I never considered myself a very competitive person. I was on the swim team in high school but was always one of the last swimmers in every race, I am not that aggressive of a skiier I just like to have a good time, and I was on the C-Team in Volleyball. The only thing I have ever been competitive at was school, and let me tell you, I kicked ass at it. But as I give myself more time for introspection, I realize that I do have competitive tendancies, no matter how small they are. You probably remember the post about race-walking with the dude from the train (here). Well last night I realized another secret competition I hold with those around me. So it was rain/snowing last night which necessitated the use of the wipers and I was driving on the highway, so we all know that means there is need for faster wiper speeds. Perhaps you do this too, but I noticed that I set my wiper speed to the slowest possible setting that I am comfortable with to maintain going 60mph. This means that I use the setting that clears it, then when the road is nearly completely undecipherable, the blades rotate again. Well I noticed myself looking at the other cars around me and if someone had their wipers on faster than me, I would smugly think to myself "amateurs!". That's right! I realize I was mocking and laughing at those around me who preferred more visibility than I do. I am holding a secret competition with all the other drivers to see which one of us can continue to drive with as little visibility out the windshield as possible. Does this seem reckless to anyone else? I obviously need a better outlet for my competitive nature.
The reason I was driving home late in the rain/snow was because we had a big company dinner last night. The big cheeses are in town for a meeting today, so last night our entire office went out with them. There were about 23 people there and we were split into two tables. Our table was listening to the San Francisco office head talk about his recent travels, how he loathes his birthday to the point of excommunicating those who dare send him e-mails or cards, and we were all cracking up and laughing about various other crap. There was a lot of booze involved. The other table seemed to be having an equally good time, but I found out this morning, that they were much more aware of what was about to happen. Apparently one out-of-town fellow had gotten lost on his way to the restaurant and had spent an hour driving around and trying to call the guys at the other table for help. Of course no one was paying attention to their phones (read: they were busy enjoying their booze), so twenty minutes later one of them sees his missed call and call him back. He is cursing and freaking out about being out there forever trying to find this place. So they know what is about to come, but we don't. Our poor unsuspecting table is just laughing and having a good time. Meanwhile their table is rearranging plates and chairs to make it seem like the only open seat is at our table. Dude walks in and comes to our table. He didn't look distressed at first, so we are all smiles and greeted him. Well someone baits him and says 'hey where have you been?'. Then his face instantly changes and he shouts "fucking directions, I spent a fucking hour trying to find this place and no one was fucking picking up their phones..." let's just say he has a healthy understanding of how to use the F-word. Our entire table went dead silent. I am pretty sure all the blood drained from my face and we all started looking at each other like 'is all the fun over now?'. This wasn't a hard restaurant to find, there was a giant neon sign out on the main road with an arrow, oh and it is right next to a municipal airport, so you know there is like a radio control tower right next to it and blinking red lights on the top of 50-foot antennas, small landmarks like that. How he got lost is beyond me. But he started ranting about how the directions said 2/10 of a mile and it was actually further than that.....um does anyone actually look at the mileage counters on the side of the directions and only go by those? I usually look at the part that says "take a right at Dayton St" and then I look for Dayton Street. Call me crazy. I mean I could see using only that part of the direction if you were into orienteering and were on an adventure to find a place using only the distance and compass directions. Turns out he not only had the printed out directions, but he also had a gps in his car.....you know some people couldn't find their way out of a paper bag. Our big boss finally breaks our shocked silence by turning to the guy and saying 'you know all 23 of us had the exact same directions you had and we obviously found it'. It was awesome! Then we all resumed our whitty....and not-so-whitty banter.