Life’s difficulties

How great to have a blog where I can release my frustrations, frustrations about my own stupidity and about the backlashes of life in science and otherwise.

Tuesday was a really good day, bright sunshine, birds chirping, spring flowers everywhere, and I biked from home to the university for the first time this year. The bike tour turned out to be a bit longer than planned because I lost my way, ended up on a jogging trails and made an extra round in Lilljanskogen. But the birds and flowers and the extra exercise compensated me for this!

Wednesday started out good – I biked again to work and even found the right trail this time. Since biking is a real effort for me, I was quite proud that I had overruled my inner anti-biking voice. But then things started to turn less good. I decided that I need a bike helmet to be better protected from the car traffic and most of all from my fellow bikers who seem much more dangerous than the cars when they come speeding around the corners. So I set out on my bike to find a bike shop (of course using the GPS in my Iphone). In shop number one so many people lined up already and at the pace each customer progressed, it would have taken me an hour until it would have been my turn. Off to the next bike shop – I was sure I would manage before closing time. No customers in the next shop, but many helmets! My luck! But when I had finally found a helmet and chosen the least ugly one and wanted to pay, the shop owner told me that he did not take credit cards! It was 6 pm and closing time, and I left the shop without a helmet. And from then on things just went worse. I received a mail message from STINT that my research proposal for the Asian monsoon network will not be funded. One full month of work to write the proposal just went up in smoke. Why did I not use the time for something better? Doing lab work, writing articles? What was wrong with the proposal? Why did I not get any money? It felt like a punch in the stomach.

Today is Thursday, and things are not better. It started with me congratulating a friend on Facebook for an award she had received in 2009. Why? Because a picture of her had popped up (only because it had been tagged), and I had assumed, without looking closer, that it was something new, until I more closely read the note and saw the date … why do I always get things wrong with this particular person? A few minutes later my phone rang. It was the owner of the horse riding stable where we were last week for a riding lesson and a short tour. I thought she would like to know if we had liked the lesson and the tour. But no, she had another enquiry. She asked for 30 kr.
The background story to the 30 kr is as follows: We had assumed that the riding lesson would cost 350 kr based on the information on the homepage, but when we paid it turned out to be 300.-/person, which meant 600 kr in total, but we only had 570 kr with us …. and thus paid 570 kr. Back home, I checked the price again on the homepage, and their it clearly said 350 kr, but it did not say if it is per person or per lesson, and I assumed naively that it was per lesson. Ok, I thought, then I will get some money back when I go there on Sunday for my other riding lesson. But then on Sunday I was told that although the homepage is unclear about the price, it would be 350 kr/person, but since we were two it would be 300 kr/per person and that we thus owe the stable 30 kr. But – I only had 500 kr with me to pay for the tour, because I thought that they would reimburse me, or skip the 30.-kr because things were really unclear. But no, this was not the case. The owner of the stable did not excuse herself for the unclear homepage, but asked me to transfer the 30 kr immediately to their bank account, because otherwise their accounting would be not in balance. I felt like a criminal after this phone call! I will send the 30 kr as soon as possible, although I am sure that the telephone call, and the banking fees cost more than 30 kr. Would it not have been easier to just skip the 30 kr, tell me that I had misunderstood and that they were sorry for the unclear homepage? Then I would have told her that I would of course bring the 30 kr next time I pass by. But now I am sure that I will not go back to take another riding lesson at Sleipnirs Ängar outside Genarp, and that they have lost their customer.

How will this week end? With an influenza – throat is already aching, nose is running, slight shivers, headache – or is it just a pollen allergy?

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