Ok. It’s been a rough week, work-wise, and tonight and the weekend weren’t looking particularly promising either. The planned upgrades to the multimedia labs ran into a number of snags and required a lot more time and effort than we expected. The number of projects I’m being asked to do just keeps mounting, but the constant interruptions by staff wanting answers to questions or decisions made for them–combined with the fact that we’re short two people in the main office and I seem to be the one who most often ends up getting stuck answering the phones and dealing with walk-in clients when the administrative assistant goes to lunch or on errands–leaves me feeling like I’m just spinning my wheels, and accomplishing little.
Normally I wouldn’t have to work evenings or weekends–one nice tradeoff for the relatively poor civil servant’s salary–but because one of my responsibilities is the oversight of the multimedia training labs, it’s almost impossible to be permitted to schedule any necessary maintenance activities during hours that the students are on site. So, in order to move our audio and video servers from within the labs, where we’ve been maintaining and servicing them, to the IT’s central server room, where there will be better security and cleaner power, among other benefits, we had to schedule time over the weekend to do so.
We had planned to start this evening, and brought in the consultant who originally installed and still services the lab equipment. We’ve been planning this for months (it’s been rescheduled multiple times for various reasons). We worked with the IT staff to draw up schematics, to make room for our racks, to add additional power, etc. We asked them for information–and went back several times to clarify–about the connections (and therefore the cables and connectors we would need) in the new server room as opposed to those in the current server location. We got the information in writing.
The consultant arrived, and we took him down to the server room; he discovered right away that the type of connector they’d told us we needed, and that we’d asked him to bring, was not, in fact, what was being used. So we’re paying big bucks to fly this guy in, to pay for the cabling and labor, and our IT department has given us the wrong information.
So the consultant and my lab manager found a place in Gaithersburg that had the cables and that was still open at 5:00 on Friday evening (and they were about to close). We charged the cables to the credit card, and they said they’d leave them in a box outside the store; so the two of them are driving to Gaithersburg, during rush hour, to pick up the cables. There was no point in me sticking around, so I came on home and gave them instructions to call me there when they’re on their way back.
Halfway home I started hearing a sound from outside the car: one of those kind of rhythmic sounds you hear when a tire is flat or going flat or has something hitting it, or when you’re driving on a grooved road, with that telling periodicity of the sound. I pulled the car over, got out and casually examined all the tires, which seemed fine. I got back in the car, and drove home, continuing to hear that sound, but not experiencing any other symptoms.
In the garage at home, I took another look at the tires and they still all seemed fine. Then I noticed a protrusion from the treads of the right rear passenger side tire; it looked less like a nail than like a large nut and bolt, the bottom of the nut being flush with the tire’s surface, with the rest of it extending maybe a quarter of an inch above the tire. The tire still wasn’t visibly going flat, but from the size of the nut it seems pretty clear that there’s a pretty large metallic object penetrating the tire.
I just do not have the energy to deal with a flat tire right now. The rain has stopped for now, but the forecast is for continued rain and thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow. And to add insult to injury, this is the one tire still remaining from the original four when I got the car new five years ago; I’ve already had to replace the other three after two punctures and a blowout. Of course it couldn’t have been one of those three to get punctured; after all, they’re still under warranty from NTB. No, my fucking negative karma requires that the most expensive, least convenient possibility hold sway. I am the avatar of Bad Luck Schleprock, a Bussard collector of antiluck particles, a Charlie Brown clotheslined by Lucy and her football of life–hopefully and stupidly continuing to think that this time she’ll hold that ball steady, and I’ll give it a good kick. Yet here I am, flat on my back again.
And I’d been having a couple of really good weeks. Now, though, I’m starting to see flashes in my inner peripheral vision of a nascent apathetic depression.
Geez…. what a whiner.