A Broken Window

I came back to the office after Labor Day weekend and found that one of the windows on the Third Avenue side of my office had been broken.  I don’t know whether the broken window was an accident or a deliberate act of vandalism; and, since it is unlikely I will ever know, I prefer to believe the damage was done unintentionally by an irresponsible person. 

 The window is likely to remain broken for an extended period because the tinted glass is not available locally and can only be obtained from some place in Missouri.  Apparently, the glass is so rare that we are not even able to determine when we can get it.  I should point out that only the exterior pane of the double pane window is broken, and I was given the option of having it replaced with some un-tinted glass as an interim measure.  I turned down this offer because I don’t think it’s worth the effort or cost to replace the glass twice.  In the meantime, my view of Third Avenue is a little distorted, and I’m sure people will soon begin to wonder why we aren’t acting more quickly to repair the damage.

 I strongly subscribe to the idea that well-run places take care of problems quickly, but I am even more strongly committed to saving money when we can do it without hurting our ability to serve the public.  The broken window was quickly taped up by our Facilities Maintenance staff and seems to pose a minimal safety threat.

My week has been beset by irritations like the window.  I’ve been lucky enough to be stung by a bee while bending over to pick up the morning newspaper (an omen, I think), turn my ankle while running along the trail near my home, and be called to help someone move whom I didn’t know and who wasn’t really prepared to move.  It sometimes feels like if you’ve enjoyed a decent interval of good fortune, you need to have a run of minor bad luck to balance things out.  I am not, of course, the least bit superstitious; and I usually remember to count my blessings.  Nonetheless, the window breaking, bee stinging, ankle turning, and bad moving experiences can stop now that I’ve gotten the message.  I wonder if any of these events would have happened if the Ducks and Beavers had won their openers (LSU and Sacramento State).

I’m sure better days are ahead as the swelling from the bee sting has subsided, I can still run on my ankle, and the frustrating move is behind me.  The Ducks will beat Nevada this weekend, and the Beavers might do something positive in Wisconsin, although don’t hold me to the latter prediction.  (Editor’s note:  This column was written September 8, 2011.)  I’m sure the broken window will be repaired before long, and I appreciate the help from Ray, Craig, and Danny in making it happen.