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Tales from a small town

Short stories about life in a small town. Non-fiction. Great reading.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Happy news

Got the job. Seriously. I'm not going to get too excited because I had to do a drug screen, and I took a few hits of weed over New Year's, but outside of that, I'm clean. I don't know if that's still in my system or not, but if it's not, the job is mine. I'll find out tommorow for sure.

I interviewed at a car dealership yesterday; new car sales. The new car manager told me the process was going to take a few days because I had to be interviewed by a bunch of people. He asked me if that was going to be a problem. I said, "No. I'm on voluntary layoff and collecting unemployment; take all the time you need." I wasn't kidding. I think he thought I was.

Anyway, he kept going over and over about how the process was going to take a long time, and he hopes I wasn't in need of a job right away because of all the people who're involved in the hiring process. In fact, he looked pretty bored with me and the interview.

Then, there was that one magical moment, where it seemed like everything clicked. We were talking about a past job of mine where I was a telemarketer for a group health insurance agency. During this interview, the new car manager and I were talking about the never-ending professional rivalry between car salesmen and insurance agents - which, there is one, believe it or not.

Me: "Yeah, I remember my boss at the group health agency telling me our biggest competition isn't other insurance companies, it's car dealerships."

Dave: "Oh really? Why?"

Me: "He told me that when a rich man hits a mid-life crisis, there are two things he can do: he can plan for his own death by having an insurance agent tell him how a universal life plan is a great vehicle for estate planning so he can leave as much tax-free money as he can to his loved ones, which would be the right decision..."

Dave: "Or?"

Me: "He can go out and buy a shiny Corvette and cruise downtown during lunch, checking out all the female executives and secretaries, which..."

Dave: [leaning forward, really focusing on what I'm about to say] "...yes..."

Me: "...would also be the right decision."

Dave: "I like your style! Uh, we're going to walk over to this other office here, and put this interview process on the fast track. Around here, we really believe that with all the cars on the market today, playing to emotion is oftentimes the sure-fire closing technique, know what I mean?"

So much for my freakin' voluntary layoff being a time of leisure! (Not that it was anyway.) I got interviewed by a bunch of people. This is a fairly large dealership. At the end of the process, the new car manager came into the office where I was being interviewed (keep in mind, two hours had passed) and he said, "We're prepared to give you the job. Can you start Wednesday?"

The thing I really like about this dealership is, there isn't anyone wearing a suit. Nobody. Not even the principal of the dealership wears a suit. Oxford shirts with the gold, Chevy "Bad-bowtie" embroidered slightly below the collar and to the right, and during the summer, knit polo shirts with the same embroidery. Pants with a crease and leather shoes. That's about it.

Yesterday Jake got sent home from school again for throwing up. Wouldn't you know, there's more activity going on at the demoliton site. We took him to the doctor today. I told the doctor about the activity at the demolition site, and he said, "Yeah, but didn't I read in the paper that the EPA checked everything out, and they didn't find anything?"

I said, "Yeah, it's no wonder they didn't find anything." I explained how the EPA allowed this company to provide them with their own dirt samples rather than the EPA taking the samples themselves, and I explained how the EPA gave them time to hire an environmental consultant to pick the lab where the samples would be tested at, and I capped it off by saying that the EPA allowed the company to pay for the samples, which meant the company is the lab's customer, not the EPA's.

I honestly don't think this doctor expected such an eloquent, information-packed outburst coming from a guy who looks like a combination between Kevin James and Jack Black.

He knows the process is crooked, everybody in this town knows there's enough money floating around here to buy any government agency off at any time. In fact, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if there was some kind of "bribe pool" that all the rich folks contribute to, so that no government agency is able to establish a precedent of tough enforcement on any one industry, keeping all industries safe.

Anyway, this doctor comes back with something like 6 weeks worth of Prilosec samples, and he says, "Have him take these. If the vomitting continues, bring him back in at any time, and I'll write a referral to any specialist you want to see."

If he misses 3 more days, we're getting hauled up to juvenile court for truancy, even though he's really sick. Trouble is, whenever he vomits at school, we get him the closest appointment we can, but by the time of the appointment, he's fine - so no doctor will give a diagnosis based on symptoms the kid is not exhibiting. Take him to the ER, and you're looking at a minimum of a 3 hour wait for a non-life threatening ailment - even if there isn't another soul around, so it'd just be more of the same. Crazy.

Swithching gears to the foreclosure, the good news is, the judge had us get a lawyer, and the lawyer pretty much put the kabosh on the foreclosure, and he talked to our oldest son who has the trust, to make sure that he really wants to have this money taken out of the trust to get us current on the mortgage. After that, the mortgage company called me up and put me on a conference call between them and our lawyer. Funny how the mortgage company went from the pit bull they've been in the past, to a harmless, fluffy little kitten, saying "please" and saying "thank you." Funny how that works when you have a lawyer on your side who specializes in preventing foreclosures.

See, the mortgage company told us that even if we did send them enough to get current, they may not accept the payment, because they said they'd probably be more interested in just taking the house. They told us we'd have to Western Union the payment, but to make sure that right before we do, to call their processing center, to make sure they'd accept it.

With this lawyer, he told the mortgage company that he was sending a check from his law firm's account, and they would like it - that's exactly what he said. The mortgage company was like, "Did you plan on sending that to the regular address, or would you like a special address with a special attention, to make sure it gets to the correct person in time?"

The lawyer said, "I'm sending this check to the regular address, and if it doesn't get to the correct person from there, we're going to have some problems then, aren't we?"

"Yes sir!"

I thought that was funny. So much for the tough-guy routine they've been playing with us. I'll tell you, hiring that lawyer was the smartest thing the judge had us do. (Of course, the judge picked him out, so you know he's got to be good!)

So, it's been a roller coaster ride, but with the exception of our one son with the stomach problems, everything's really looking up. Even with Jake, his blood cell counts are within the normal range. If his white blood cell counts would have been elevated, it could be a sign of cancer, but so far, his blood cell counts are normal, so it looks like everything's going to be fine.