Friday, March 23, 2007

Distracted Driving Didn't Kill Me. Or Even Get Me A Ticket.

I am a Harry Potter fan. D is a Harry Potter fan. I have read all of the books and seen all of the movies and D has seen all of the movies. The books are a bit above his reading level. They are geared towards grade 5 and above. D is in grade 3 but reads at the high end of a 4th grade reader. He will probably read them next year.
I am really looking forward to the newest book and movie coming out the July. I know that I have a deeper understanding of the movies since I have read the books and I wanted D to enjoy it just as much as I do.
We went to the library at the beginning of this week and I checked out the unabridged audio CD's of Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone. At first D thought it was stupid that I would check that out but I thought it would be fun to listen to in the car.
I popped in the first CD and by the time we got home we had finished Chapters 1 & 2. D agreed that it was pretty cool. Since then whenever D is in the car with me we listen to the CD's. We are now on Chapter 6.
After we finish this book we will listen to the rest of the books on tape until we finish. I hope that we will be done by the time the last book comes out in July. I figure we have a good head start.
Today after I dropped D of before school I turned off the CD and started to listen to the radio. I got so caught up in what they were talking about that I didn't realize that I had gotten to my exit and breezed right by it.
I panicked.
The exit that I take is the last exit on one freeway and then it merges onto an expressway about 3 miles down the road. So I would have had to merge onto the expressway, drive until I found an exit and then turn around. I knew that it would have taken longer that the extra 15 minutes that I give myself in the morning (in case of heavy traffic) to get to work and I would probably be late.
The company that I work for has a quite strict tardy policy. If you are late more than 5 times in a rolling 12 month period you are written up. If you late again you are put on probation. One more time and you are terminated. Due to really bad winter weather I am at 5 tardies. I have one that will be removed at the end of March but after that I will have 4 on the books until September. So I can't risk getting another tardy.
Right after I passed my exit I realized what I had done. I decided that I was going to intentionally break the law.
Yep. I admit it. I willingly and knowingly broke the law today.
I turned into an authorized vehicle only lane and went from Eastbound on the highway to Westbound so that I could backtrack and get to my exit.
There wern't very many cars around that could see what I did and I hoped that one wasn't a cop. Apparently Lady Luck was on my side this morning. I was able to turn my car around and exit the freeway without the coppers catching me.
So here I sit at work. An admitted lawbreaker.
And I am a bit disappointed that D will be at his dad's all weekend. I want to listen to more Harry Potter.


Tara said...

I turned left at a red light once. There, I said it. Now I can rest easy now. ;) I was young, I didn't know any better!

I'm glad you weren't caught by the coppers and that you made it to work on time and safely! Man, if my company had the same tardiness policy your company has, I'd be toast.

The Diva's Thoughts said...

I so would have done the same thing!!! hahaha.

I thought I was the only person to still say "copper" lol

laughingattheslut said...

My husband wasn't paying attention on one of our trips, and after we stopped for gas he got back on the highway going the wrong direction. And he just refused to use those turnarounds on the dirt that the police use. I know that you're not supposed to use them, but we can't have been the first people to ever do that, and there wasn't much traffic anyway. I can't imagine what it would have hurt to do that. It wasn't posted or anything, but I think it's just one of those things that you're supposed to know not to do. But he wouldn't do it, and the next exit was like twelve miles away, so we were like a half hour behind schedule. He was probably speeding a bit to make up the time, and we could have got a ticket for that too. Using the turnaround would have been more honest, even if we would have gotten a ticket for doing it.

Playtah said...

I'm glad you didn't get caught either!

I do that sometimes if I try to get to 68th street from M-6. There's no way to get there if you're going toward Holland. It's stupid.

Rachel said...

Tara ~ Did you do it on purpose?
My friend Darcie was late to her job almost every day for 5 or 6 years. She would have been gone here within the first month. It is a very strict policy.

Diva ~ It was a toss up between copper and PoPo. Copper sounded better.

laughingattheslut ~ One of those turnarounds was exactly what I used. Mine was nicely paved though thanks to MDOT (Michigan Dept Of Transportation).

Playtah ~ I have been tempted to do that a few times but since the next exit past the 131/M6 interchange is only about a 1/2 mile away I take that exit and then get back on. I at least try to behave legally most of the time.

Churlita said...

You rebel. Could you be even more rebellious and listen to Harry Potter while D.'s at his dad's house?

Tara said...

I wasn't really thinking about it at the time. Just driving a coworker home after we closed up the restaurant. The street was pretty dead, and when I turned automatically, and then panicked, my friend pointed out that there was nobody around anyway. :D

David in DC said...

I hereby retroactively authorize your vehicle for the manuever. But just this once.

David in DC said...

Also, the voice on the Harry Potter books is Jim Dale, a fantastic British actor.

The first time I ever saw a Broadway play I was twelve and my mom took me to see him in a translation of a comedy by Moliere called "Scapino".

He won a lifetime fan.

I never saw him in the performance as P.T. Barnum that won him a Tony, but I sure was excited, all these years later, to find him as the voice of the Harry Potter books on tape, when RFB's mom bought her a copy for Chanukah a couple of years ago.

Not so little Woman said...

The things we do to not be late!! I'm glad you didn't get caught.

Rachel said...

Churlita ~ I did end up listening to it on my way home. It is really good since it is the unabridged version and has so much more detail.

Tara ~ Well, you didn't do it on purpose. Totally different. I knew that it was illegal and I did it anyway.

David In DC~ Thanks for the free pass. Jim Dale has a fantastic voice. I love listening to it.

not so little woman ~ No kidding. I might have been tempted to cut off a police officer just to get to work on time.

l.b. said...

That is a really strict policy and if I were in your position I would have done the same thing. Better to have to pay for one ticket than to lose your job!
Books on cd are awesome, btw.

Lydia said...

I really enjoy the HP books and films too! And as far as law-breaking goes, well it's pretty minor, but good you didn't get a ticket and even better that you didn't risk your job.

I see I've missed lots of blogging from you while I've been away on my Texas trip. I need to catch up soon, but at least I've already caught up writing in my blog! Hope all is well with you, Rachel.

Hilly said...

Ha, OMG I did the same thing...well, sorta.

I am listening to "ME Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris on audio. While I was driving back from Northern CA the other day, I really had to pee...I mean really. So I desperately was waiting for the next exit with facilities and passed it as I was laughing my butt off.

Needless to say, the next 22 miles were hell!

Babybull40 said...

We've pulled U ies on the highway.. but luck was also on our side.. no coppers.. They were all at the local donut gald you didn't get another tardy..

Rachel said...

l.b. ~ No kidding. The policy is really strict. It is the #1 reason that people leave (unvolunatarily).

lydia ~ I hope you had a great time in Texas. I saw your blog but haven't commented. LOVE the t-shirt.

hilly ~ I can completely relate to that situation. I am the kind of person that can hold it for a while but when it gets to a certain point I gotta go and go NOW!!!

babybull40 ~ I haven't ever pulled a u-turn on the highway without a turnaround. You are a rebel!

ARM said...

Don't let the anti-Harry Potter people hear about this. Next they'll say that the books cause bad driving among all the other evil we HP-lovers do.

Although, in this case, it wasn't HP that caused the momentary forgetfulness, but you mentioned HP, so that's all they'll grab onto.

I have a countdown for the new book because I'm a dork like that. I have also taken the 20th of July off from work. More dorkdom...

laughingattheslut said...

But are you a dork with a costume and a scarf?

Erica said...

I also love Harry Potter, but my colleague at work is a much bigger fan, she has seen every movies at the cinema three or four times each!
And we all do little things to break the law sometimes, like you wrote about in a post a while back! But you were lucky this time, be careful...