Posted by: Jack | January 9, 2007

Not the Best Few Days

Upon arriving back at our apartment after our time in Wisconsin, we were eager to relax in the comfort of our own home. As I went to boot up my computer–my means of truly feeling at home–I encountered a “Failed to boot from disk” message. After some hardware swapping and boot-disk-booting I determined that my primary hard drive had failed. While a majority of my crucial data, files and photos are on another drive, a year’s worth of system customization was on this primary drive. Having only slept 2 hours the night before I was in no mood to confront the task of obtaining a new hard drive and reinstalling everything. Very, very fortunately, I decided to try a few more things and found that my drive’s failure seemed to be due to either temperature, humidity or a bit of both. Having warmed up a bit, I was able to boot the OS and since then everything has worked fine. I was unaware that this would become the highlight of the week to follow.

The following day I woke with a mild sore throat. Lack of sleep has historically been the most common cause of illness for me so I was not too surprised. As midday rolled around I found myself suffering an intense fever, extreme fatigue and an unbearably sore throat. About six hours later, all of the ailments vanished as suddenly as they had appeared.

The day after that I woke with a sore throat once again. This one however, stuck with me for the next 3 days. Of course, a mere sore throat is not nearly enough to make for a bad day. A letter arrived informing me that I was not one of four people selected from 70 applicants for the position I was really hopeful and optimistic about.

Frustrated once again by the whole job thing, I decided to follow up–for the fourth time–on a banquet server position which has remained open for 3 months despite my easily qualified application. This time I was told, for the first time, that each time they hire someone, they take down the current job posting and replace it with a new one AND discard all previously received applications. I’m sure this unadvertised procedure has eliminated the chance of landing the position for more than a few good people. On the upside, I am now informed and have resubmitted my application. I also heard that the banquet department is looking to fill multiple openings.

In hopes of returning a couple of Christmas gifts I attempted to find local branches of a couple stores. Of course both stores are isolated to the midwest so I had to ship items off and will probably be waiting quite some time to receive a refund. And on that topic, I am fed up with the automated parcel machine at the post office. Every time I go to use that thing there is either a postal officer there walking people through the process making it anything but automated or as was the case today, the thing lets me go through all the security, shipping and payment options Q&A and then tells me that it is not currently accepting parcels and I must get in the long line and wait.

Another gift in the form of a computer peripheral device seemed to not be functioning entirely correctly and after discussing back and forth in multiple emails with a rep who’s primary language is obviously not English, it has been determined that the item is defective and will need to be shipped back for repair/replacement.

By yesterday my sore throat had subsided slightly but seemingly dispersed itself into an array of common cold symptoms. Last night when heading off to bed Anna commented that one of my eye’s looked very bloodshot. In a weak attempt at denial I convinced myself that I was probably just tired…on my left side only. I woke up this morning with one bright pink eye and one pinker than usual. Remembering that two of Anna’s friends, with whom we spent a great deal of time over break, were suffering from conjunctivitis (pinkeye) there wasn’t much more hope for the power of denial. I went to find my insurance information before deciding where to go to get a prescription. This led to a fairly large let down…

I applied for health insurance online in August and received confirmation that my application was being reviewed. I later received confirmation that my application had been accepted and that my cards and various forms would arrive in a couple weeks. I was signed up for automatic reoccuring payments and therefore felt the matter was closed. Upon searching today I could not find my insurance cards and could not really remember receiving them. I went to check my bank statements and discovered I had not been charged even once. I quickly contacted the company and was told that their 3rd-party software has a small problem which can lead to a logical user error and this is what happened with my application. It was reviewed by a rep and therefore the system recorded it as having been handled. The rep however, failed to print my application and pass it along to the next step in the process. Long story short, I haven’t been covered since mid-August. The manager apologized numerous times and is prioritizing my application as we speak. I also received instructions on how to file a formal complaint. I figure there’s got to be some major liability issues on their part here.

The kind of insurance plan I would have had and now will have wouldn’t have saved me any money today anyways so I suppose its good I discovered the problem now. I went to an affordable walk-in clinic reccommended by Anna and received the no-insurance discount; still paying a fairly high price to have a doctor glance at my eye and say “yep, thats pink eye”. At least the drugs were cheap.

Throughout all these other troubles, we have been kept from sleeping in my bedroom due to the sound of water dripping from the ceiling into four different pots whenever it rains…which has been pretty much always since we’ve returned. A temporary fix was installed on the roof today so we should have that problem out of the way. The repair guy told us that a tree branch had literally pierced our roof. I saw him throw the branch off the back side of the house and it was at least 10 feet long.

Sorry for this long, long post but I just had to vent a bit. I’m hoping to be fully recovered by Thursday in which case Anna and I will be heading South for some birthday traveling. Our intended destinations include Portland to visit Jenil, Redwood National Forest, various spots along the Oregon coast and Crater Lake pending good weather. If I’m not healthy by then we may just do the whole thing anyway and I’ll endure whatever consequences are incurred.



  1. Awful way to start the new year, Jackson! When it rains, it pours. You’re overdue for some good luck. Hope you’re feeling fine soon!


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