Friday, September 28, 2007

Seminal Moments

I was driving home today, and I thought of a moment in my life that has always, horrowingly, stayed with me.

Back when I was a sophomore in high school, my dad died. I don't really ever talk about this very much for the obvious reasons: at the forefront, it really sucked. But, life moves on.

One of my memories around this time is that I refused to take any real time away from school. He died on a Monday morning, and Wednesday I returned to my "normal" life at school...and unfortunately, before some of my teachers knew what had happened. So, I had to tell them.

A growing experience.

The moment that sticks out in my mind is when I told my English teacher, Mrs. N. She was a bit of an odd ball, and there were rumors that she didn't wear underwear to school and that she hooked up with male students. This only adds to the memory.

Anyway, I was a pretty glib, young kid (glad to see that changed), and had a strong relationship with a majority of my instructors. I joked around with them, and they joked around with me.

When I returned to school, a mere two days after my dad died, Ms. N, at the end of class, asked me where I had been. I told her:

My dad died

It really hurt to say that.

She responded, incredulously, You were absent for two days because your CAT died?

And then I repeated it, and it all seemed more real:

No, my dad. My dad died.

Her face said what she couldn't, and what I usually don't.

And that is the moment that has always stuck to me, like adhesive to a fresh wound.

Regardless, it would have been his birthday this week. And I still celebrate it in a way since my nephew was born on the same day.

We're going to Legoland.

It all seems so fitting.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The More Things Change...

So, it's over. No, not my desire to make pudding the state's official food snack (I have always loved that title "food snack"). No, not my quest to legally change my name to Harry Manasse (sound it out). And no, not my dream of having dance music play every time I walk into my classroom at school (that would be so sweet).

I got the check from Sprint this week....all $61.73. After countless times of being told they would send me the check in "7 to 14 business days," my relentless, tireless, daunting, and arduous journey is complete.

And so ends my nearly eight-month adventure to get my own money back. But let's think about what I accomplished, shall we?

Let's say I estimate that I spent only ten hours since February trying to get this money back. That would put my efforts at $6.17/hour. That is below the $7.50/hour minimum mandated by the, I could calculate that Sprint still owes me $13.27. Add to that the amount of time that it would take to be reimbursed for the extra 13 bucks...maybe another ten hours, I am looking at $100.

But wait, this gets better.

Over the past year, I was tutoring at $50/hour. Let's say that I wasn't able to tutor for ten hours because I was on the phone. So, in essence, that is $500, minus the $61.73 they sent me. Don't forget to calculate in the time for me to get the money back...which is another $500 dollars. Now, I'm looking at about $1000 bucks.

Screw tutoring. I was hired as a full time English Professor. I calculated that based on my current salary, I make about $100/hour of face to face class time. Yup, you guessed it. That's $2000 for time wasted and time added to get the $1000 they would owed me. I truly have a dizzying intellect. Just wait until I get started (Princess Bride, anyone?).

Now, let's not forget that I could have been investing this $2000 in a bank...or better yet, a stock. I own a few shares of PepsiCo, which has increased from about $63/share to $73/share in the past six months. If I would have invested the $2000, I would have made $10/share for an added $317. I now have about $2300.

I also have a bit of a gambling problem, and always pick huge road dogs during the first week of college football seasons. I definitely would have picked Appalachian State and all the points against Michigan at home. Now I have, minus fees, about $4500.

This could keep going. I haven't even calculated the interest yet!

Needless to stay, Sprint PCS was single handedly responsible for my current financial problems. And because of their negligence, I sue them for how severely they mishandled my account and money that wasn't even theirs. I would ask for about a million....but decide to settle for $600,000. Hey. I'm a nice guy.

With my new financial backing, I decide to buy and blast her and her antics daily for about a year. SHE sues ME for slander...and wins a multimillion dollar lawsuit...and since I didn't form an LLC, she hits me in my personal pocket book.

I lose all my money and am not able to pay any of my bills on time. Even my cell phone bill.

I rack up tons of minutes talking to different collection agencies and default on my Sprint bill. I owe them about $300 of their money. And you know what I do???


Take that Sprint. It would be so worth it!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007