Thursday, March 2, 2006

Oh, Yeah... and My Watch Stopped, Too!

Okay, there's something going on here. Somebody's got a voodoo doll of me somewhere. Or some serious bad shit from five lifetimes ago is coming back to haunt me. I'm telling you, friends, there's too much shit in my life fucking with me right now.

Like the whole missing-package thing? It's becoming an epidemic. One of my reps in Arizona called up today all pissed off because he never got the prospectuses he ordered last week... which I distinctly remember sending. I had to overnight them to him because he'd been completely out and was using photocopies for his clients (tacky!) And after the whole UPS disaster, I wasn't so thrilled about having to use them, but that's the only shipping account I can use.

And then I found out today that these IRA kits that I've been waitlisting people for weren't going to be reprinted after all, and that I had to send old IRA kits and updated inserts for the IRA kits to all of the people on the back-order list. And then I discovered that this card I was supposed to send out had got left underneath something in my in-box when I moved cubicles and had been forgotten by everyone except the rep who asked me to send it, which made me look like an utter ass and prompted a frenzied search through all my drawers and cupboards to see if anything else had gotten lost in the move. And then my workload today was completely unmanageable, for the first time since I've been there I had to leave before completing all of my tasks for the day. It was all very unpleasant.


Now let's talk about my car! A couple of weeks ago, my brakes started making this dreadful grinding noise. I didn't have the time to take it into the shop during the week, so I had to drive around on grinding brakes until Saturday came along and I could take Miss Jane down to the garage at the bottom of my hill, where I usually have auto work done. So I dropped her off and they said they'd call me with an estimate when they had a chance to look things over.

So a few hours later, after Caroline and I had gone out for breakfast and done some antiquing in Montclair, the garage called me and told me that the front brakes' rotors and shoes had to be replaced, but at least the calipers were still in good shape; but the rear brakes were all but shot (first I'd ever heard that I even had rear brakes, the car is front-wheel drive), and had to be replaced as well. Estimated parts and labor, $860... plus tax. Well, you simply can't drive around without brakes, so what was I going to do? Put it off until I could afford it?

In the end, Grandmother coughed up the cash to get the brakes done, figuring that she needed me to have a car as much as I needed to have a car, so I lumped the final price of $928 (welcome to Alameda County, land of the 8.75% sales tax) onto the thousands upon thousands of dollars I already owe her after the last few months of financial fiascoes. Not a major disaster as much as a minor inconvenience, but rather an expensive minor inconvenience.

A few days passed by before the next little ray of sunshine hit: I went out to the car on my way to work one morning last week, and found my side-view mirror dangling on its thread; sometime during the night somebody drove up the street too close to my car and snapped the damned thing off, and just kept going without so much as leaving a note! Fortunately I still had a big roll of duct-tape in the car from the time when the passenger-side-view mirror was similarly broken (though that had been my fault, and I didn't really use that mirror, so I didn't mind it so much), so I just taped the damned thing back on and was only a few minutes late to work.

But it's not like I have time to get that fixed either, though it's a lot cheaper than the brakes... when I got the other mirror repaired, it only set me back sixty bucks. Nevertheless, it's a huge pain in the ass having to readjust the mirror every day (it doesn't stay where I left it), and I have to look at these wads of duct-tape all the time. Plus, it's been raining off and on the last few days, so the tape doesn't stick as well as it should, and so I have to keep tightening the tape and adding more... pretty soon I won't be able to shut the door.

Then tonight came the pièce de résistance: I returned to my car after an AA meeting and found a great big hole in my shattered rear driver's-side window, through which some miscreant had removed my satchel that had everything I carry to and from work with me inside. Broken glass was everywhere, a bag to which I am very sentimentally attached is gone, along with its many important contents like my writing journal with all of my notes for Worst Luck (and ain't that an ironic title) and my folder of work-related documents (including pay-stubs and my timesheets blazoned with my Social Security number) and my fucking digital camera and my Cliff bars and some bills I needed to pay and my Gas-X and some greeting cards I haven't finished writing and my electronic translator... and, oh shitfuckdamnhell, my checkbook was in there, now I have to call the bank, I'll be right back...


Well, that was a pleasant relief... good hold-music, and I happened to know what the last check number I wrote was (I write so few checks, all I had to do was look up the last check before that online, then add one), and they put a six-month stop-payment on the checks left in the book without charging me for it. The lady had a nice voice, too. Of course, I will have to close my account some time in the next six months, or remember to get the stop-payment renewed every six months. Whatever, I can worry about that later.

Of course my insurance doesn't cover this sort of thing, so now I get to shell out a hundred or so more dollars to get my window replaced, and in the meantime I am wide open to further theft, not to mention the wind and the rain (winter being the perfect time to have your window broken out). And I have to call my HMO in the morning to get my bill reissued so I can pay them before they cut off my coverage. The rest of the bills will sort themselves out, one of them was for a parking ticket that I didn't really want to pay right now, anyway.

Grandmother has tried to soothe my anger by pointing out that since my address was in the bag, the thieves will probably throw the whole thing away (minus the electronics and the checkbook), where it might be found by a nice person who will bring it and its contents back to me. That happened to her when her purse was stolen, the thieves took the money and dumped the rest in a nearby trash-can, where it was discovered by a groundskeeper and returned in good condition.

I somehow doubt it, though. That's just not the trend my life is taking.


The only thing redeeming this day is that I'm wearing new shoes that are really comfortable, really cute, and had been on sale. The rest of it counts as a complete waste of makeup.

Here's hoping that this is the worst it will get, and everything after this will be sunshine and lollipops.

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