Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Arizona is Trying To Kill Me: Chapter 2

Yesterday started out as a mostly normal Monday. It was "mostly normal" because a normal-normal Monday would include Isaac, but he's in San Diego for work/lots of fun and therefore this Monday was only a "mostly normal" Monday. Anyway, moving on.
I went to work. I worked. I began the drive home. No more "mostly normal."

Approximately 4 miles from my home, whilst whizzing along down the freeway I heard an ominous "POP". I was fairly certain, based on the fact that my car immediately began to shake, I had run over something unpleasant and that my tire was going flat. Lucky for me, I was a mere 1/2 mile from the Walmart/Discount Tire exit and so planned to (slowly) make my way to Discount Tire, from whence the injured tire came. Alas, this was not to be.

As I changed lanes to exit, I heard a insanely loud grinding noise and smelled horrible burning rubber. Clearly, the tire was not simply flat or flattening as I had previously thought (hoped). Clearly, I had bigger problems. Not wanting to destroy the only car Isaac and I have, I pulled off to the side of the exit ramp, quickly prayed that one of the crazy Arizona drivers barreling down the ramp at 100 mph would not hit me as I exited my car and walked around to inspect the tire. The tire was not flat. Instead, the tire was COMPLETELY shredded, falling off the rim and had OBVIOUSLY EXPLODED. There was a HUGE HOLE where the rubber had BLASTED OUT like it had been shot from the inside. NOT. GOOD. This car was not going to make it the .5 miles to Walmart or Discount Tire. It was not going to make it anywhere without a spare. Have I mentioned yet that it was 115 degrees yesterday? Oh, I haven't? Well. It was 115 degrees yesterday. That is not an exageration. 100+15=115.

So. I reviewed my options. It's 115 degrees. The tire is hopeless. I do not want to change the tire by myself. Husband is in San Diego. I don't know a single person in Arizona I could call to request help with the tire situation. As I dug through my purse, I discovered it wouldn't have mattered if I had 1000 people I could call because, I, like an idiot, had left my phone at home! Great.

So. It's all me. Super. I moved all the crap out of our trunk (Note to Self: remove extraneous crap from the trunk) into the back seat and took out the trunk floor boards, only to discover that the jack was not there. Yes, folks. NO JACK. I had a lug wrench, but no jack. HAPPY MONDAY.

Having previously determined that I had no other options but to fix this mess myself, I decided to walk to Walmart to buy a jack. It didn't seem very far, and, what other option did I have? Whilst walking, I noticed that I could save myself about 5 minutes of walking in the 115 degree heat if I scaled a low-ish brick wall. It was an easy choice: when weighing the indignity of climbing a fence in work clothes against a slow and painful death of heat stroke, I will choose indignity every time. So. I scaled the wall. I bought the jack. I also bought water. The very nice man in the Tire Lube Express provided 'helpful' hints on using the jack. I went back over the wall and walked back to my car. It looked so sad there on the side of the exit ramp, blinking its little hazard lights. Moving on.

As I got everything set up to actually remove the tire, no fewer than 4 women in mini-vans/SUV's rolled down their windows to ask if I needed help. I was sorely tempted to say "Why yes, yes I do", but figured that asking a woman with 4 kids in her car to stop, in 115 degree heat, to help me change a tire was probably not the best plan. So, I politely declined.

This whole "Erin changes her tire herself plan" hit a small snafu when I tried to remove the hubcap so I could unscrew the lug nuts. The exploded tire had twisted wrapped around the front of the hubcap and was, like a rubberband, holding the hubcap in place. Tiny. Problem. Whilst digging in the crap from my trunk, trying to find something that would pry the hubcap off, despite the tire's death grip, a car pulled over in front of my car. A young man in a SUIT and TIE got out of his car and, without asking, came over to help. I told him he was GOING TO RUIN HIS SUIT AND TO GET BACK IN HIS CAR. He ignored me. He also might have laughed at me a little bit. I was beyond laughter at this point and had no inclination to argue. Plus, I really needed another person to hold the tire out of the way so one of us could get the stupid hub cap off. So, I let him stay.

He(Scott)helped pry the hubcap off and also removed the old tire. I put on the spare and put the old tire in the trunk. By the way, I discovered when it's 115 degrees outside, a tire will be about 300 degrees after it has been driving down the freeway for 20 minutes. Moral of the tangent: I should have waited a few minutes to pick up the shredded tire to put in the trunk. I burned my hand. (Cue the violins...). 10 minutes after Suited Scott's arrival the tire was changed. And Suited Scott did not, in fact, ruin his suit. Sidenote: Whilst chatting briefly and cleaning up as best we could with paper towels from my car, we discovered we are in the same stake. Small world.

Anywho: I drove the car to Discount Tire and the little tire man, upon seeing my exploded tire, exclaimed, "That's not supposed to happen!". Ummmmm. Yeah. YOU THINK? OF COURSE TIRES AREN'T SUPPOSED TO EXPLODE!

It only happened because Arizona is trying to kill me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

In Which Erin Provides Job-Hunting Advice

At my place of employment, we have recently begun a rather extensive hiring push. As part of this new expansion, I have had to review a ba-zillion (and yes, that is a technical term) resumes. In reviewing these resumes I have found that many, no most, people do not have a clue about how to appropriately present themselves to a potential employer. Not. a. clue. Therefore,as a public service, I shall now offer my (unsolicited) advice on job hunting. And, before you question my qualifications, let me tell you: I have applied for bazillion jobs. I have screened a bazillion job applications. Ergo: qualified to offer advice. Moving on.

The Resume:
1. Do not, unless you are applying for a position as a model or actor, put a picture on your resume. If you put a picture on your resume, the hiring authority (me) will laugh at you. Then, when the rest of the people reviewing candidates look at your resume, they will also laugh at you. You probably don't want the people responsible for hiring you to laugh at you. Just a thought.

2. Do not include, as part of your "objective", statements like "Seeking a stress free and fun workplace" or "Looking for a laid back atmosphere without a lot of stress". Once again, everyone will laugh at you. You are not applying for a fraternity. This is a job. And, since the job we are looking to fill will most certainly not fit either of those criteria, we will not invite you for an interview. We wouldn't want to disappoint you and all.

3. Cute fonts belong in greeting cards. I do not care that your work history goes back to 1972; typing your resume in a font that looks like it was printed off a dot-matrix printer 30 years ago is not cute. Any font even remotely resembling handwriting is not cute. It is irritating. Your resume will be laughed at. Are you sensing a trend here?

4. Do not attempt to "fool" the hiring authority. I (and any other thinking person) know that you did not "Teach customers the location of desired products". We are not stupid. Just because you can use the word "teach" does not make you qualified to do so. I do have to acknowledge the effort and creativity. I do not have to interview you.

The Interview

1. When you recieve a phone call from a business to which you have submitted an application, and therefore have at least a marginal interest in working for, do not say, "I am on the other line with a friend. Can you call back in about an hour?" Trust me, no one is going to call you back.

2. When you are applying for a job, do not have songs such as "My Lumps" or anything from High School Musical (all of them) as your ring-back tone. When someone calls to schedule an interview, you will make it impossible for that person to take you seriously. That person will tell everyone in the office about your ringback tone. Then, people will laugh at you. A lot. You are (presumably)not a teenage girl and ought to act like it. Now might be a good time to re-think that whole "ring-back" tone situation altogether.

3. When the company you have applied to calls and says "Hello this is ____________ from __________ calling about your application. Would you have a few moments for a screening interview?" Do not say "Um...which job was this for again and how much does the job pay? I'm not sure I want it yet..." It's entirely possible that you will be hung up on. Just say'n.

4. While participating in an interview do not say things like "Well, I really wanted ___________ job, but that didn't work out so, here I am!" or "Wow. This job sounds really hard! You guys must really hate it!". Enough. Said.

So, there you have it. Job hunting tips from an "expert", gleaned from weeks and weeks of experience. You are welcome.