Now that it's behind me, I think I can safely say that yesterday has to be the single worst day in conscious memory.
For starters, I lost my job, the shiny new one I just got two months ago that promised to be actual work instead of sitting at a computer playing Freecell and waiting for the axe to fall. It was a great idea, and everyone involved
thought it was a good move, at least at first. Then I discovered something about my new workplace's development cycle: they don't have one. Instead, they use a time-honored system for creating programs called Write A Quick Hack And Make It A Design Philosophy. In the two months I was there, we expanded from two products to six, and none of them were done right, well, or completely before the code was in production and being used by at least one client, often more.
Now, I like to think that in times of great need and obvious duress, I can whip out code to order that'll serve in a pinch until something better can be written. However, I tend very much to be a code-to-the-spec type of person,
and trying to get anything accomplished in that environment led very quickly to a lot of stress and frustration. After two months, management decided that I just wasn't adapting and they let me go. It's hard to complain too much;
they admitted their environment wasn't conducive to good coding standards or good work, and they also recognized that my programming ability was superb. It was just far slower and regimented than they wanted, and so they cut their losses while they could.
So, on my way home after thirty minutes of managerial meeting and cleaning out my desk in a hurry, my car died. Now, this one I have to say is my fault. I'd been putting off getting an oil change, 'cause mine's the only car for
Jessie and I and we both work non-traditional schedules, so getting the car in and out unless it's some quicky-lube place is kind of a pain, and I could never bother with finding one of those that was open on Sunday. So, the oil got really low. As in, the light sputtered a few times, then in the last few days of the car's earthly existence stayed red. Now, I'd already blown up one car by not heeding the warning lights on my dash, but again I really had no "good time" to go handle the vehicle fix. As I was driving home from the last day at work, I decided that the time had come to get the oil fixed 'cause I'd have the time to do it in the middle of the day, and that's when the car started making this really rhythmic clicking sound.
Now, anybody who knows anything about cars, even me, should know that as soon as something like that starts up under the bonnet, the car is dead. It's now officially a zombie. It could die in a month. It could die in two years. It could survive indefinitely on the gasoline, oil and transmission fluids of other vehicles, sucking them dry to sustain its own unnatural existence. It's a '94 Ford Escort with 157,000 miles on it, for Dobbs' sake. It should've
died long back, but it hadn't. Well, now it did. It's still driveable, but I now can't trust it not to roll over at any random moment, and so at the first possible opportunity, I'm going to have to replace it.
This is hampered by Event Number One. See above.
Now, I do have the means to replace the car. I've got about six thousand dollars in the bank, saved up to be the down payment on the house that I've been trying to buy for the last three months. Unfortunately, if I spend that on a new car, I won't have it for the house. If I don't spend it on a car, though, my ability to get a new job becomes somewhat hampered. If I can't get a new job, we're sunk. Not immediately, to be sure. I should get unemployment benefits, and they'll cover me for a while. Not as nicely as I'd like, but that's because they're a government handout, not a job.
For now, I'm just trying to find another job as quickly as possible, and hope that the car doesn't realize it's already dead and fall-over-boom before I can replace it.