Monday, May 09, 2005

Only Me!

Sit down with a beer for this one...you're going to need it! The end of this is the kicker! I got up early this morning, grabbed my piece of toast, and went to Curves for 30 minutes. Went to work and was just slammed. I've been out of the office for the past 2 weeks for training and will be out of the office all this week and next for training, so today was my only day to get things accomplished. I was slammed with phone calls from managers freaking out that they couldn't figure how to sign their employees up for training. Literally 10 phone calls, and they are pissed! What sucks even more, I barely know since the merger, so I wasn't much help! I ended up putting together a power point presentation to walk them through step by step on how to do this. Of course with no help from the jerks in Kill Me, TX. I also had other stuff to get done that didn't get accomplished. Stuff that is on a deadline for June, stuff that I am not getting any help on, but people are waiting for me to send out stuff. I'm on a damn 7 hour conference call (yes, no exaggeration, 7 hours) and am trying to get stuff done while half listening to this call. I don't have time to go to lunch, so I ask her to order me a sandwich from down the street (they deliver). I pick out my sandwich, and email her my order with no mayo, no mustard and no dressing (I don't eat condiments, yuck!). After about 45 minutes (this place is a mile away), they deliver our sandwiches. It's now about 1pm and I'm ready to chew my arm off. The receptionist brings it up to my office, I open it, and there is mayo and dressing on it. Eck, I almost ralphed right on my desk. The receptionist takes it and call them to have them make another one. She tells them again, no mayo, no mustard, no dressing. It's now about 1:45 and they bring the new one, takes the old on and leaves. She brings it up to me again, I check it, and it's drenched in dressing! Eck!!! I told her to call them and just have them credit my credit card back. When she does, they ask, "What do you mean dressing?" The freaking menu says the sandwich comes with Italian Dressing. So, I end up sneaking out of my conference call for 20 minutes to run up to the grocery store to get something for lunch. I grabbed a bowl of watermelon, went to get in my truck, and it won't start! You've got to be fucking kidding me!! No, this can't happen. I have no time for this to happen. My lights are coming on, my dashboard lights are all working, even my stereo works, it just won't start. No clicking, no trying to turn over - A BIG FAT NOTHING!! After about 5 attempts, it starts. Sheez...got through that one. I get back to the office, jump back on the call, start working on the training I'm developing, and eating my watermelon. Around 6:00, I had to get out of their quick so I could get to the gym, but I still wasn't done. And I hate working over 8 hours for these fools as they haven't done one damn thing for me. So I figured I would get some of it done at home after going to the Curves. My truck starts fine (thank you!), I get to Curves, do my 30 minutes and go home. I still have shit to do though. I have something that HAS to be shipped UPS today, I really wanted a pedicure before my training this week cause my feet were looking like the Flinstone's, I had emails that still needed to be sent out for next week's training, emails to delegate parts of this project too, and some other little stuff. Not to mention my house is a pig sty and I really wanted to get it cleaned tonight as some friends that are in town for training invited themselves over for this week!! So, I gather the stuff I need for UPS, and they are closed...I missed them by 15 minutes. So I go down the street to a nail place to get my pedicure. After the day I've had, I need it. I actually have a great pedicure, which is very surprising because I NEVER get a good one at a non-spa place (ok, I was being polite, but ladies you know what I'm talking about). She was detailed, asked if I liked it, fixed what I didn't like, she just did an excellent job! The place closes at 8:00 and I'm out of there at 8:10. I get in my truck, and it won't start! Damn, this is so embarrassing. Let me remind you, I have a 2001 Ford Explorer. Only 70,000 miles and I keep it up on it's maintenance (thanks Dad!). The people from the nail place were leaving, and I wait for them to leave before I try starting it again....it's just so embarrassing (I can get a pedicure but have a ghetto car). I continue to attempt to start it, hoping it'll do what it did earlier today. No luck. I call my mom and we try and talk through it (she knows a little bit about cars - family of mechanics). I put the thing in neutral, let it roll back into another part of the parking lot and try to start it...no luck. We get my uncle on 3-way and we are trying to talk through it. He tells me to try to disconnect the battery and reconnect it to reset it...I could not get that sucker off...not with pliers not with a monkey wrench. Meanwhile, people are driving around, staring...but no one stopping. I don't want anyone to stop but I'm disappointed that no one has offered. Hell, I've even pulled over to help a woman change a flat tire, help jump a battery, etc. But no, not here! Meanwhile I'm freaking out! I can't NOT have a car this week...I have training all week. This is just not a good week for crisis. Everytime someone kind of shady drives by, I close my hood, jump in my truck, and lock the doors. Now, let's see if you can get a feeling for the shopping center I am in. It has a Big Lots, Dollar General, Cash Advance, Mim's Discount Jewlery, H&R Block and a Pet Store. Not the best of areas. In fact, I'm a little scared at this point. I don't know anyone here in Columbia so I couldn't call anyone to come get me. Then I remember my friends that are in town for the training, try and call them, and can't get a hold of any of them. It's now dark and I'm getting more scared. I open my hood again, looking to see if I can see anything apparently wrong and this old, dirty, freaky guy drives by in a small purple, ghetto ford focus, drives up real close, sticks his head out the window, drives real slow and just stares! I immediately slam my hood, jump in my truck, lock the doors and call my mom. While my mom and I are talking about what I should do, a cop drives by infront of me slowly, I start to flash my lights so he would stop and maybe help me or stay with me, and he keeps driving. I was feeling oh so safe! I finally, at about 9:00 end up calling the Roadside Assistance. They first ask me if I'm in a safe location. I reply, "Well, I am in a parking lot, but it's not the best of parking lots. The stores are closed, it's dark, and people keep driving by for no apparent reason". She replies with, "Well, do you need a police officer". I told her that one passed by and didn't stop, even after flashing my lights. She left it at that. She got all my info, and told me I would get a call in just a few minutes from an automated system to tell me how long. I get the call, 55 full fucking minutes! I do not live in a big city. I can't comprehend how the nearest tow truck is 55 minutes away. So, I try to entertain myself by talking to my mom, I called my dad to let him know what was going on, and continued to talk to my mom. I know she was trying to make the time go by faster by talking about her day/week, but it's not helping. Anything she says cannot be worse than what I was going through in that moment (at least in my eyes). So, as I'm waiting, pimped out cars drive by, an old beat up pick up truck drives by slowly, flashing his lights. I am eaten up by mosquito bites from being outside. It's 90 degrees and humid! AND...I'm in flip flops, PT shorts, a sports bra and a tank top. Oh so attractive! This whole time, I keep trying to start my truck, just in case it decides to be nice! I'm getting spooked by now. I'm starving, sweaty, tired and pissed...let alone slightly scared of the next car driving by. 9:55 rolls around, and still no tow truck. I'm doing everything I can to not break down in tears. I have to stay in control!! I get a call from the automated system from my Roadside Assistance, asking if my service has arrived yet. Press 1 for yes and 2 for now. I laid down on that 2! They put someone on the line, he again asks me if I'm safe, and I tell him I am getting a little more concerned and explain my surroundings. He calls the tow truck and has the tow truck call me. The guy calls me, and says he's in the shopping center next to Rush's (a burger joint) and can't see me. I let him know he is about 4 miles down the road from where I am. 10:30 rolls around and he shows up. I was so very thankful to see a woman in the car with him. That made me feel a little safer. When he crawls out of his truck, he says, "Man, my stomach hurts" I ask him politely what's wrong and he replies he just had a big meal and that's where he was when the lady called. WHAT!!! Did you stay and finish your freaking meal while I was alone, in the middle of a dark parking lot surrounded my freaks? He starts to hook up jumper cables to my battery although I am telling him that's not it (as I explain the symptoms) But remember, I don't have a dick. He clamps the jumper cables to my battery, and I'm not quite comfortable with the way he's holding the other end. He's not separating them and it looks like they may touch. Finally, as he's walking over to his truck, I see a spark! Shit...he's going to blow up my truck! So, he tries jumping it...guess what? It didn't work!!! So now, he listens to me and I tell him the symptoms. He says he bets it's the alternator and that he wishes he had a flashlight to look for it. You are telling me you drive a damn tow truck and don't have a flashlight???? WTF?? He ends up turning his truck around to shine the lights at my truck. At this point, I am a mosquito buffet! I would kill for pants and a long sleeve shirt right now! He looks around under the hood, crawls on the ground to find the alternator. He goes back to his truck, grabs a big chain with a hook at the end and taps at something underneath the truck (behind my driver's side front tire), tells me to start it.......******AND IT STARTS*******! I must have lost 50lbs of stress at that moment! I thank him profusely and hurry to get in my truck. I call mom to let her know I'm ok. I call my uncle to tell him what was wrong, and he says it wasn't the alternator, but the starter. He said knocking on the alternator doesn't make sense, but with the starter it does. He tells me I'll be spending about $200 to get it fixed. Eh, I can handle it, but it does suck! I don't care...I just want to get home. It's now 10:45. I spent 2 1/2 hours in a dark, scary parking lot by myself. I really need to go to bed before anything else happens. I still haven't eaten dinner, I'm still in my gym clothes, I didn't get any of the work done I needed to, I'm itching like crazy from bites....but screw it...I'm going to bed! I'm safe. Plus I have to get up at the butt crack of dawn. Everyone cross your fingers that my truck starts in the morning...at least to get me to a repair shop!