Monday, August 15, 2005

Today: A Day in 4 Parts

The goal for today was to get all the annoying errand type activities done before the school year started. It was jam packed with fun.

Part I: The Oil Change
We have a 2002 Honda and we change the oil every 5,000 miles. We got a credit card with Firestone because they have cheap deals, are quick, and have many locations including one next to a Starbucks.

Today I decided to go to a different Firestone branch because it was near PetCo and I also needed food for the cat. The guy there was very nice -- told me I could get a cheaper deal with my card instead of the coupon I presented. I also asked for a tire rotation, which he told me WAS cheaper with the coupon. He sounds nice right?

About 20 minutes into my time there, he came out and said "Abigail, I can't steal your twenty dollars to rotate your tires because it won't help. You need two new tires."

Huh? Our car has 30,000 miles on it. Aren't tires supposed to last longer than that?

"Your alignment is way off and it has worn the tread off on the inner parts of the tires. I called the other Firestone you usually go to and they said they've never aligned it. Have you ever had it aligned?"

I told him yes, I thought I had it done at an Exxon a while back. He told me they did a bunk job. I told him I wanted to check on my warranty and talk to my husband about which tires I would want.

How the heck do I know if I really need tires or this is just another scam? I hate dealing with mechanics. I am completely at their mercy. DH will take a look at the tires tomorrow and maybe he can tell something. In the mechanic's favor, he did not charge me to align the tires, so technically he lost money of the deal.

Part II: The Confrontation
I had not been able to talk to my department head about my having to move back into my old room because he was on vacation. Today he was back and I headed up to school to discuss the issue with him.

He was very sympathetic. It turns out it was not actually him that rehired maniac teacher. It was the assistant principal. He agreed with me that she should not even be coming back after the way she treated everyone. He couldn't believe she WANTED to come back after burning every bridge. Plus, he basically took all the classes no one wanted to teach and gave them to her. In talking about my frustration, I started to tear up a little despite my best efforts. Then, he started to tear up too. I ended up not throwing much of a fit at all. In fact, talking to him gave me some perspective because I am pretty sure he has had a worse summer than me. (Remember that he lost his mother-in-law last June.) I also expressed that I felt a lot of pressure teaching AP and he reemphasized that none of that pressure would be coming from him or the principal because this was my first year and I should just do my best. I didn't really feel relieved, but I did feel less anger I guess.

Another highlight: when we went into my room to unload some books I realized that all my stuff was gone. The custodians had been kind enough to move it into my new room. So, I had to head down there and drag it all back. I took a minute to stand in my room that never was. I breathed in the air conditioning, stared at the dry erase boards, and imagined what could have been. "Don't worry," I told the room, "I'll be back. And don't forget, for one short summer you were mine." Sigh.

Part III: The Dentist
I do not like going to the dentist. There are few things in life I fear more than the words "root canal." The only reason I go is because I know it prevents future problems that could be much worse.

In that sense, I guess today was a lucky break. Today, my dentist refused to see me. That's right. I showed up for my appointment and was sent away. It's a long story. Basically, I marked on my medical history form 4 years ago that I had a heart murmur. I had never had it checked out because the doctor didn't think it was a concern. The dentist, after treating me for 2 years, noticed the information and insisted I get an echocardiagram before she would treat me further. Fine. I did. The cardiologist said there were no problems.

This summer our dentist moved to Florida and sold her practice to a new guy. Same location, same receptionist, etc. The receptionist called me last Wednesday to ask me to have the cardiology reports sent over. Well, the doctor retired and I had a hard time tracking them down and they didn't get there by today. This dentist refused to treat me because he did not have a copy of the cardiology report itself. He refused to accept a signed paper from me that I had in fact been checked out and was fine.

Time for a new dentist.

Part IV: The Reward
I bribe myself to go to the dentist by scheduling a haircut afterwards. I needed a haircut anyway, and it would just be RUDE to cancel on such short notice, so I kept the appointment even though I did not technically see the dentist.

We went to a new place that the dh had discovered. It was amazing. They provide free sodas, beer, wine, and ice cream. Then they have these giant movie screens. You sit in a personal room that looks out onto the movie screen and also has a personal monitor with sound controls. You can also choose to change the channel on your personal monitor to a variety of cable stations. No more uncomfortable small talk! The best part, of course, was the scalp message. It literally sent tingles down to my toes. It felt sooo good and frankly, I deserved it. Maybe this was the beginning of a better week for me!