Saturday, June 04, 2011

engine trouble

My car's engine light went on last night while I was driving back from work. Not long after that, the engine started acting as if it were going to stall out whenever I tried to push the car past 4000rpm. Not good. I was able to get home just fine, and was even able to maintain a decent speed, but I'm worried that something crucial has given way, and that the car may be on the brink of dying. This makes the prospect of going to work next week rather dicey, and I currently have no money for car repairs. I have a feeling that, if something fundamental truly has gone wrong, I could be staring at a repair job costing several hundred dollars.

That, in turn, throws off my plans for my second monthly paycheck: most of that check will go to the usual bills, but the remainder is supposed to go to new contact lenses. So: car or contacts? Assuming the cost of the car repair will be under $200, then it's no contest: I've got to get the car repaired. Getting to work is more important than whether I look dumb wearing glasses. (My contacts were the one-month disposable kind; you get twelve pairs. I started wearing my current pair in early May. Going 1.5 months is feasible; I've done it before. Going a full two months, though, is going to be a problem, so I may have to break out the old glasses when teaching and driving.)

A few changes are in the works, meanwhile. I'm going to request Saturday work at YB Near; I don't know whether they can offer me a full eight-hour day since they already have a "Saturday team" of regular tutors there, but something is better than nothing, especially if YB Far is going to be stingy in giving me work on Wednesdays-- a trend I fear will continue. Still, if I can earn a couple hundred extra bucks per month, that'll give me a wee bit more breathing room.

Those following my Twitter feed (which you can see here on the blog, actually, if you glance over at the right-hand sidebar) know that I've just downloaded the Square app to my Droid. Square allows one to accept credit card payments directly to one's bank account. As with PayPal, every transaction is subject to a nominal fee: 2.75% of any transaction done with a swiped credit card (the little square-shaped swiper, for which Square is named, is coming in the mail), and 3.5% + 15 cents for every transaction performed manually, i.e., by typing in the credit card info and having the payer "sign" on my Droid with his or her fingertip.

With Square in place (it's already ready to go on my phone), I'm now free to become a traveling salesman. The question is: what to sell? I'm once again thinking about plopping down somewhere and selling art, or perhaps even selling some of my remaining books while wandering around DC. One never knows. And hey-- there's also rum cake and budae-jjigae.

In the meantime, the GRE studies continue apace. The sooner I can jump ship to better-paying work, the better. Keep those fingers and tentacles crossed.


1 comment:

John said...

Well, make sure you check on the licensing requirements for salesman, especially in DC--I've heard they can be real dicks to vendors, especially the Park Police.