Bad News (Maybe REALLY Bad News)

So heading back to the apartment on Friday. I’m cruising along and everything is cool. I come to the usual spot on the freeway where the traffic becomes bumper to bumper and crawls at 5 MPH for 11 miles. (Sigh)

I’ve been creeping along for about 4 minutes and my car says Warning you’re overheating. Drive moderately to the nearest service facility. There’s nothing moderate about bumper to bumper traffic. So I pull over to the emergency lane, then start asking the car diagnostics what’s up? The oil Temp is normal, so what’s going on? Then the diagnostics said turn the engine off.

OK! Click! 

Now what do I do? Called the nearest BMW dealership. They’re open until 7:00. Good. Called AAA requested a flatbed tow truck. The Driver was awesome  professional and very kind. He got me to the dealership with my car with 15 minutes to spare. The dealership had my paperwork ready, and they provided me with a rental car. All of this was Friday before a holiday weekend and it was after 5 in the afternoon. 

So while I still don’t know what happened to my car, I’m in a nice Hybrid 330.

First time I’ve driven a Hybrid. If’ es ridden in them and generally haven’t been impressed. But I gotta say I’m impressed with this loaner. It’s pretty quick off the line, seems to have ample “legs” and is very nice and comfortable to drive. I have to listen to hear the engine starting and stopping.

So while I’m worried about my car, at least the fear and trepidation is softened by a really impressive car.

The coolant demon wasn’t done with me though.

Saturday morning, on my way to work in the loaner car… The onboard diagnostics posted a “Coolant needs to be topped off” message on the nice wide dash display. 

I just laughed, what are the odds that in two days I’d have two different vehicles warn me about reading or related issues? A quick call to the dealership, asking them if they’d like me to call BMW Assist or take it to a local dealership for the top off resulted in profuse apologies and the recommendation for me to just add water to the reservoir. “We’ll take care of the issue when it comes back to us…”

They thanked me for paying attention and asking them how they wanted to handle the issue.

I gave the car 1.5 liters of Sparkletts  and the reservoir read MAX. The car is happy and so am I.

Hopefully I’ll know how bad my car is on Tuesday, and have an estimate of when I’ll get it back.

Keep your fingers crossed for me and please pray to whatever deity you think might be able to keep the repair costs down.

———————- Update ————————-



This is super expensive!

(sigh) Oh well, it’s still cheaper than having to make payments on a new vehicle.

I’ve never handled no-win situations well

But I’m nonetheless sitting here feeling pretty proud of myself about the current no-win situation I find myself in.

I recently got reassigned to a new boss. I’d heard rumor and innuendo about him. But I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m glad I did, but he proved himself to be exactly what the rumors said he was.

No real surprise there.

He doesn’t like me much, again no big deal. I can work for someone dutifully and still wish to see them disembowelled slowly with one of those inquisition torture thingys. I wouldn’t actively cause someone like that harm, unless they messed with me first. But as long as we managed to have mutual respect for each other things would be fine.

However, once that line is crossed… all bets are off.

Well, the new boss has been working very hard at crossing that line.

Thus far I’ve been pretty mellow.

The other day he hauled me into an office and told me that my work wasn’t up to par. I thought, “OK, perhaps that’s true,” I also thought “Of course, had you bothered to tell me what your expectations were then perhaps we’d be further along here.”

Anyway, he blathered on and on, I sort of tuned him out… Until he said something about a personal improvement plan.  In the corporate world such plans are shorthand for You’re SCREWED bucko.

Now, he had my complete attention.

What he was talking about is that I’ve been doing my job. But he’s of the philosophy that I should be answer only one question per phone call then moving on to the next phone call. I was of the impression that we were supposed to actually Help.

Apparently, I was incorrect.

As I listened to the remainder of his blathering, deep inside me there was a stirring. My rage monster shifted and started to wake up. “Uh Oh,” I thought. “Gotta stop that from happening.”  To maintain my calm I thought about the fact that less than 24 hours earlier I’d signed a lease on the apartment. 

That’s gonna cost a pretty penny to break,” I realized. I also thought about the fact that twenty four hours earlier, and I’d simply have stood up and said, “FUCK YOU With broken glass” then left the building. I’d have given notice at my apartment and allowed my rage to burn itself out loading a U-Haul and returned to the mountains and my home, calmed down and turned the job search into a full time job.

I found out today, that a similar event happened on Monday. Another person was in a similar situation, like me, he thought he was doing a good job, helping people. But the management was displeased that he wasn’t blowing our clients off and making them call back multiple times in a day for the same problem.

In his case, he told the management, ” This meeting is over.” 

He got up over their objections and threats, then gathered his stuff and walked out.

Oh if only I hadn’t signed that lease, it would have made one hell of a statement to have two people walk out at the same time for the same reasons. 

The impending Exodus might be amusing to watch while I’m waiting for my ship to come in.

I’m smart enough to play the game, I’m enough of a chameleon to pull it off, and I’m amoral enough to not feel guilty about being disingenuous. 

I can do this… For a while longer.

WOW it must’ve been bad…

I get home last night from my weekend.

It’s hotter than hell in the apartment.

I flip on the A/C brush my teeth and go to bed, images of getting to work dancing in my head.

About two hours later I wake up because I’m having trouble breathing.  I get up and then my nose informs me that there is a powerful and bad chemical smell in the air. It smells like paint, disinfectant, and bugspray.

The fun from the circus downstairs keeps on coming. 

They’re gone, but in their wake, they apparently left a filthy mess. The landlord had painters in very fast. Apparently, my apartment is not isolated from the unit downstairs. Great! So it’s roast or…

Bill TrueBlood

There’s stickiness on my face. I flip on the bathroom light and there in the mirror is my visage looking quite a bit like Dawn of the Dead, or like a vampire that’s just fed from TrueBlood. 

I wash my face. Both pillowcases and pillows are covered with blood, the sheets are a mess too. My sinuses are still seeping blood and well, it looked rather gothic. I turn off the A/C and open the windows. Both pillowcases, the sheets, and the underlying pillow covers are spritzed with laundry detergent and left to soak. 

Fresh albeit warm air wafts in through the open slider and bedroom window. I start to feel better, then the vomiting started.

I pull on some clothes and head out to the patio, waiting for my stomach and the rest of my body to return to normal. After a couple of hours I’m feeling better. I go to sleep in my sleeping bag.

Red blood splatter queen duvet

Needless to say I did not go to work today. In a choice between my health and anyone else’s needs I win, anything else looses.

This morning, after a fitful night’s sleep, I go to breakfast, the market, then come back to the apartment. I carry the bloody dripping mess over to the laundry facility and pray to God that nobody sees me, because it looks like I’m trying to cover up a murder scene.

The bed is remade and it doesn’t look like anything is the worse for wear except me. My sinuses are still a mess, and after talking with the maintenance guy working in the apartment below, We’ve come up with a compromise. He’s going to leave the windows and doors of the place below open, and I’m going to run my A/C with my doors and windows open in an effort to flush the chemicals out of the system.

I’m putting in a service request to see about making sure that my apartment air intake is as independent as it can be but that won’t happen until Monday at the earliest.

On the plus side of things… 

I now know that the pillowcovers are washable and that they’ll absorb quite a lot of blood.

I also was able to get the blood out of the pillowcases and sheets, I guess I got it soaking before it set. Had I known that this was likely, I’d have stayed in a hotel for the night. But as it’s said, hindsight is 20/20.

Well, the Circus has left the apartment downstairs

They were gone on Wednesday.

I slept super deep Wednesday night and discovered that I may have a new problem.

I slept super deep!

I’ll have to set a redundant alarm to make sure I don’t oversleep.

I’ll adapt!

The apartment complex itself was a lot more quiet Wednesday night. I suspect that is because there were people coming to that apartment at all hours of the day and night. I noticed almost immediately. There wasn’t nearly the number of cars stopping with their engines running directly under my bedroom window. No more doors slamming, or tapping on the windows.

The other thing that is notably missing is an organic stench. Imagine the scent of skunk and campfire wafting up through the floor or open windows. That is a relief as well, I have no idea what that smell was but I’m glad it’s gone.

As an aside, absolutely NOTHING will eliminate that smell. But I can tell you which air fresheners, short of electrostatic aircleaners come close.

I was looking online for surplus NASA or Submarine airscrubbers. Thankfully I can now stopp that search. Unless I want to continue building my fallout shelter, ahem…

So now I get to sleep at night, I wonder what that is going to be like.

I’m looking forward to finding out.

Happy Mother’s Day

For all the Mom’s out there kissing Boo Boos and bandaging scraped knees.

Thank You

I hope all of you are taken out to breakfasts and treated to the trash being taken out without you asking, and that you have the whole day spent with your feet up enjoying your families.

Weekends are too damn short!

Or I spend too much time driving…

Probably a bit of both.

It takes until my “Sunday” to recharge enough to have my brain actually start to fire on all cylinders again.

Just in time to shut my head down again to deal with the demands of work.

By my “Friday” my head is tapioca. I’m mentally and physically exhausted. Typically I’m in bed by 6:00 PM. I’ll sleep until 6:00 AM then wake up, and still be bone tired.

I’ll have a cup of coffee, some breakfast, then clean up the apartment, and get on the road to my house… It’s a tough drive.

When I get to the house, I start laundry, and decide if the yard work has to be done. Often I’ll vaccum, but lately I’ve been so tired it’s all I can do to get up the freeway. The past two weeks I’ve been physically hurting. The aching doesn’t stop until the afternoon of my “Sunday”. Just in time for me to hop back on the freeway and slug my way down the freeway again.

Then the grind starts all over again.

I’m on a hamster wheel, so that annoying squeeking you’re hearing is me running in place.

The alternative however is less enticing than this, so I’ve been applying the philosophy,

“Close your eyes, and think of England.”

Hey, whatever works!