Day 88: in which I get a job offer! plus car-related adventures.

Yesterday was… crazy times. I’m not even sure how else to describe it.

I had a job interview at a SNF in Bakersfield, CA yesterday afternoon. (Have I ever clarified what I do? I’m a speech-language pathologist, I want a medical job not a schools job, and SNF = skilled nursing facility.) That’s about 300 miles south of Sac. As I didn’t want my beloved sort-of-falling-apart Jeep to crap out on me at a critical moment, I rented a car (plus, the cost of a car rental plus fuel is lower than the cost of fueling the gas-guzzling Jeep long distances). I got to Bakersfield no problem. Interview went well. As I was typing this post I received an email with an offer letter (YAY!). (Incidentally I had another interview today (it went okay) and another tomorrow morning (tomorrow morning is the one I really want) so I will hold off making any sort of commitment for now.)

The trip back home from Bakersfield was bizarre. As I pulled into a gas station in the middle of nowhere about 20 miles north of Fresno, I got a flat tire. And it happened right as I pulled into the gas station: I could hear and see the tire rapidly deflate right before my eyes as I stood there preparing to put gas in the car. And guess what? No spare tire. The wheel well was filled with styrofoam. USELESS. Arggghhhhhhhh.  Things rapidly fell apart. The fallout:

1. Called AAA. They put in a service call to send a tow truck.

2. I realized I had paid for basic insurance through the rental company (which I’ll call RC) which covers roadside assistance (RA). Called RC RA, emphasizing the no spare tire situation, and they said they’d send someone with a spare. I’d not heard of this before but I’d also not dealt with RC RA before so who was I to judge.

3. Called AAA to cancel service call.

4. AAA tow truck showed up and had to send them away.

4. Pickup truck filled with tools, dispatched by RC RA, arrives. Serviceman has the car on a jack and the lugnuts removed before he asks, “so where’s the spare tire?”

5. Called RC RA and was provided with 2 options. The better of the two not-so-ideal options: send a tow truck, tow the rental back to the airport in Fresno where the Enterprise office could supply me with a new rental car. Estimated time to complete: 2 more hours. I was *so hungry* and the only food available was the shitty food at the nearby service station. So I ate a boatload of potato chips and cheetos and I don’t want to think about how many non-nutritive calories I ate. It was a lot.

6. Tow truck arrived. Driver was amiable and chatty so we got to talking about his really cool self-sustaining small farm and it turned out he is a militant libertarian (complete with Patriot Militia and Don’t Tread On Me tattoos), and suddenly I was stuck listening to the ranting of a paranoid right-wing gun fanatic. Did you know climate change is a hoax? Also, the politicians who do best by women are the tea partiers. Obama is “a white man in a black man’s body” (what does that even mean???) and also a socialist who’s turning the US into a communist nation (got that? socialist AND communist). Obamacare is ruining the best healthcare system in the world, all those socialist countries don’t provide healthcare to the elderly and he’s not leaving his 86-year-old grandma to the death panels. We know this is all true because “I did my own study”. So, got all that? There will be a quiz.

7. The new car didn’t have the option to plug in my iPhone. Small complaint, obviously, but that means instead of my fabulous Radiolab/This American Life marathon, I was stuck with Central Valley radio: Spanish, Christian, or right-wing talk. Fabulous. I decided I’d rather drive in silence.

8. I made it home about midnight… 4 hours after I initially expected.

9. This morning RC called me to confirm the charges to my credit card. They wanted to charge me for the gas refill on the car with the flat tire because I’d agreed to return it 3/4 full and it was only 1/4 full. I *did* refill the replacement rental before returning it. Fortunately they did agree to drop that charge.

I talk often about how gorgeous the Central Valley is. I would like to modify that. The North Central Valley, i.e. Sacramento and the surrounding area, is gorgeous. It’s gorgeous all the way to about Lodi (about 40 miles south of Sac). And the rest of the way to Bakersfield, it’s brown, flat, and smells like poop. The BF drily pointed out, “well, Julie, the farmers have to live somewhere. Where do you think your food comes from?” On the way back home, close to Stockton, it started smelling like dead skunk instead of poop and frankly I was never so relieved to smell dead skunk. Hopefully if you live in Bakersfield you adjust to the smell of poop so it stops bothering you…

So: shitty food choices yesterday, no exercise, and sat in a car all day. But the takeaway from all of this is… I got offered a job!!! Why this matters for you: I can stop filling my supposedly-health-and-fitness-based blog with whingeing about my unemployment.

Fitness today
None. More driving, more interview, totally exhausted.

Food today
Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 canadian bacon, 1 oz cheddar, 1 slice DKB (4P, 2F, 1C)
Snacks: cookies. seriously.
Dinner: we went out to Fat’s (an Asian bistro-type place). I had 2 cocktails. We ate quite a bit. I got lots of protein.


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