Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Horror Story

A bit of real life here, please bear with me as the usual insanity will resume tomorrow:

So this week started out much like any other - completely unassuming, lying in wait, ready to spring up, slavering and growling, claws bared, fangs glistening, ready to take a huge bite out of my ass. Since there's no easy way to run down the week, I'll do it by day.

The week started out fairly mellow - standard grousing and prodding to get the oldest up and out of the house for school. Piled the family into the van, dropped of eldest and trucked out to Fruita (smaller town outside Grand Junction) to pick up a couple of end tables we scored off of Freecycle. I was kind of cranky due to lack of sleep and general sunny disposition first thing in the morning.
We drove back into town and decided to go out to breakfast, settling on Sonic (which is half way across town), we get within 100 feet of sonic, and the car starts shuddering while trying to shift gears. General snark bounces back and forth between Melissa and I, and we forgo breakfast to limp home. After getting home, Call a local shop, find out they can look at it, limp it across town again, drop off the van, and go get some breakfast - finally.
Get a call from the shop - Transmission is shot. Chest tightens, ask how much (ballpark). Guy replies: "Transmission has basically disintegrated, fluid is burnt, metal is rattling around in there. That's why it's hard shifting into second, and rattling into third. I'm surprised you could even get it into third." Pressure behind my eyes. Guy continues: it's going to run you about $2200. Time stops as the back of my head hits the far wall. Somehow I manage to explain that I need to discuss it with my wife.
Hang up with the guy, immediately call another transmission store. They say that best case would be $1100 - worst case would be $2100. Thank him and call yet another transmission shop. Worst case $2100 - $2300. Hang up, and talk to Melissa. We decide to get it fixed at the shop.
Pain starts behind left eyebrow - Melissa says to call in to work. I call in to work, manager tries to guilt me into coming in. I explain to him that I will cause more customer complaints than I will solve. Manager tells me to feel better soon.
By this point, I feel like throwing up, so I lay down on the floor to take a nap. Kids are asleep, but I still don't get any sleep. Wake up about an hour later to go get eldest from school.
We get home, try to get eldest to finish homework before he has to go to karate - instead he gets into a fight with his brother. pushing, shoving, yelling, throwing shit - I detonate. I have been pushed to beyond my limits, and I break down.
Kids are completely oblivious.
Finally, get my shit back together, compose myself, and take eldest to karate. Start feeling better over the next hour, go home, Melissa cuts off the tip of her finger, order out, have dinner, put kids in bed, and finally wrap up the day, exhausted, frustrated and worried about how we're now going to afford to buy fire bricks for Melissa's kiln.

Get up, hassle eldest into getting up and going to school. Come home, stress most of the day about the kiln situation. Finally go to work, immediately go to manager's meeting. An hour and a half later, get out and get bombarded with idiot customer who swears up and down that she special ordered a door from us, but has no receipt, no paperwork, doesn't know when she bought it, paid cash, and wants to return it.
Search through system to no avail.
Customer's husband calls up, explains that the door was a special order return that they purchased with cash. They still don't have a receipt, no paperwork, no idea of an exact date when it was purchased, or how much they paid for it. Finally, we make the decision that they did not purchase it from us, so I have my supervisor call the customer back to let him know to pick up the door.
Spend the rest of the day trying to get weekly paperwork all figured out, wrestling with on hand variances (my favorite is the one that says we had 110 sheets of something when we actually have 50. Our host system says that we have 140) and generally trying not to kill customers.
At the end of the night, the door is still waiting to be picked up.

Eldest out of bed early, got everything together without complaining. Gets his planner out and has me sign it. Take kid to school, meet dad across town to haul Melissa's kiln frame out past Fruita to get a door welded to it. Youngest gets into Desitin, but I manage to prevent him from finger-painting the leather couch with it. Eventually get into work, knock out the rest of weekly paperwork within the hour. Things are going fairly good. I've got things under control. Find two mirror doors in different sections of the department - returns because the back fo the doors have been scratched. Find out customer wants the store to pay her installer for his time to run back and forth to the store from Delta (approximately an hour away).
While helping a customer, I get a phone call from the shop - the van has been fixed - to the tune of $2300. Immediately getting off the phone with him, I get a text from my series editor. Manuscript is on it's way back, and it looks *good*. Feeling jazzed, I call Melissa with the news. Kids have been monstrous again. Explain the news. Melissa is not happy with the added cost of the repairs, but she's happy that her finger is healing.
Get a voice mail from my mom explaining that my grandma will be sending me a check in the next week, so not to freak out - My grandmother is getting on in years, and we've had a couple of incidents that have caused concern. She's not senile, or suffering from Alzheimer's, but some decisions she's made have caused some consternation.
Melissa calls me up, asking why the Internet is not working. She's already tried the basic troubleshooting, but nothing is working. I tell her that I'll look at it when I get home for lunch. We grab some dinner, on the way home, I get a phone call from my mom explaining the message. Grandma recently sold her house to move closer to her grandkids in Colorado Springs (good move). She also found out that she can gift money to family so she doesn't have to pay capital gains taxes, so we're getting a good chunk of money this next week. So much for sweating the kiln. We get home and I call our service provider. Finally getting a live person from India, I have to explain that I don't know what my account number is, and I don't have any identifying information that they can easily access. Finally, we manage to find the account.
He tells me there is a block on my account. I tell him that the account is in good standing and paid up. He explains that it has a cease and desist block. My heart sinks - he asks me if I've downloaded anything copyrighted. I play dumb, finally he gets the block removed, and we check our email. Warner Bros. has sent a cease and desist regarding the movie "Where the Wild Things Are". I spend close to 45 minutes of my lunch hour getting this all sorted out. So yes Virginia, I have been DMRC'ed. No more downloading movies for me.
Eldest walks into the room while I'm talking to Melissa about it. We have to explain that dad got busted for stealing a movie, and how bad it is.
Go back to work, get department cleaned up, come home, and discover that our eldest has been involved in a bit of naughtiness at school - apparently he was with a group of 5th graders who were playing "Truth or Dare" and the subject of exposing oneself came up - nothing happened, no bits were exposed, but a teacher overheard and busted the group.
I have the next four days off - I just hope to goddess that she will look somewhere else for entertainment. If she grants me her blessing much more this week, I might end up going sane and join the greyfaces - or they Mayan calendar may be wrong and they misinterpreted the date as 4 - 8 March 2010.

Keep your fingers crossed!

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