Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Twenty Below and Falling


Yesterday was an exercise in waiting. In the freezing cold. Without a furnace for hours. In subzero temperatures. While the birds attacked the feeder and suet cake (I hung out a brand new one yesterday afternoon). Did you know birds look much bigger when their feathers are all fluffed out and they need to eat about 10x their weight in food to keep their racing metabolisms racing?

It was cold yesterday. It's colder this morning: -11 degrees when I got up and walked around. The high today will be -4 and the low was -19. So far. It's cold. Very cold. Witches broomsticks turn to ice and any exposed (or covered) fleshy parts stick to the stick. Did I mention it was cold? It IS cold.

At any rate, yesterday wasn't a total loss since, after 3 trips to Colorado Springs on icy roads littered with cars that didn't make it, Ron, the furnace guy, figured  out all the problems, fixed all the broken parts of my 3-year-old furnace (we figured that out yesterday when I called Goodman Mfg.) and at 8:30 PM the furnace began to give out with heat. Warm, glorious heat that for the first time since I moved in made the freezing tile floors warm and welcoming to bare toes and feet. I didn't need to keep the space heaters on and I didn't need a mound of blankets on the bed or to wear the 5 layers of clothes I was swathed in while waiting from 7 AM until 8:30 PM to get the furnace fixed. The really good thing is that the furnace is still under warranty and the owner of Heat Depot, Mike, currently vacationing in Arizona for the rest of this year and into the new year, waived the labor charges. Considering he must refund me nearly $900 in parts charges because of the parts warranty still in effect, he should waive the labor charges. However, since I now have an almost completely rebuilt Goodman furnace, I doubt he will be able to continue waiving labor charges when there is no more labor to charge for. He'll have to refund actual cash.

Bad news: Furnace broke yesterday.
Good news: Furnace fixed last night and I spent a warm (sometimes too warm with the thermostat at 60 degrees) night and didn't feel the constantly running furnace sucking the moisture out of my mouth, nose, and other moist mucous membranes. It was a pleasant night and I slept well.

But life goes on and this morning bright and early Steve from Nuance called to remind me I had more paperwork to fill out and that I needed to get that done today. I also needed to send in my I-9 forms TODAY with witnessed signature to prove I am who I say I am. Then there are more forms to read and sign off on, forms which I already read and signed off on last week, but which did not take, and I needed to uninstall Office 365 and install MS Word 2013 (stand-alone) because 365 will not work with their programs and Word 2013 will. Good thing Microsoft was willing to give my money back (in 5-7 days) while allowing me to install MS Word 2013, which I bought last week and installed on the old computer, but now must install on the new computer that arrived 2 weeks early yesterday. No rest for the wicked -- or for those coming off a week's vacation into a frozen hell. Oh well.

The other good news yesterday is that the computer that wasn't supposed to arrive until January 12, arrived 2 weeks early and is almost ready to go. I still need some programs from Nuance, but as soon as I scan and email the I-9 forms, I might be able to get that done today. The there's the training, for which I will be paid, but must be completed before I start working on January 6. Details, details, details. It seems I will be bogged down in details.

At least I won't have to deal with BTS much longer and, because of my new start time, I won't have to work 8 hours during my last week with them (next week). I'll tell them today that the best I can give them will be 6 hours during my last week, which should be fine with Payroll since they still have me listed as part time anyway. Besides, I'm doing them a favor by working an extra week until they can get someone trained and ready to take my place since I'm leaving. And I will give them 8 hours of makeup time because I couldn't work yesterday due to the freezing cold. My hands are not as dextrous when they are frozen and the nails have turned blue. Give a little, get a little. And I have gotten very little outside of paychecks from BTS for the past 3 years. Goodbye, good luck, and good riddance.

If you're in need of a job, I wouldn't suggest working for BTS. There are no benefits to speak of (or to use) and pay will be frozen at your entry rate for the foreseeable future (the rest of your enslavement). If you must work for them, keep looking while you're employed and jump ship at the first opportunity -- or when gainfully employed by a company that offers and makes sure you have benefits. Good benefits. No sense being a slave forever. Emancipate yourself. No one else will do it for you.

So, on this frozen morning as I finish my once hot and now cold chai, I wish you warmth, a good working furnace (which would not be a Goodman), and plenty of hot water for baths, dishes, laundry, and tea -- or hot chai.

That is all. Disperse.

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