The last couple days did not go according to plans.
Friday morning I got up with my normal routine—hit the alarm about 4 times so I can snuggle up with Justin before realizing that if I hit it one more time I’m never going to get out of the house on time, shower, dress, all those things. Justin actually got up, too, after I got out of the shower, coerced by reheated waffles and the thought of getting off work at 4:15 if he got into work early enough.
We both left the house at about the same time, just slightly after 7:05. When we got to the stop-light at King George Boulevard and Highway 204, I was two cars ahead of him and chatting with him on the phone. The light changed, I put my foot on the gas, and the motor revved up to the 40 on my rpms. And the car didn’t move a bit. I tried shifting down to 1st. Revved again, no movement. Second gear—same thing. “Justin, my car’s not moving.” And I hung up the phone, put on my blinkers, and tried to will my car into the grassy median.
Justin pulled onto the median behind me and we pushed my car off the road. He’s covered by AAA, so he called a tow truck while I called work to let them know that I was going to be late, if I made it in at all. I emptied all my stuff out of the car and tucked it into Justin’s, a friendly trucker helped us push the car more solidly into the median, and we left a note on the dash for curious patrolers while we ran back to the apartment.
We’d figured by this time that really, our best option would probably be for me to drive to Hilton Head with Justin so he could get to work and I would still be able to make it to my afternoon appointment. It meant, though, that all the things I’d been planning to do after I got home at lunch, I need to bring with me right now.
Also, I realized when we pulled into where we usually park, that the red, syrupy liquid on the asphalt was probably from my car. And there was quite a lot of it there. Not a good thing, really. Very much not good.
I ran around the house gathering up everything I would need for my afternoon, Justin made me a lunch, and when we got the call that the tow truck was at the car, we grabbed it all and went back to my sad little car. We asked the tow truck to take it to the Mobil Lube station just down the street. Fortunately for us, by this time is was just around 8:00, when they open. They pushed it into the garage, said that, yes, the red fluid was transmission fluid like we suspected, but that it was highly unlikely that any of their guys had cracked the transmission when I got my oil changed last Friday. But they’d look at it.
It turns out that my transmission pan or gasket or something along those lines is completely shot. They had to pump four quarts of transmission fluid into it. The good news is that it does drive once there’s fluid back in it. But they can’t fix that problem there. They called another shop who can fix it, but they don’t have time to see it until Monday. Our plans for me to drive to Hilton Head with Justin solidified on that news.
We bought three quarts of transmission fluid from the shop, drove my car back to the apartment to parked it, I ran back upstairs for a few things I’d forgotten, and then set off for Hilton Head. It was now about 8:30. I called the office to let them know that I for certain would not be able to make it in, and that I might be late on Monday because of taking my car into the shop.
Fortunately, traffic was really good and we were able to make it in without any problems. Justin was late, but the hours people keep at his office are pretty flexible, so it wasn’t a problem. I took the car and went to find somewhere to pass the time.
I’d just managed to find the public library when Justin called to let me know that the woman I was scheduled to meet with that afternoon was okay with me coming in at any time except 1:00. I decided I’d try showing up at 11:00, instead of my originally scheduled 3:00. I rented out some time on a computer at the library, checked my makeup in the car, and went back to the office.
It’s a cute little office. I got to see where Justin sits and meet a few of his coworkers. And when S. got off the phone, I was shown back to her office and I asked if now would be an okay time for the interview. She said it’d be just fine.
I think the interview went pretty well. I know that I don’t interview terribly well, so I’d actually prepared, thinking a lot about different questions she could ask and how I should answer them. There’s a formula for questions that I hadn’t really considered before and I tried to keep it in mind. And, overall, I think she liked me.
The problems come in that it’s a marketing-related position and I have very little marketing experience. I’d never even considered a marketing position before, so I don’t come off in the greatest light to begin with. Another problem is because it is such a small office, the relationship between Justin and me could be awkward. Personally, I think we could handle things fine, but I also don’t want the people in the office to be concerned about it.
The problems on my side is that she asked if I’d be willing to take the job as a part-time position. And the pay is quite a bit less than I’m making currently. Granted, Justin just got a raise, but even if it was a full-time position, it would make things less pleasant than they are now. I would get benefits after 90 days, which would help, but it’s still not optimal. Especially as a part-time job.
So I left feeling quite frustrated—thinking that I hadn’t sold myself quite as well as I could have, and wondering whether not not, if she even offered the position to me, I would be able to take it. She’s considering asking me in for a second interview, where two other people from the office would be invited in as well. This thought doesn’t thrill me, both because I get nervous enough about interviews and having to do it a second time is painful, and also because I’ll have to take time off work again to get all the way to Hilton Head. And with my car the way it is, it’s even more complicated.
We’re not even sure right now if we’re going to bother getting my car fixed. The very rough estimate we got from the guy who identified our problem was somewhere in the $300–400 range. But he doesn’t work at the shop where we’d be taking it, so he’s really just guessing. If I get the job at Justin’s office (and I really have to remember to tell you all about the stuff leading up to the interview sometime), we’d just drive in to work together. We’d move to Bluffton and, since they’re looking at moving the office to Bluffton as well, we could easily handle being a one-car family for a while. The problem is how I’m going to get to work right now. And if I don’t get/take this job. Currently, it looks like Justin is going to take me to work on Monday and then I’ll wait around for him to pick me up after work. It’s not a great plan, but is it worth is to get the car fixed? Especially when it’s been dying a slow death for the last year?
Anyway, at the end of the interview, S. gave me directions to the beach, so I went, found a bathroom to change into the casual clothes I’d brought, and sat on the sand eating my lunch. I read a magazine, enjoyed the weather, and calmed down. After a while, I realized I’d be much more comfortable with a blanket and some sunscreen, so I went and found a shady place to sit and play Brain Age. When I got bored with that, I went and found a local grocery store to get something to drink, a local Walgreens to get some sunscreen for my face, and directions to a nearby park. I found a great place to settle at the park, cleaned out the trash from the car, and sat on the grass to read.
At about 3:00, a very apologetic police officer woke me up to find out if I was okay.
At about 4:00, Erica called me to chat.
At about 5:30, Justin called to let me know he was done with work and I could come back to pick him up.
All in all, it was a very, very dull afternoon. And I was still upset and frustrated about my car and the interview. Add onto that, too, that after I changed and showered at home, I discovered that I’d grown a glowing sunburn all along my shoulders and the back of my midriff, which apparently had been showing when I leaned over to read my magazine at the beach. (By the way, Erica, that nightie you gave me—so amazingly comfortable!! The back sits low enough that it doesn’t hit my sunburn and the fabric is light and flowy and so great!! I’d wear that thing all day if I could.)
So the day did not go at all according to plans. I was supposed to go into work, get lots of projects done because on Monday they’ll be late, and have my own car to drive to Hilton Head and all over.
Fortunately, I live with this great guy who handles everything really well when I start crying, makes me corn dogs for dinner because I ask, and doesn’t mind if I watch him play Zelda. And fall asleep watching him play Zelda. And who wakes me up at 1:00 in the morning because he fell asleep playing Zelda and we both should move to the bed instead of the couch.
That was my Friday. My Saturday was even worse. But I’ll write about that later.