Tag Archives: coffee

Blargh

You know your morning is shot when it takes you half an hour and multiple attempts to drink from an empty coffee mug; before you realize the cup is empty and you need to go get coffee.

Note to Self: Mixing Drinks

We’re having some issues with the lights/power/air conditioning in my office this morning.  As I’m still trying to shrug off the after effects of taking the lovely cough syrup last night, I had to have some coffee this morning.  However with the A/C being out, I’m starting to over heat and have been switching from coffee to Fruit Punch Gatorade.  Now both of those are good but since I’m tired and thirsty, I’m grabbed them one after the other without really thinking about it.  Let me tell you, fruit punch flavored coffee is rather unpleasant.

Trying to lose my business?

Back in April, we bought a new car from Carousel Motors. And until yesterday, it’s been great. I let me explain…

Yesterday, I went home for my lunch hour. When my time was up, I went down to the car to get back to work. The car unlocked and started up without any problems. What was a problem is the ASL light turned on and stayed on. Normally, this light turns off once you press down on the brake pedal. It’s there to prevent you from shifting into gear without having the brake pressed to avoid accidents. Except now, my foot was on the brake and I was still stuck in park. I fiddled around with it for a bit, but couldn’t get aything to happen1. I rushed back inside, called by boss and worked the rest of the from home via the corporate VPN.

After work, I called the dealership but found out the service department closed an hour before I called. I talked to the salesman who sold us the car and he suggested calling the VW roadside assistance 800# to have them tow the car out. I called them up, waiting on hold for several minutes and then got to talk to *mumble, mumble #1*. He had me go out ot my car and try several things to get the car out of park. I was just nearing the end of his instructions when the battery in my phone died. *grumpf*

I tromped back up into the apartment and called back on a wired phone. Again I had to wait several minutes and then I got to talk to *mumble, mumble #2*. I explained what was wrong and what I’d done so far. He gave me the complete instructions and I wrote them down. Then I set down my phone and ran outside to try them. Success! I could now get my car out of park! Before I ran back inside to relate my success, I turned off the car and tried starting/shifting normally. No luck, that was still screwy. I went back inside, picked up the phone and… And nothing, all I got was dead air. *double grumf*

I called the roadside assistance a third time and once again had to wait several minutes for the privilege of talking to *unidentified pissy man*. This guy never gave me his name. I told him everything that I’d been through and the resuylts of their procedure for getting the car out of park. I asked if I was supposed to be ok now, or if I still needed to get it to the dealership? He grumpily answered that “of course I needed to get it to the dealership.” All this around, though not entirely their fault, was not exactly making my evening any better.

Today, I called the dealership and their receptionist was waaaaaaay to gorram happy for 7:45 AM. Fortunately, she quickly transfered me to their service department. And they answered the phone with a “Good Afternoon”. While time is relative and there was a period in my youth where I always used “Good Morning” as a greeting that was high school for crying out loud. Still, she could have just been tired by the early hour of the day, so I didn’t go off on her. I explained my problem and that the roadside assistance people had given me a procedure to get the car out of park. She said since I could technically drive it; their first opening to have somebody look at the car is next Monday. I made the appointment, but it left me feeling very disappointed. I think if this is the average level of customer service I get from them then when we replace our other car, it’s not going to be another Volkswagen. As much as I like driving the car and as good as their sales department is; if the rest of their team is lacking in customer service then it’s not worth it.

Or I could just be grumpy from having to handle all this so flippin’ early in the morning.

1 Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. All I did appeared to make things worse. After my fiddling with it, the EPC light came on. Though after following the instructions from roadside assistance that light went back out.

Update on the Nibble

Unlike the majority of Amercians, I did not head back to the office after the Memorial day weekend. Well, not back to my office anyways. Instead, I whipped out my interview suit1 and went to a job interview. It was a really good thing that I left early to get there as I got slightly lost. I stopped at a coffee shop and got directions. Yes ladies, men can and will ask for directions when we know we’re lost2.

After getting the directions sorted out (I missed overshot the street I needed to turn onto by 1 block), I arrived at the company’s office3. The building looked surprisingly new, though it was a bit warm inside. Though that could have been a combination of me being nervous and me having “suited up”. I had to fill out some paperwork (boilerplate HR background check authorization forms) and then waited a bit for my interview. Shortly, my interviewer showed up and took me back to his office. We went over my resume a bit, though it turned out his copy of my resume was missing the information about me being a UofI graduate. Fortunately, I had prepared for that eventuality by having multiple copies of my most current and most generic4 and I gave one of these copies to him. We discussed what sorts of things I do for my current employer, what I did during my college days and so forth.

But we also got off topic several times dicussing a variety of side issues: my Japan trip, Mindbridge, working for companies who close their local offices, being a non-traditional college student and so on. While I do not have an overbudence of interviews under my belt; this one felt like it went extremely well. I really felt like I made a connection with the interviewer5. As it turns out, the company is looking for 1 person for their computer operations department and 1 for their data warehouse. According the interviewer, the operations position is a bit lower than what I’m really looking for in a starting salary but he thinks I could be a good fit for the other position as well. He went on to say the company really needs to get these positions filled quickly before their busy season hits and I should hear something back in a couple of weeks.

Since the interview went so well and the only reason I was on time for it was the helpful coffee shop; I went back to have myself a little snack6. The shop is called the “Coffee Talk Cafe”. When I got there after my interview, the only people in it were the staff. The lady behind the counter was very friendly and we chatted for a bit. She wished me all kinds of good luck on my interview, while she rang me up. I got a toffee nut latte and a orange/pineapple muffin. I ate in the shop and so they nuked up the muffin, putting a little butter on top. It was divine. Yum, yum. *smile* It took them a little bit to make the latte and when the lady brought it over we chatted a bit more. Apparently, I resemble the lady’s brother and in my suit look very “professor-ish”. I left a little bit after that and am now home chilling out. I’ll br browsing the online want ads in a little bit (looking for other nibbles) but right now I feel really good about today and the interview I had.

1 Okay, it’s really my only suit.
2 We just don’t think we’re as lost as you think we do.
3 Per my long standing habit, I will not be discussing who they were.
4 Given time and available brainpower, I prefer to customize my resume for the company & job I am applying for.
5 Did I mention this person is also the hiring manager? Oh well if I hadn’t yet; I have now.
6 To be prefectly honest, this was my breakfast. I was feeling too nervous prior to the interview to want to eat anything.

Are you a hoopy frood, like me?

Towel Day Self Portait

If so, you better have your towel with you today! As today, is Towel Day.

For those not familiar, Douglas Adams was one of the funniest writers of our time. He wrote a wonderful series of radio plays which were converted in a a series of books and a TV show and later into a really awful movie. This was The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In this, Mr. Adams wrote:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical
value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

After Mr. Adams’s death some lunatics decided to create Towel Day as a tribute to his genius. I only heard about it this year (about a week ago to be more precise) and decided to join in on the fun. And the fact that I’m telecommuting to work today had absolutely nothing to do with that decision. *grin*

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