That's the question we were taught to ask ourselves in nursing school. It's basically a way to not feel so hesitant about asking questions or looking something up. Like if you have a medication that you are supposed to give your patient and you're not completely sure if the dose is right, what's the worst that could happen? If you ask another nurse about it, you might look stupid. If you look it up on the computer, you might look stupid and get behind in the tasks you have to do. On the other hand, if you just give the medication without double checking and the dose actually turns out to be wrong, then the worst thing that could happen is that the patient could DIE. The point of this thinking is that you're supposed to pick the worst of the worst things that could happen and then follow the series of events that would NOT lead to that. You with me?
Okay, so, last night my parents took me out to dinner. They parked in a lot owned by a nearby apartment building (since my building doesn't have any pay parking) and we were there for about an hour and a half. We came back to find the passenger side window of my parents' car smashed and my mom's purse missing. The car was absolutely filled with stuff-- suitcases for my dad's trip out of town, briefcases, files, duffel bags, etc-- but the only thing they took was my mom's purse. My mom had been using a different purse so the one that was stolen only contained some odd paperwork and the spare sets of keys for her office and house.
Oh, and an extra set of MY APARTMENT KEYS. The key to my apartment, the garage door opener, and the little doohickey you swipe in front of the front and garage entrances that goes 'meep' and lets you through the door.
The keys to my apartment, DOWN THE STREET.
So we reported the break-in to the security guys at the parking garage and my parents left. Then I went home to report the missing keys to my building security guard. When I got to the security office, there were two people already there reporting the presence of suspicious persons in the building. So I told the security guard and the people what had happened with my keys and he said he would put together a report and call the security over at the other garage and see if they had any footage of the same suspicious persons. It's a stretch, but not totally unlikely that the people who took my mom's purse might have gotten out the keys and driven down the block hitting the garage opener until a garage popped open. And if they drove straight from where my parents were parked toward my apartment building, then it wouldn't have taken very long at all for this to happen.
I went up to my apartment and thought for a moment: Someone out there has my keys. The keys are probably not but might be marked as "SF Apartment" or "SF #apartmentnumber." There were suspicious people reported in my parking garage approximately 30 minutes after we realized my keys were stolen. If the keys are not marked, someone could potentially try all the apartments until he (or she) got to the one that my key opened.
So, I asked myself, what's the worst that could happen? Well, if I think that someone might try to get into my apartment tonight, I could call a friend and spend the night at their place, but if I do that I don't want to leave Bowie here by himself so I will have to call and miss work tomorrow since I can't take him to work with me and anyways I'll have to get my lock changed during business hours and gah it will all be such a nuisance. On the other hand, if I don't do all of this and someone actually does use my key to get into my apartment tonight, I could get STABBED TO DEATH. I think I'll be calling Kelly to ask if I can come have a sleepover.
I hurriedly threw some clothes and stuff together and drove over to Kelly's house and stayed there overnight. This morning, I got up and gathered all my stuff again. I put on my backpack, I put on my purse. I picked up Bowie's carrier, in which I had stored his litterbox. I picked up Bowie. "HOLD ON to me," I hissed in his ear. I walked out of Kelly's building and down the street where I had parked. It was a bit of a hike and cars were wooshing by, but it seemed to be working out fine.
I got to my car and realized that I had parked it under a rather bird-popular telephone wire so the birds had freely shat all over my car. I tried to put the carrier/litterbox down and get out my keys to unlock the car and Bowie flipped the eff out and jumped out of my arms and scrambled under the car. His claws snagged on my shirt while he jumped, ripping it. So I opened the car door, threw my stuff inside and said in an attempted-soothing-but-more-like-hysterical-pleading voice "Look Bowielove, the car's open, get in the car honey. It'll be okay. Come on just GET IN THE CAR NOW." He stayed where he was. So I got down onto my hands and knees and put one hand up agains the bird-shat-on car, and reached with my other hand into the filth that was under my car (mud/leaves/oil) and grabbed Bowie by his back skin and manhandled him into the car. I called my work to let them know that I couldn't come in because I had to get my lock changed and the woman I talked to made it clear through her aggravated sighs that they were none to happy with me.
To recap, I took the potential threat to my life seriously and acted accordingly. I am now left with the following:
One brand new set of keys to one brand new lock.
One heavily bird-shat car.
One favorite shirt with slightly noticable rip.
And one skittish cat in dire need of a bath.
Also: one questionable work situation, one ruined Friday, and one messy apartment from my rapid evacuation.
But. I was not stabbed to death.