Here was my plan for last night: stay home, write, more HTML stuff and possibly watch the finales of "Apprentice" and "ER." Then I get a call from a friend of mine, "Hey, I've got six tickets to see Star Wars tonight and you're coming with us." To which I replied, "Ehhhhh, I don't know. I don't think I'm really in the mood to a)see a movie and b) talk to people." He called me two more times until I relented, and my evening plan changed again to: meet friend and two others for dinner at Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles for dinner at 8-8:15, go to the movie, go home.
I'm always the first to arrive at places, and last night was no exception. Roscoe's always has a line of people waiting for a table so I went ahead and put 5 down for a table. At 8:30 or so the host asks if my party has arrived because a table has opened up. Nope. I say I'll call to see when they'd arrive. I call. "We're at Sweetzer and Sunset; it'll only be about 10 minutes." At 8:50pm I call again. "Uh, I got pulled over by the police and they impounded my car. We're at Las Palmas and Sunset. Can you come get us?"
So I did. We still ate at Roscoe's, and barely made it in time to watch the latest Star Wars film. I was excited because we were seeing it at the Arclight, which means that your seats are assigned. We could stroll in late and still get seats. We walk in and, guess what my seat reservation was?: front row, end seat. So I get to watch the film from that awkward angle you get when you sit in the front row all the way to the right.
We get out at midnight and now, because Mr. Responsible forgot to get his car registered, I am the de facto chauffer who has to drive these Star Wars fanatics home. I live very close to the Arclight, could have been home by 12:10am. Mr. Responsible lives in the lovely city of Santa Monica, which is across town. I have to drive there and back so I don't get home until a little past 1am. And I started my evening wanting to stay home. Bygones.
I saw a news report claiming that businesses will lose $627 million dollars in productivity (I'm probably getting the language wrong) by workers who call in sick so that they can see this film. They figured the average salary was around $130 a day, and they multiplied that with the estimated number of people skipping work, and came up with that figure.
I never really trust those figures because it assumes that the employee that makes that salary is putting in that amount of productivity, and that is so not the case. I'm sure I've lost many days of work if you collectively add up the amount of time I spent in the office kitchen making tea and gossiping, or taking smoke breaks even though I don't smoke. And I've temped in offices where I barely answered the phone the entire day, making me wonder why the person I was working for needed an assistant at all.