the key to failure

I am one of those persons who will, not only immediately before and after, but also randomly check the core components for my survival when I’m going somewhere or leaving the house.

– keys
– phone
– wallet

That hasn’t stopped myself from locking myself out of the car in 1999, or out of my parents house or out of my flat in one memorable occasion1.

But who hasn’t, right?

Anyway, let’s get to the story, shall we?

In 2012 a coworker2 asked me to take pictures at her wedding. I’m not a professional photographer, and I usually make this clear to people, but I’ve occasionally been “hired” as a photographer for events like weddings, birthday parties, a baptism. Not for the official wedding photos, but to take pictures of the ceremony itself, the party shenanigans, that sort of stuff.
The wedding took place on a Saturday, I was supposed to take pictures together with another hired gun at the ceremony and later at the party in another place. Overnight stay was included, so I packed things for the overnight stay, camera, batteries, memory cards, lenses, tripod and all the fun stuff.
The wedding ceremony was in a town about 40 miles away. Since I wasn’t exactly familiar with that place, I just parked my car in a parking lot near the town center bus station and found the wedding venue on foot, easily enough. It was only a mile or so away. The wedding was beautiful and fun to take pictures at, it was a nice place, I got to know a few people and met two ex-coworkers who were also invited, one of them being the second photographer.

They were also nice enough to drive me back to my car after the ceremony, so I wouldn’t have to walk.

They dropped me off and while getting out of their car, I slid the hand in the jacket of my pocket to pop the trunk using the remote in my car keys. I opened it, threw my camera inside and at a moment’s notice decided to put my jacket in there as well.
Next I slammed the trunk shut and panicked.

Holy shit, I just threw my car keys into the car boot and closed it again.

I dashed around the car and grabbed the door handle, because I’d actually heard the lock mechanism in the trunk snap shut.

Fun fact: with my car, there are two ways to open things with the remote. Trunk only, or the central locking mechanism which unlocks everything. Guess what I’d used.

I turned around and saw my coworkers’ car pulling out of the parking lot. Dashing after it and waving, running after them for a few seconds until they crossed a larger intersection, I realized that it wouldn’t matter anyway. My keys and my camera were in the car.

I checked the pockets of my dress trousers3. Usually, when wearing those, I would have my wallet and my phone in my jacket for comfort, but for some reason not this time.

Browsing my contact list for people I might know from the wedding, I found one entry.
The bride. No good.

It also started to rain a little bit. Sending silent prayers to whoever was listening I called my sister who thankfully was neither out and about and partying nor nursing a hangover, but simply being at home. We live in the same city, so I explained what had happened. She agreed to help me out, so I described where my spare car keys were4 and she went to get them for me.

She drove all the way to where I was, opened the car5 and drove off with my spare key again. She still has it. For emergencies.6

While waiting I’d also googled and called the hotel where the party was scheduled.

“Hey, you are hosting a wedding party tonight, right? Has the bride arrived yet? No? Ok, please tell her, as soon as she arrives, that Olli is okay and he’ll be there in 90 minutes or so. Nothing to worry about.”

When I arrived at the hotel, grinning sheepishly, I told the bride my story and she told me about how the hotel personnel told her that she shouldn’t worry, “that Olli guy sounded quite cheerful and laughed a lot”.

Yeah, that’s what I usually do, when dumb things happen, I laugh about myself. We still laugh about that story occasionally today. The wedding party was wonderful, we had loads of fun, I took tons of pictures and they all turned out pretty well.

So that’s my fail story for this weekend. If you like that sort of stuff, you should totally check out the Utter Failures blog by @LauraLeeSeo

It has some wonderful failures by her and some illustrous guest bloggers7.

And to round things off, here’s a photograph of a present I got recently. Check out the 52 photos project if you want to know what other people got.

duck

 

Footnotes
  1. spare set of keys was also inside my flat because I hadn’t given them back to my sister for emergencies yet []
  2. actually two, but only one of them is relevant today []
  3. wedding, you know []
  4. fun fact: this happened like two months after the “locked out of appartment” incident mentioned above and boy am I glad I gave my spare keys to my sister shortly afterwards []
  5. in the mean time I’d spend some time in a pub/bistro drinking tea []
  6. like me being dumb []
  7. including myself sending a text to the wrong recipient with near catastrophic consequences []