We all have bad days. It's just that in our first-world lives a typical 'bad day' is less about life and death, and more about inconvenience, machines not working and awkward interactions.
It's testament to how cushy our lives have become. But regardless, a first-world bad day still feels completely soul sucking.
The following is an example of how a miserable modern morning looks. Or is it actually not so bad after all?
Melanie wakes up disoriented and panicked. She fondles frantically at her iPhone to see the time. "It's 8:45!" she whimpers, "I'll be so late for the meeting!"
Through adrenaline and a lowering of her hygiene standards, she manages to get ready within 15 minutes. She bolts out the door to run for the bus stop.
She has a sliver of battery left on her phone so she starts writing a pitiful apology text to her boss. "So sorry Jen, I'm running late but will be aroused soon"
"Wait -- no! Autocorrect! 'around soon' -- 'around'!" But it's too late. The message is on its way to Jen. "NO, no, no!" She prods neurotically at her screen as if that could bring back the message.
'Low Battery 10% Remaining' pops up.
She tries to tap it away but nothing happens. She stares wide-eyed as her front-facing camera turns on, and a chin-heavy version of her face appears. It's a Facetime video call from her mum, which she cancels.
She fumbles into 'Settings' in the hope Apple added a 'recall message' feature in their last system update. Her phone isn't responding to her clubby pokes as the camera switches on again -- it's mum on Facetime once more. She cancels again with an 'argh'.
'Low Battery 5% Remaining' pops up.
She taps it away. She realises she'll have to call Jen to explain everything, but before she can click 'Contacts' her phone freezes, goes black, and departs this world.
Melanie stares zombie-like at the black screen, which reflects her mopey guppy face.
The bus pulls up, late, and she solemnly gets on -- standing room only. With her phone dead, she has no idea what to do with her hands or where to look.
Her scumbag brain starts imagining how Jen is reacting to her being late and her text message. She imagines Jen getting outraged and raising it with the big boss. She imagines a meeting request called 'Catch up' appearing in her inbox with someone from HR invited. She imagines the headlines on Twitter: "Dimwit slag's 'unforgiveable' sexting rampage"... well, maybe not that one.
She's trying to figure out how she'll explain this away. But with no music to zone out to, she can't help but overhear two girls in school uniform talking.
"So I unliked his last pic on insta... and sent him the four leaf clover emoji, crescent moon and cat with hearts for eyes".
"You are SO bad, Sienna!"
Melanie doesn't understand and feels a million years old.
In what feels like hours later, Melanie arrives in the city. She stampedes through crowds of plodding tourists, kids holding hands in an impenetrable chain and oversized families with multiple prams taking up the part of the footpath which isn't under construction.
She arrives at work, getting a fresh glaze of sweat from the overheated lift, and speeds to Meeting Room 12.6. She slides open the door -- frazzled, sticky, hungry -- to see a room full of her put-together colleagues looking at her confused. 'What is she', is what Melanie imagines they're thinking.
She enters, thinking "Could my life be any worse?"Suggest a correction