So I finally spent nearly the whole day on the message screen. HOORAY. I like that! Most of the messages are ordinary, business-related things, such as requests to verify that the next customer on a tech's route is at home. However, the occasional one will give an inkling of a particular tech's sense of humor. For example, one tech wrote in after he completed his route, "It's raining, it's pouring, if you don't need me for anything else I'll be home snoring". Another tech exclaimed, "I was attacked by a bird on that job!", which prompted me to respond, "Beware of fowl with foul tempers". ;o)
I still had to do carryovers toward the end of the day (groan), but at least I got to wait until 3:00 or so before I started having to deal with harridans. This is good, because my stress level was relatively low by the time I left work, drove a block to the gas station to fill the tank... and my car decided not to start when I was ready to leave.
Mind you, there had been some funky symptoms in the past couple of weeks. For one, remember that blog comment right before this job began, that the fan wasn't working? The battery light was on when the fan acted up. Then that problem went away. The trouble is, this morning it was replaced by the radio going on and off when I activated the turn signal. (Due to the weather, poor visibility, and humidity, I already had the headlights, defoggers, and windshield wipers going. The radio was on, and the turn signal apparently was the final straw -- the radio and clock blinked on and off in a pattern opposite to when the turn signal was illuminated. I thought, "THIS can't be good". But no warning lights showed on the dashboard.
At 5 PM, when I went to start the car, it was noticeably slow to respond when I turned the ignition key. Fortunately, I decided to get gas BEFORE leaving for home, because I don't want to think how it might have turned out if the car had decided to quit on me at some point during my drive on the Blue Route or the Schuylkill Expressway. If the car was going to decide to hibernate, at least it chose a gas station that is open until 10 PM to do it, because poor Mark had to drive out there from South Philly to get me home.
I am figuring out what kind of bus schedule will get me to work tomorrow morning. Arriving by 8 AM is an impossibility, but I can arrive between 8 and 9. Hopefully before 8:30, even. I have to double-check the SEPTA schedules. And if Mark can drop me off at the subway station, so much the better and my commute will go more quickly.