February 15, 2006

Crappy Day

Everyone has crappy days from time to time. Today was my day for a crappy day.

I had an interview with a recruiter today, so that meant I had to get out one of my nice shirts and iron it and put on a suit. Well, my suit was absolutely covered in dog and cat hair so it took me some time to get it all brushed off.

I got the dogs to go outside by bribing them with biscuits. No sooner than I pulled open the dog-biscuit jar than the Fat Cat, Jordan the Pest, began plotting her escape. The little creature shot out faster than a 28-gauge shell on a Vice-Presidential quail hunt -- running through the dogs' legs and out to the screen porch -- her gateway to freedom. So wearing my underwear in the chilly late morning air, I had to herd the dogs outside, pull the screen porch door shut, and try and convince the cat that there were evil, scary things out there in the big wide world that wanted to get her.

On my way out the door, I noticed that the tie I had selected to wear had sustained some damage and threads were hanging down off of it. All I could do was stuff the threads in the seam on the back side of the tie, and hope for the best.

Then, I got a speeding ticket. The cop wrote me up for 60 in a 55, which was probably a little less than what I was really doing. I thought that segment of the 640 was a 65 zone, but the next sign I saw said it was 55, so I guess I was wrong. Oddly, the cop did not seem to care about my registration or proof of insurance. I guess the junker just isn't worth checking on.

Then, while I ate lunch, one of my best friends called. I felt bad about putting off taking his call, but it seems that every time I sit down with hot food these days the phone rings. So I called him back and we did touch base briefly later, but I would have liked to have taken more time to talk with him.

I tried to do some of my contract work at lunch, but McDonald's was too distracting and I couldn't focus or make myself productive in any way.

By the time I got to the office to meet with the corporate recruiter, I recalled that the junker is the vehicle we use to haul around the dogs. Despite my efforts to fastidiously pull critter fur off my suit, I was still absolutely covered in animal hair.

My talk with the recruiter went well enough; she was about my age, a CPA from Illinois, and every bit as frustrated with Tennessee's strange regulation of the professions as well as the persistence of the Old Boys' Network that locks up every economic opportunity in the area for friends and family of the elite. I'm pleased that she works on commission, and that she has made some in-roads to local businesses to gain their trust for references.

But the thing is, as soon as I walked into the office building, I was itching all over. I wasn't nervous -- I was just itchy. I thought I had all the allergies licked thanks to a half year of those damn allergy shots (and yesterday's booster shots still have my arms sore) but my nose and eyelids were itching something fierce. I hope that I was discreet about the unconscious scratching that takes place when in that kind of discomfort.

So when I got home, I was worried about whether I'd made an unhygenic fool of myself, and I sat down to plug the computer back in to the power outlet and maybe get back to my contract work. The computer did not turn on.

I repeat, the computer did not turn on. Panic. That computer is my livelihood now -- between contract work for another one of my close friends back in California and online teaching, that's how I'm making money to support my family and household without regular employment. Several checks confirmed that the power was indeed flowing from the outlet, but the computer would not turn on.

So I used The Wife's computer to find the closest Best Buy -- where I'd bought the laptop only a few months ago. I fed the critters, and while doing that The Wife called. Between trying to dodge all the hungry animals, hold up the phone, and put food in the bowl, I managed to rip out one of the elbows on my dress shirt. So that's another article of clothing ruined.

Best Buy is about three minutes from the recruiter's office. If only I'd known that there was a problem then; I had the laptop with me and could have taken care if it without driving all over Knoxville twice.

At Best Buy, the dude from the Geek Squad tested the computer and the power cable, and announced that both were shot. The power cable was not something they serviced at all; I'd have to deal directly with Gateway for that. The computer they had to send to Gateway's service center, and that would take about three to four weeks for a turnaround. I gasped and asked if there was any other way we could check whether the power supply on the computer was still functional. Fortunately, another guy working at Geek Squad happens to own exactly the same model of laptop as me, and brought out his battery and power supply. Using his, we confirmed that the computer was fine -- it's only the power cable.

So I guess that could have been worse.

But it's still going to be a week or more before the replacement cable gets here. So in the meantime, I need a computer. The Wife doesn't mind if I use hers, but there are times we both want to be on a computer so that means we need two. That meant a drive down to The Estate At Louisville, where The Wife's old desktop -- the one that essentially had to be rebuilt from the ground up -- was sitting idle. It now is on my desk at La Casita, and is working fine. Its default browser is Firefox, which so far I'm liking better than IE -- it's much faster.

That doesn't solve my problem of not having access to all the data on the laptop, including the new class I was building. I'll have to improvise for the next week, but hopefully I can get through it.

With all of this running around and computer panic, the doggies never got walked today. And it was a beautiful day for walking the dogs -- it got up to 65 degrees this afternoon. So that's a missed opportunity.

Hopefully I don't have to leave the house at all tomorrow. No good came of doing that today.


Pamela said...

Man, I'm sorry. Tomorrow will definitely be better!

Anonymous said...

Seems like you got all the crap for the year taken care of. From now on it's smooth sailing.

Burt Likko said...

Thanks for the words of support.

Oh, and did I mention that I hit my head on a lot of stuff today, too? That wasn't any fun, either.

Salsola said...

Fucking Cops.

Pamela said...

Isn't hitting your head the icing on the cake? I have had days where it just keeps happening over and over again. I'm sorry man.