The text is about not returning from Gdansk to Warsaw on Sunday in the middle of summer. Well, who would even do that?

The text is about not returning from Gdansk to Warsaw on Sunday in the middle of summer. Well, who would even do that?

Sunday. Gdańsk. I am driving on the A1 highway hoping, that we will make it to my Warsaw home in 4 hours with my 3-years-old daughter Sophie, and if I put the pedal to the metal maybe even in 3.5 hours. After driving several kilometers, I already knew, that that idea just went out the window, just like the apple core of the gentleman driving a blue Mazda with a Warsaw license plate just did. Incidentally, the man is eating healthy, as “we” all do in the capital.

I need to get gas. I might be able to make it, but one small traffic jam and I’m screwed. I can’t risk it, because I’m alone with Sophie and the my cat – Champignon – squawking to the high heavens. She is articulating her dissatisfaction with the journey by meowing, which is making my head pound. Behemoth or Slayer compared to Champignon are a breeze. Luckily, Sophie enjoys listening to loud music, so the cat doesn’t stand a chance. I am passing a gas station. The line already out on the highway. I am getting to the next one. It’s a little better, so I get in line and wait.

I’m watching a cloud coming in. It’s dark gray and large. Oh, whatever – I am in the car. It starts to rain. Torrential rain, and then hail the size of quail eggs begins to bounce off the hood of the car. I know what this hail means. I have been through something like that before, running to save my car, while pieces of ice rattled deafeningly against the metal bowl, that was shielding my head. I did not succeed then, now I can’t even try, surrounded by cars for 5 km on each side. I already know, that I will need to change the hood and the roof, which will be full of dents. I accept this with calmness. I mean, I have already gone through this once, so I know the drill. Besides, nothing is going to ruin my good mood on this wonderful, hot day (it is 40 C outside). The air conditioning in the car works. No one will take it away from me!

After 30 minutes I finally get to the distributor. I fill up quickly, because I know that everyone is in a hurry. I take Sophie from the car, and I explain to her while running that her Dolly will be waiting for us in the car and that we cannot go back for her, otherwise they will kill us (I didn’t exactly use this word, but it gives this story an adequate level of drama). We are running into the station. We need to pee, so we run for the toilet very quickly. Strangely, there is no line. Alleluia! Three minutes and we are standing at the register, waiting for our turn.

A tanned Trixie, obviously coming back from her vacation, is approaching the cashier. She is in her 50s at first glance, bleached hair, is picking at her tooth with the ice cream stick with one hand, and the other hand is holding her waist, supporting the released bosom.

– Someone is standing at number 4 for a long time and not returning. Call him! – says Trixie in a way, that does not evoke opposition. It was me. I cleverly pretend, that I had no idea what was going on. I am standing there with my 3-year-old daughter, so obviously I am not going to argue with Trixie. Finally, I get to the cash register. I pull out my card and say:

– Number 4, invoice please – forgetting all too quickly, about Trixie lurking behind me. A mahogany tanned Butch, who looks like her son, but is probably her husband, joins her. Well, all the ladies know, that the sun is the enemy of the perfect skin. Trixie and Butch are aggressively explaining to me what to do and in what order, so that things go smoothly. Trixie continues to pick her tooth with the ice cream stick. Sophie is becoming more and more confused. My blood pressure raises, but I am trying to stay calm. Unfortunately, I lose to my own temper and say to Trixie:

– Stop talking to me! I need to focus and provide my tax ID number to the cashier! – Wow, I certainly told her. I gave her a piece of mind. Why the hell not!

I finish paying and start running towards the car while carrying Sophie. While putting her in the car seat, I hear the moaning and valuable advice from Trixie and Butch. Others join them, nodding their heads up and down in a gesture of solidarity with Trixie and Butch, or looking at me, shaking their heads condescendingly. Thank God, that he gave me a huge dose of resistance to the opinion of others.

Only the tattoo on the hand of the spectator, who is observing the spectacle in which I play the main role, drives home the message, that it is not the type of ‘diem’ I wished to ‘carpe’ .

Monika Ciesielska
President at IMSA Search Global Partners. An experienced consultant in the recruitment of the management staff, including board members, and a leader of the recruiting team in the IT/Tech area. Enthusiast of digital transformation of HR processes. Podcaster at "Skrzydlaty HR" and "Top Leaders Club".
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