The Most Awful Way To Start A Day That Ended So Good
April 3 — This morning I’m excited to head to the workspace. I’ve got a super busy day ahead and I need the internet. Not only to work on my laptop but today We Roam is giving us our SIM cards.
Me and my roommates decide to go into the workspace together. One problem. The key is stuck in the door. We all begin trying to get it out with no luck. Trying to lock it from the other side isn’t working either. There is a doorman so I go find him and motioned for him to follow me.
I point to the key in the door and he begins his attempts to remove it as well. He can’t get it out either. I have an appointment I have to make so I say I’m sorry and leave while they wait for someone else to come by and fix it.
So far I haven’t had any trouble with the taxis. This morning I’m giving the drivers a business card with the name, address, and small location map of the workspace. No one can understand it. It’s in English, not French or Arabic and the map on the back doesn’t really help. Finally, I find a driver who knows where it’s at. Or so I thought.
Getting in the cab without GPS and without knowing where the driver is going is kind of different. It’s the way it was done in the past, like back before cellphones. If someone was out you didn’t have a way to get a hold of them. I drove across the country twice without a cellphone. They weren’t common or affordable to the general public yet. These days I would never. Having my cellphone with me is like carrying a security device.
He drives for a bit and then stops at a place where a lot of drivers are hanging out. Instead of getting out of the car he begins to honk for their attention. No one looks over. He keeps honking and yelling. Nothing. I start yelling, “Excuse me! Excuse me! Sir, Excuse me!”. They look over.
Now my mind is thinking, so honking and a man yelling is so commonplace no one budges, but a woman yells and this gets their attention. Was it my American accent or the fact that what I’ve yelled is foreign gibberish?
They begin talking (although it sounds like yelling) and one man takes the card and walks away. Ummm, he better bring that back. It’s like a lifeline even if it doesn’t mean anything to anyone else. He comes back, with the card, and then we’re off again.
We’re driving around and I am no longer taking in the sites. I’m getting frustrated because he’s frustrated with me for not speaking French. Another group of cab drivers is on the corner and we stop to talk to them as well. This time even I can tell they have no idea where this place is.
As we continue to drive it appears as though we are leaving civilization. Less buildings, less people walking around. I have no possible way of walking back at this point. Where are we going? Does the driver even know? He stops again and asks for directions. No luck.
I’m past the point of frustration and now I’m angry. I tell him to take me home, back to the place where he picked me up. Somehow he understands. I begin pointing to the meter and shake my finger to let him know there is no way I’m paying either. We had been driving around the city and the fare by the time I got home was 60 MAD. It’s a lot for here.
When I walk into my apartment there is a woman in the kitchen. She speaks perfect English and tells me she’s waiting for the locksmith to come and replace our door lock. My roommates have left. I sat down at the table and began to cry.
I was angry in the car. Now I was scared. Anything in the world could’ve gone wrong and no one would have known or been able to track my whereabouts. All of a sudden I felt helpless.
The phone rang and I jumped. Without hesitation the woman answered it and then tells me the cab driver is waiting downstairs for payment. I tell her there isn’t a chance in the world I’m paying him and tell her the story. She begins relaying it back to who I gather must be the doorman.
Our home internet is slow but I’m able to connect and get on our Slack channel to let them know what happened. One of the operations people, a man, tells me the area is safe and I don’t have to worry. Then he goes on to say how close I was when I had the driver turn around. Really? Unsafe things happen in safe cities and I could have been staring at the building and unaware of it. I DON’T HAVE MY SIM CARD TO CHECK!
The female operations manager is much more sympathetic. She asks if I’m okay and if she can send a driver to pick me up. I tell her yes. I need the SIM card and the internet at home isn’t good enough for me to work here today.
Getting in the car with the new driver, who was very nice, was still scary. I couldn’t stop crying. I began to recognize a few things and the closer we got to the place where I had my driver turn around the more I was afraid again. When we passed the point of where I’d been before, the new area scares me. It’s an industrial park. Not an American version. A Moroccan version.
We make it to the workspace and it doesn’t look like much from the outside. On the inside it’s very beautiful. I can’t take it in right now because I can’t even take off my sunglasses. I don’t want people to see me cry. They’ve started the orientation and everyone is sitting in the open space. I stood and don’t remember a word they said.
Afterward I see a loft area away from everyone else and decide to go up there to work. Doing some work will do me good and get my mind off everything. I’ve got a busy day so no time for tears.
My business coach has this practice where he says what things are. Wow, that’s an idea. So instead of telling myself I’m having a bad day I tell myself I had a bad cab ride this morning. I keep repeating it over and over again and it helps me not only do my work, but to do it joyfully.
Being in an industrial zone there aren’t any restaurants around to eat at for lunch and nothing close by to pick up snacks. It’s doubtful a taco truck will be coming by. This is a proper workspace so there is plenty of free coffee and tea and there are snacks to purchase. That’s good to know.
Lunch is offered every day for 70 MAD which is about $7 USD. I signed up but had a call when it was ready. I didn’t get to eat until about an hour after it arrived. It was sad. No more salad, flavorless pasta, and the grossest pizza ever. Is it pizza if it doesn’t have cheese? Again I have to tell myself I’m not having a bad day or afternoon, simply an unfulfilling lunch.
My day continues and I have two consultations. One this afternoon and one this evening. Not my typical consultations. Here’s the crazy thing. I sent out two contracts in the same day for the same amount, the largest contracts I’ve ever sent out. They were $60k each!
Here’s the crazy part. So the summit marketing is well underway and it’s clear both my coach and my backend team are right. There isn’t a chance I’m going to reach my monetary goal for the summit. What was the goal? Exactly $60k! I was going to make that money one way or another. I didn’t see this coming though.
It’s 10pm local time and it’s time for me to go home and get some sleep. I’m exhausted. I’m using a Careem app. Since our co-working space is so far from the apartments We Roam is paying for our transportation to and from. It’s like Uber.
All I want to do is get home and this is already not working well. Turns out I don’t have an actual address. This is weird because I have words written on a piece of paper which I gave to previous driver and he read them and got us home yesterday. Why is this guy having such a problem?
Our house manager tries to help. He doesn’t speak English and can’t really communicate with me but he can speak to the driver. I appreciate his help. We get one of the local liaisons on the phone and speaking the same language it takes him five minutes to explain where I live. If it takes him that long how in the world am I supposed to do it?
We made it to the building and I barely recognize anything because now it’s dark. Things have a way of drastically changing when it’s light out. The doorman is there to wave me in and there are the stairs.
I promised myself I wouldn’t take the elevator when coming or going. We live on the sixth floor and this would be an opportunity for me to get some exercise. I’m tempted to take the elevator but then I know I could possibly be to my floor by the time it arrives. I kept my promise and climbed the stairs. As far as flights of stairs goes I don’t think they are “regulation”. Meaning I think there are less than a normal flight. (I Googled it and it turns out it depends on the size of the steps and steps, but there could be as many as 36 4-inch (minimum) steps in a 12-foot (maximum) flight of stairs).
Having roommates at home is different. They are still up and offered me some pasta. They got the stove to work. Turns out there is a propane tank underneath the sink. Who knew? It was nice to not have to cook and to have people to unwind with. I’m ready for bed. Today was a lot to take in.
My end of day gratitude:
- Making it safely to the workspace.
- Having my new SIM card.
- Signing a new client for my largest amount yet!