Monday, July 21, 2008

Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

Monday was a terrible horrible no good very bad day. I wanted to move to Australia.

It started, as all days like this usually do, at the Watertown DMV. The branch opened at 8:30 am, so Lindy and I decided to head over there around 8:15, only to find that there were about fifty people in line already. We got our tickets which said we would have to wait about seventeen minutes before we would get our new licenses. Nearly an hour later, our numbers were called and we got our brand new temporary Massachusetts licenses (the real ones would arrive in 7-10 days). All in all it seemed like a pretty good start to the day, as we were finished at the DMV before 10:00.

Since I had newly registered the car in Massachusetts, I would need to get the car to pass the state inspections. Only nine months ago, this same car passed the California state inspection, which is arguably the most difficult inspection to pass. Some time during the inspection, I happened to look closer at the temporary license that I was issued that very morning, and noticed there was something wrong. According to the state of Massachusetts, I was officially listed as a Female.

This led to a long time on hold with the DMV, because the last thing I wanted to do was go back there and work it out in person. The exchange with the woman on the phone went something like this:

Woman: How can I help you?
Paul: I just got a license today, and it has me listed as a female.
Woman: And you're not a female.
Paul: No, I just checked and I'm still a dude.
Woman: Okay. What kind of ID card did you use to get your license.
Paul: Birth certificate and social security card.
Woman: Okay. Go back to the DMV and show them the card and the evidence.
Paul: Show them the evidence? Like right there in front of everyone?
Woman: No, not that evidence. Nobody wants to see that.
Paul: That's not nice. I'm sure somebody wants to see it.

So, lucky as I was, after passing the inspection, I was able to go back to the DMV for a second time and get the error taken care of. Thankfully I didn't have to get back in line, I just snuck up to one of the windows and was able to get it taken care of. In and out. Things were starting to go my way.

I spent the rest of the afternoon sending out resumes and inquiry letters for potential jobs, as this marked the one month mark of not having a job. I was waiting for a call from a place that I had applied to and had several interviews, both in person and on the phone. My last interview was seven days ago and they said I would hear by this afternoon, so I was hoping to get some good news to dilute the rest of the day. The phone did ring and it was a woman I had interviewed with. She did not have good news.

It turns out that instead of hiring anyone for the position, they were putting the position "on hold," while the higher-ups were going to think about restructuring the department. I didn't get the job. Nobody got the job. I wonder how many other people were waiting a week to hear this was the result. I would have been happier if someone else got it, just to know there was something I could have done better in order to improve my interview skills. Instead she said that I was a great candidate, but there was nothing to offer anyone right now. I wish there was at least some kind of awareness of this being a possibility of an outcome, instead of it hitting me from out of nowhere. I guess saying "Paul, while you're a great candidate, it's highly likely that we'll choose to take you through the whole process only to eliminate the position," wouldn't have gone over that well.

I was feeling down, but I knew that there were some good things on craigslist that we wanted to go pick up. One of them, a table, was only available after 8:00 pm, so I called the man involved around 7 and told him we could come get it. He said we could only come at 8:00 am and someone else was coming to get the table because we didn't call that morning, even though the e-mail he sent us clearly said 8:00 PM.

Sigh. We found another desk to look at and walked to the car to find that... the car was gone. We have a temporary parking space in the building lot that goes until the end of August. The building manager took pity on us trying to figure out the parking permit/registration process and let us have the spot for a couple of weeks. Little did we know that during this process, there is a good chance that when your license plates switch to Mass, you're going to get towed. In order to get the vehicle inspection I needed the new plates, so we sent a message to the managers blackberry telling him we were switching plates. He said to send the info and he'd inform the towing company of the new plates in order to keep our car from getting towed (this was the current agreement we had).

We sent the message containing our new plate information at noon.
At 2:45 pm we returned from the vehicle inspection.
A short time before 7:00 pm we found the parking spot empty.

The Boston parking department is the most efficient department of any branch of government in any city on the planet. The truck was ready to swoop in and take our car, despite it being the same make and model of the car that belonged in the space, just with different plates. After a series of calls with our building manager, he said we needed to pay $117 to the company, but we could subtract that from our August rent check. I told him straight forward, being without jobs, it's not so easy to just lay down $117 in cash, and he was able to talk to the tow yard manager and make the charges go away. The unsung hero of the night goes to our neighbor Ben who gave us a ride to "sketchy-town" where the tow yard was located. He's a cool guy.

That is the story of the terrible horrible no good very bad day.

In other news, we got some furniture:

Check out this rockin' Ikea dresser. Originally thought we were missing over twenty pieces that were required to hold it together. In the end we were only missing three pieces, and none of them were really required to build it. They were more like accent pieces.

Our awesome bed.

The couch and chair set we carried up the stairs ourselves. We had a bit of an adventure getting the furniture using a zipcar. We ended up getting the Honda Element, which was big enough to fit 92% of the couch inside, and the smallest bit was hanging out. It was secured using old telephone wires around the end, guaranteeing that sucker didn't move at all during the drive from Cambridge to Brighton. It's comfortable and will be warm in the winter, so come test it out.


Amy said...

Omg- damn massholes. So what proof did you have to show the DMV in the end? Maybe you could have dug up the old certificate from the mohel...

Sarah said...

I think I know your real problem. I have never had a day such as this. Because in my 4 inter-state moves, I have never gotten a new license or registered my car in a new state.

This is your punishment for attempting to be a law-abiding citizen!

claudine said...

the DMV conversation was hilarious