manager told me to close the shop if there's no one around. I got a couple of customers in the morning and it was pretty much quiet after that. But then the phone rang.
"What time do you close today?"
"Ermm... ermmm.... 6 o'clock."
"When are you opening again?"
"Next tuesday."
"Okay." click.
What the... So are you coming today or what?!

So I stayed until the intended time cursing myself if no one ever step through that door. As a consolation I thought, "Never mind, I don't have plans anyway and I do have stuff to do" (like updating my blog ). To ease my hunger I ate some cookies I found at the counter. Around 5:45, 2 customers walked in and bought some things (one of them bought a lot). Thank God, my sacrifice was not in vain.

Carelessness No 1: Not packing a proper lunch.

Right after they left I quickly packed it up, make sure everything is as it intended to be and lock the place up. Let me just say this - the holiday season is the BEST time to be in the city. No traffic jam!

Just as I entered my house I suddenly remembered, I didn't take back my tupperware! The one with the little bit of kuah kacang! The remaining of my not-so-proper lunch! Miss C is going to kill me! I can imagine if she were to come back from the holidays to find a tupperware filled with moldy, caked-up, smelly, swarming with ants tupperware on top of the counter. I'm dead.

I don't want to bother her on new year's eve with such 'trivial' thing as this, so I quickly sent her an SMS. I thought at least she can know what to expect. Maybe then her wrath would not be so bad. On the third day I would give her a courtesy call, making sure she got that SMS. Yeah, that sounds like a good plan.

I really thought I did everything that needed to be done. I was reminded, a few times, to make sure that the thrash is empty ESPECIALLY of food stuff. I even moved that darn tupperware around a few times so that customers won't be able to see it yet still in plain sight so that I won't forget about it. God, I don't know what's wrong with me today.

Carelessness No. 2: Leaving the tupperware with food stuff in it when I know that no one is going to be there for the next 5 days to clean it up.

That's settled, I move on to the next issue, my hunger. Only then was I aware that there's totally nothing to eat in the house. There's not even a slice of bread. I couldn't even make a proper peanut butter sandwich. "Why didn't you stop somewhere for food before you got home?!" I scolded myself . I looked myself over, I'm in the t-shirt that I wore to sleep last night with a towel wrapped around my waist. Good enough. I'm just going to tapau (take-away) something and come back. I just pulled on my pants, pat some powder on my face, put on my tudung and went out, hoping that JJ is open on new year's eve.

Carelessness No. 3: Not assessing the food level in the house.

Yes! JJ is open. And there's a lot of people . I thought everyone is suppose to be having a reunion dinner or going on a vacation or something. What are they doing in JJ??? And what is this that I'm wearing??? Last night's t-shirt?!? Why didn't I spray some perfume for crying out loud. And my face? It was not even compact powder, it was talcum powder. And now I look like a smelly hobo. Darn it. Before I got out of the car, I took a quick sniff. Ok, not too bad. No visible stains. Just don't get too close with anyone and you'll be fine.

Before heading towards the supermarket I just have to stop at the ladies section. There's this one t-shirt that I've been eyeing, bright red with some motifs on the left shoulder. I want to celebrate new year too, you know! But alas no more stock. Damn. I don't care. I must buy something new today. Must!

Shortly, I found a pink knit top, RM29. Orait. Same price as the one that I wanted. Tried it on, not a perfect fit but still looks ok. I was ready to go to the counter when I saw a blouse, brown, casual yet classy, RM39. Tried it on, very nice... Silent Dragon likes! So I bought the brown blouse instead. Okay, enough already. Must go to supermarket now.

Bought a loaf of bread, 2 boxes of cereal, and milk. You can't go wrong with cereal. Anytime of the day there's always room for cereal. Then, I bought my dinner from the food court and finally, it's time to go home.

It's a habit of mine that before I reach my car, I must have the carkey in my hand. So, I dug into my sling bag and took out... the office key, put it back in, dig dig dig, rummage rummage rummage, office key again, dig in... office key... officekeyofficekey.... damnshitgodammit*&@;#^$*#&!!! At this point I began to panic. Did I loose my carkey? Cannot be. I'm not that careless, am I? I always put the key inside my bag right after I lock the car. I didn't remember holding it while shopping for clothes either. Where the hell is it??? Could I left it at the car?

I went to my car and I immediately saw an old man standing there. Oh God, please tell me that this man can help me. He came up to me and said,
"Ni awak punya kereta ke? Hilang kunci ye?"
[Is this your car? Did you looze your key?"
"Ye, kenapa?"
[Yes, why?]
"Pakcik jumpa kunci tadi. Anak pakcik dah bawak pergi security"
[I found the key. My daughter is taking it to security now]
"Ya Allah, jumpa kat pintu ke?"
[My God, did you found it at the door?]
"Iye. Lama jugak pakcik tunggu kalau2 tuan dia balik. Baru je kejap ni anak pakcik turun."
[Yes. I waited for quite some time now just in case the owner comes back. My daughter went down to security just now]
At this point he called his daughter to let her know that I'm here and to bring back the key.
"Pukul berapa pakcik jumpa tadi?"
[When did you find it?]
"Lama jugak. Kami keluar 8:15. (It was 8:35 at the time) Tak nak balik lagi, nak tunggu tuan dia balik. Semua orang tengah tunggu."
[Quite some time. We went out at 8:15. I just don't want to leave, want to wait for the owner. Everyone is waiting]
He pointed towards his car beside mine and in it was a man, an old lady, which I think is his wife and a child. Damn. I'm feeling guilty already.
"Susahkan pakcik je. Saya pun ingat kalau tak jumpa kunci kat sini nak pergi tanya security kalau2 ada orang jumpa. Saya ingatkan tercicir kat mana2 tadi."
[Sorry for troubling you. I thought of going to security myself if I couldn't find it here, just in case someone found it. I thought I dropped it somewhere]
"Takpela. Pakcik nak tolong. Tgk kereta pun macam kereta orang Melayu. Apa salahnya tolong." pause "Anak pakcik tu berat jugak, tgh sarat tu. Nasib baik ada escalator, ha ha ha..."
[It's ok. I wanted to help. Looks like the car belong to a Malay anyway so why not. My daughter is a bit heavy, with child. Thank goodness for escalators, ha ha ha...]
Ha ha ha he he he hi...hi... hi... Double damn! I just wish that the building would just collapse and take me with it.

One very uncomfortable minute later, his daughter showed up. And he was right, she's very heavy with child, probably due in... like... any minute now! She gave me the key and I gave her and her father my most heartfelt thank you (what else can I give?). As I got into my car, I looked over to the car next to me. The man was not even looking at me and neither the old lady. They must be really pissed at me for making his pregnant wife/her pregnant daughter walked all the way down and back just because some girl was careless with her keys.

On second thought, why didn't that man went down and give the keys to security himself? Why did they wait for 20 freakin' minutes in the car with an old lady and a child in this kind of weather? Why didn't they just give the keys to security right after they found it? My name is actually on the keychain, the management could have easily paged for me. why? Why? WHY?!? Must they do all this just to make me feel guilty. Okay fine I know that it's not nice to question a good deed. I'm grateful, I truly am. It kindles my faith that there are still good people out there in the world. Just hope that they would still look out for each other regardless of the other person being a Malay, Chinese, African, American, vegetable, animal or mineral.

Carelessness No. 4: Leaving the car keys at the lock.

In all the years of being a car owner (about 4++ years) I only have this happen to me once. And that was because I have to carry a lot of things from my car and I must have forgotten about it. Thankfully the parking attendant saw it first and kept the keys for me. After that incident I make sure that it will never happen again. Take the keys, check that all the doors are locked and windows rolled up.

I don't know what was wrong with me today. I have always been careful. Lock the door once you're inside, look out for suspicious ppl, don't open the window for strangers and so on and so forth. I'm short of carrying a pepper spray and keeping a screw driver in my car. Was it because I slept very late 2 nights in a row? Was it because I have so many things on my mind? Was it because I was so hungry? Whatever it was it doesn't matter. There's no excuse for it. There's no excuse for the first incident either. I should never have been so careless. I can't afford to be so careless. If you're a girl living in a big city like KL, you just can't. Anything can happen to anyone at anytime. The most you can do is take preventive measures and pray that nothing bad will happen to you. To be careless is priceless.

For me, loosing my key today was like a wake-up call. That God placed that particular family with the old lady, the pregnant wife and the young child just to make me feel so guilty that I will never forget this as long as I live. And I'm grateful that God is more subtle instead of assigning me to a more unpleasant fate. My only wish is that the family that helped me would forget about this whole incident as soon as possible. Or I'll forever be known as "The stupid girl who left the key at the door"

To all Chinese and Muslims, Happy New Year!

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