Susan, Maxine, and Patricia were assigned to do a project for their psychology class. They agreed to meet the next day in the campus library at 4:00.

Tomorrow came, and Maxine had forgotten that she was supposed to leave the house at 2:30. It was now almost 3:00!

When she got to the corner bus stop ten minutes later, it was raining. Also, she realized that she had forgotten her bookbag. Looking into the distance, she couldn't see a bus, so she figured it would be safe to backtrack.

Maxine ran back home and into her room. As she was putting her bag on, she noticed that her bus money was still on the dresser. Thankfully, she scooped the change into her hand and put it into her pocket.

After locking the house door again, she ran back to the bus stop. She looked to her left and the bus still wasn't coming. A glance to her right, and she saw Bus 42 several blocks ahead, at a red light.

Tightening the straps on her bookbag, Maxine ran for it. When she reached the end of her block, she had to stop and let a car go by.

The light changed, so the bus moved on.

Another car was behind the first, but the driver let Maxine go.

By this time, the girl gave up on chasing Bus 42. Rather than wait for the next bus, she decided to walk the fourteen blocks to the stop for what would have been her second bus.

Along the way, Maxine stepped into puddles deep enough to soak her socks. Strong winds constantly blew her umbrella inside out and away from her. It did not help that the rain was now pouring. One of her routes was blocked by a huge pool of water, forcing her to circle a block. When she was nearly at her destination, another Bus 42 passed her.

When she made it to the bus stop, she looked at her watch. Amidst Maxine's journey, its hands had gotten turned back to 11:54.

Bus 85 arrived at 12:19, according to Maxine's watch.

As she gathered her change, she realized that her house keys were gone. By this time, the bus was moving.

The bus ride would typically be a half hour long. The rain and the many people at the stops seemed to do whatever they could to make the trip even longer.

It was 4:48 when the bus made its final stop. When the other students cleared the aisle, Maxine rushed out and literally ran to the library, ignoring the angry horns of cars and the laughter of most of her onlookers.

To Maxine's surprise, she didn't see Susan or Patricia when she walked in. After scanning the area, she headed for the computers.

"Hey, Max," Susan greeted from a computer chair. "Didn't think you were coming."

"Yeah, sorry about that," Maxine panted as she sat beside her partner. "Where's Patricia?"

"She said she had to wash her hair and that she's not coming because she can't get here on time."

The moral of the story is, some people will give excuses as to why they cannot do what they are supposed to. What they really mean is that they just don't want to do it, and don't want to admit it. Other people will go to great lengths to get the job done, even if they have good reasons why they cannot do it.