Wednesday, March 13, 2013

This One Time at a Technology Conference

...I locked my keys in the car, drove on the interstate to go just up the block, sat at the captain's table, presented a session about blogging, and got a temporary tattoo of Edmodo.

Parking Garage Photo Credit: Joe Shlabotnik

Among other talents that I have, I am really good at locking my keys in the car. I'm pretty sure I've done it 7 times now. It might be 8 though. This most recent time was rather inconvenient. We arrived at the convention center with about half an hour of registration left. We pulled into the parking garage and I tried to keep from hyperventilating because I had just driven in a city in morning traffic. I haven't ever done that before. I found the first spot I could and we got out of the car. My current car doesn't have automatic locks, so I had asked my other two companions to make sure and lock the car. They did so and we headed to registration. I realized I still had the parking garage ticket in my hand and turned around to put it in the car. A few steps toward the car and I had a sinking feeling. And yes I was right. I had locked my keys in the car with the car STILL RUNNING! I was so stressed about the driving that I literally just got out of the car and locked it up. (It looked sorta like the photo above.)

I started freaking out some more, but thankfully my colleague, Amanda, was thinking better. She went to the lady who takes the money and asked for help. That lady knew a guy to call. So we waited. 20 minutes later we were still waiting. We had checked in to the conference and returned to the car. Now were were starting to miss the first session. So Amanda called the Highway Patrol hotline. She got fussed at because she was supposed to call 911, so there would be a local number from which to gather information. We got the non emergency number. Called it and tried to describe where we were at. The cops were on their way. 30 minutes later we were still waiting. I called a tow company and waited for the call from their technician. The police showed up after going to the wrong parking garage a time or two. The very nice police man recommended that I get a hide a key thing. As he was working the tow truck technician called. I cancelled the order. Then I called the main office to cancel the order and we went inside. Where practically my whole group knew the story. Thankfully after 7 times I'm getting good at laughing at myself.

Speaking of laughing at myself, Amanda brought her GPS and I was totally dependent on it to get anywhere because of the whole 'being paranoid about driving in a city.' So on Wednesday night when we needed food, we consulted the GPS. We decided on Mexican and picked the address. We pulled out of the parking lot and turned right because that was the only way we could turn. We got on the interstate, got off at the next exit, drove down a road, turned right, drove down another road, and turned right again. Then we arrived at the Mexican restaurant that was across the parking lot from our hotel. We could have walked!

Another dinner adventure was Thursday night at PF Chang's. We had a reservation for like 18 at 7:30. We had to be prompt because this was their most requested table. We felt special! With a little discussion we discovered that this most requested table, the captains table, was in the kitchen. Seriously! Behind the bar and in front of the kitchen is two tables with one long bench to connect the two and chairs on the other side. Being 'just a waiter' is nothing to sneeze at. It is a difficult job and man those people were good.

There's no good transition to the last two minor stories. At the actual conference itself, I learned some awesome stuff and got to create some stuff to use at school. I also co-presented a session about blogging. I pretty much thought I was crazy and totally not the right person to give advice. However, we did. The session went well and people told us thank you for a few things we presented. It wasn't the biggest session, but I'm glad it wasn't. Another thing that they had at the conference were vendors. One of them was a company called Edmodo. They had temporary tattoos and someone had the idea that all the women should have a tattoo. So we all got a tattoo of Edmodo and took a photo in the hallway of the hotel. I don't have that photo, but we did laugh a whole lot.

So I went to a technology conference and locked my keys in the car, drove on the interstate to go up the block, sat the captain's table, presented about blogging, and got a tattoo.

Have you locked your keys in the car? Has anyone beat my record?


  1. Oh man, brutal. I locked my keys in the car once, but it was pretty bad. One of my first days back from maternity leave and this massive ice storm hit Dallas. Work was cancelled for three days, but still had a meeting that people had flown in for, so mid-storm the leadership (and me as their note-taker) met anyways. So I drove very slowly over solid ice on a barren highway.

    It was frigid, and I tried to gather up all my stuff, totally had mommy brain, and discovered as I walked up to the building that I'd left my keys and phone in the car.

    So, the office was locked and I could not get in. My car was locked and I could not get in. I was alone, and I could not call my husband, a tow truck, my meeting to tell them I was outside... no one.

    In the end I waited for 40 minutes before someone finally walked past and let me in.

  2. Oh my goodness! That is rough.
    One time it was late at night after a concert. I had to get my parents out of bed at like 11:30 to come unlock it for me. They weren't to happy.
    And this is the second time I've done it with the car running.
    At this point I'm starting to think it some kind of superpower.

  3. I used to have a minivan, when I was in college, and somehow, I'd lock my keys in it all the time. In fact, I did it so often, that I eventually punch a small hole in the back sliding window, so that I could reach in with a stick and push the unlock button. True story.

  4. It's good to know I'm not the only one who does it often. Of course, I have done it with 5 different cars.