I have about $600 in cash and I don’t get paid for another week and a half. It will be weeks before I get my tax refund and can finally afford to buy a new automobile. My car decided those criteria comprised the perfect mix to break down again.
I dropped it off at my mechanic’s this morning, and as of yet, I don’t know what’s wrong with it. I probably won’t know until this afternoon. I texted my moneybags friend telling him the situation and he sent me a text message saying, “All is well. Carry on.” That’s his way of saying, it’s covered, even though I still owe him some money from the last time my car broke down. Awesome friend is awesome.
I love my mechanic, because he’s the cheapest around (I price shopped), he knows my car intimately, and most importantly, if he has one available, he’ll give me a free loaner car. A free loaner car is very important when your car breaks down as often as mine. While he does quality, inexpensive work, my mechanic is not what you would call speedy. Normally, when I drop my car off, it’s there for two days. Once, it was there all week. As long as I have a loaner, I don’t care, because I can still go about my daily life.
This morning, I called work and told them that I’d have to take my car to the shop and they don’t open until 8am, which is the time I’m supposed to be at work, so no matter what, I’d be late. Provided he had a loaner available, I’d be in by 9am. If not, I’d be stranded.
He had a loaner available, an old hunter green Mercedes, which sadly, I’ve driven before. I hopped in and was about to drive to work, when a thought occurred to me. What if I told work that he didn’t have a loaner? What if I just took the day off? Yeah, it’s Wednesday and who wants a Wednesday off when I’ll have to go in the rest of the week, but once the thought entered my head, it sprouted.
Instead of driving to work, I drove home. I called work and told them I wouldn’t be in today. My mechanic wouldn’t have a loaner until this afternoon. I lied.
I am a terrible liar. I have every tell in the book. When I have to lie, my brain goes into lie mode, which is very different from that of a used car salesman or a Ponzi schemer. My lie mode is exactly the opposite of the mode you want when you’re lying. My heart beats faster and I swear, you can see it on my face, which of course, means you can see it on my face. Fortunately, I didn’t have to lie in person, just over the phone, but I was still in lie mode, so I was sure they could hear the BIG FAT LIES.
My manager probably couldn’t tell I was lying and even if he could, who cares? It’s not like I ever call in ever. Even when I was sick last time, I went in, because I had pressing work and no choice. I just don’t call in unless I absolutely have to, so when I do, I’m sure the person on the other end of the phone probably takes it at face value. I am the opposite of the boy who cried wolf.
I just looked it up, and since August 4, 2014 through yesterday, I’ve taken 56 hours off of work. That’s seven days. In eighteen months, I’ve taken seven days off. That’s including the times I’ve actually been too sick to work and the two days off I took when Male died. That’s terrible.
U.S. Employees only use 51% of their eligible paid vacation time and paid time off.
I’m part of the problem. I currently have 124.31 hours of earned time off. I’ve taken 56 hours of it employment to date, which is just over 45%. I need to be more European from now on, preferably without the car trouble though.
Anyway, I didn’t think this day off thing through very well though. Work might have been exactly what I need today to distract me from a total stress breakdown. I keep telling my brain there’s nothing I can do about it anyway and awesome friend will help if needed, so why worry? But telling one’s brain something and having it comply are two different matters entirely.
So, now I suddenly have a day off. It’s Wednesday. I have no money to do anything fun, and even if I did, fun things wouldn’t be fun since I’d be worried about car problems.
In other news, since I’m home, my cat apparently thinks it’s feeding time again.
What should I do with my day off? Do you take the time off you earn or are you “American” like me?