“If there’s more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will result in disaster, then somebody will do it that way.”
This is the phrase attributed to Edward A. Murphy, Jr. according to his son, Robert Murphy.
Does it seem familiar? Are you wondering who these two gentlemen are? And why I’ve even dropped their names?
You may be more familiar with, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
And although it was made popular by a man named Major John Paul Stapp, it is still called Murphy’s Law.
(Does anyone else find it ironic that Murphy’s Law rained down upon its original phrasing?)
That was my August and the beginning of my September in a nutshell.
Without going into too much detail, here are the unfortunate chronological events. After attending the funeral of one of my beloved aunts and taking my youngest to visit her dad,
- my first flight was delayed because of mechanical problems
- as a result, I missed my connecting flight and was asked to wait eight hours for the next available flight
- when I went to check on the location of my luggage, I was told, “they turned the plane around for you.” So, I went to catch the plane I had missed…only to find it had turned around because of mechanical problems (Note: I asked about my luggage again and was told, “You don’t deal with your luggage now. You deal with it when you get there.”)
- once I arrived in Costa Rica, I discovered that my luggage was still in the United States
- although the airline quickly resolved the issue and put my bags on the next plane out, the plane flew into another airport. I had to stay overnight at a nearby hotel. $$
- after finally arriving home, I walked in to a house that had no power. Of course, before leaving, I was assured that there was no bill to pay. I had to go to the power company to resolve the situation moments after putting the recovered luggage in the house. $
- the power could not be turned on until the following day since the techs were already out in the field. Once it was on, however, I noticed that the refrigerator and freezer were no longer cooling. I had to call a repairman to fix it. $$$
- On top of that, whoever changed the connection on my stove when it was switched out did it incorrectly. No gas was getting to the burners. (No hot food. No cold food.)
But we still had each other. And we still had shelter from the rainy season. We could make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Yes. That’s what I said. But, I wanted to go into a corner and cry.
Every day, from the moment I started the return home, something unraveled. There was no time to sit and be home.
And money had to be spent for something that could have possibly been prevented.
When I went to fill up (in preparation for an indefinite public workers’ union strike), my friendly gas station attendant kept asking me if everything was good because he had not seen me in a while. It was all I could do to get out of the station before completely falling apart in front of him.
Yet, I’m grateful for many of those unfortunate events.
- Had my planes not been delayed and repaired, who knows what disastrous results would have happened. Plus, we got food vouchers and free snacks for our inconvenience.
- I could have left and had my luggage delivered. But I chose to wait. Had I not, I would have realized that the house and car keys were inside one of the bags.
- Also, had I not waited, I would have returned to a dark house with no power and no way to attend to the situation until morning. (oh, wait…no house or car keys…)
- And I was once again reminded of God’s faithfulness and of who my true friends are.
Because of those events, I’m on a renewed mission of preparation and prevention. So I can keep Mr. Murphy at bay.
In spite of it all, this month’s reflections journal is still one of lessons learned and gratitude.