It's a normal Monday apart from the torrential rain and slower than usual traffic so I started a little earlier and headed to workk. I'd arranged a half day with my supervisor so that I could attend an interview in the city so wanted to get there about 8am, shite and briny and put in a decent effort even if it was only half a day. About 5kms into the journey and smoke begins billowing from beneath the right hand side of my bonnet (hood for you Americans). I'm stuck in peak hour traffic against the median strip and the lights are red and I'm on fire and freaking out, hoping the rain might cool the issue.
After what seems like an eternity, the green turn right arrow glows and I limp around the corner and stop the car. The temperature guage isn't out of the ordinary so it has to be a fire right? I lift the bonnet with a soggy towel in hand to douse what must be emerging flames but it's not smoke thank God but steam bubbling furiously from the overflow in my radiator and bright green coolant sploshing everywhere.
I'm supposed to be at work by now and very aware of the half day call so getting a bit anxious. I call the NRMA roadside assistance who, given the horrible rain and wind, are running at 90 minutes behind schedule. Then need to call my supervisor at the second largest soft drink manufacturer in the world but I don't have the number. Since I'm a bit of a dolt with data on my iPhone and my plan doesn't actually include data, instead of going on the net, I ring Clare and ask her to pass the message on that my car is banjaxed and I don't know how long I'll be. She tells said supervisor that I "Could be half an hour, could be hours, I don't know". At least I rang in and they're aware of a major auto disaster.
So finally the NRMA dude gets there and of course the radiator is empty and cooled down so he fills it with water, tells me to get it to a mechanic for a check and I pop on my merry way. Only 200 metres down the road and the temperature gauge goes off the dial so I pull over again and ring roadside assistance. This time there seems little point in getting a 'man' out so I ask for a tow. I've forgotten completely about work by this stage. It's all sorted isn't it?
Another hour and the tow truck guy arrives, winches up the old Honda and we begin trundling off to my mechanic back at Castle Hill. Then the Agency embryo with breasts rings and says, "I just had a call from supervisor at the second largest soft drink manufacturer in the world and she said she was expecting you hours ago, is everything alright!" Stupid supervisor had only heard the 'half an hour' bit of the conversation and frankly was a little pissed that I hadn't turned up. So, I apologetically clarified that by the time I get to the mechanic and somehow manage to arrive at work, it will be time for me to leave to attend the pre-agreed interview so I wouldn't be in. My agency embryo agrees to talk to her on my behalf as my battery now has half a bar and is about to konk out.
So with the car dropped at the automotive shop and a very nice receptionist who offered me a lift home in the torrential rain. I managed to grab some toast and a cup of tea before ordering a cab to take me to the bus stop. I was armed with an overnight bag since I'd decided to stay at Clare's to make the 8am appointment on Tuesday a little less stressful and boarded the Citybus.
An hour later and I'm in the CBD. It's raining cats and dogs, gutters are gushing, umbrellas are colliding as all the black suits hurry to wherever it is they're being very important and hurrying towards. I haven't got an umbrella and it's far too wet to just 'risk it' so I hit the closest shop and buy myself a cheap little black number that if it lasts four openings will be working hard! I find myself standing on the curb at Martin Place waiting for the lights to change when a Sydney Bus, sploshes through an 8 inch puddle and showers me and about 12 other punters with a mini tsunami of grimy city water water. This is now 15 minutes before my interview with a rather large fund manager. So, I'm dripping wet, mucky, my hair is now no longer frizzy but hanging in rats tails around my face and I'm plooking across the road making squelchy noises. I have images of me getting into their foyer and doing a Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies by grabbing a vase or some such thing, slicking my hair and instantly looking hot and sexy. Didn't work.
So, finally I am ushered into the usual sterile interview room with two impeccably dressed women. Goes OK after I've apologised for my rather dogged and soggy appearance. After an hour or so, we say our fairwells and our 'be in touch's' and I duck downstairs for a heartwarming cup of coffee. Then I get a call from my Agency telling me that "The second largest soft drink company in the world have actually recruited someone for the position you were temping in so you won't be required this week" What? They recruited, the same day my car blew up and I couldn't go into work . . yeah right! I wouldn't have minded but I cleared it with her first and it wasn't a problem. So now I'm unemployed, wet, miserable, drinking coffee in the middle of the city watching the steam rise from my wet boots.
So, finished my coffee. Found the right stand to catch the M20 North Sydney bus which took me about half an hour because 'stand R' no longer exists despite being listed on the timetable and get on the bus. "It's prepay luv, where's your ticket". Shit. Lost my ticket haven't I? $26 worth of pre-paid trips slooshing down some watery gutter and into the stormwater system. Mind you I must have looked such a state that he took pity on me and let me ride for free. I won't hear a bad word about bus drivers. They're champs. Disembarked at North Sydney and headed down towards Clare's place with my umbrella battling to remain inside out when she calls, "Meet you at the pub" says I, "I need a drink . .or two . .or three . . ." Which I promptly did and chain smoked four cigarettes before she arrived and we wondered back to hers for warmth and Masterchef.
So in one short day, a Monday at that, my car blew up, I lost my temp assignment, got soaking wet and today I found out that I haven't been put forward as a shortlister for the job because apparently I talked too much. If only they'd asked me how I handle pressure!
Ah well, at least I had a nice Chicken Parmigiana and some good company for the evening. And my car? Just the thermostat so no huge damage done. The old girl is a 1999 Honda Accord though and it's just a matter of time before her head cracks or the transmission goes more than clunk.
The only really pissy, horrible fucktardy thing about the whole day was it cost me the grand total of $670 . . . and I didn't even get shortlisted!