Life Hits: Where Have I Been?

Well, if you’re a regular viewer, we’d like to apologize.

It’s been a while since you’ve heard anything from us, but we’re ready again. A lot has happened since our last post on 8/3/16, where I delved into what I hoped to be Infiniti’s return to gloriousness. I have to say, the passion for automobiles is still there, but again. . . life has its challenges.

For me, it was yet another HUGE transition. Let me break this down for you:

 

The New Job (8/15/16)

 

It started with a job offer, one that paid me nearly $15,000/year more than my last job doing pretty much the exact same thing (Mechanical Engineering in Automotive Manufacturing). Sure, the new place was roughly an hour away from my house, but the money and opportunity alone made the the commute worthwhile on paper. I gave my previous employer three weeks worth of notice out of respect for the people I worked with, but the terribly odd part about that was the moment I submitted my resignation letter, I got a hard lesson of how cut throat the business world is.

They counter offered me $9,500 more than what I was already making, which was unusual considering that they could’ve paid me this salary to begin with and I likely would’ve never left, but I suppose that divine intervention had a different outlook. I was given one weekend to “think it over,” during which I proved through various hypothetical situations that the new job offer was still better. My old job was a dead end. The lower management was locked in, and though most of them were not qualified for their positions, it was clear that there wouldn’t be any room to move up within the next two decades. There were “engineers” with no engineering knowledge, education, or basic engineering skills. There were people in charge on the production floor that walked in the door as bottom scale operators just months prior. The Japanese upper management was hell bent on expansion with little to no increase in salary, and speaking of salary, the entire pay scale ladder was screwed up. There were people on the production floor that had been with the company less time, with far less responsibility, no higher education, and obviously lower capabilities making either an equivalent or superior salary.

The place was a shit show.

It was time to move on, and they rushed the ordeal. One week into my final three, I came to work on a Friday morning and was promptly notified that it was my last day. I drove my Mustang home and vented my anger silently, taking in the nice summer weather and sulking in sadness as I rubbed my wife’s pregnant belly. Our daughter was due to be induced in just weeks. My wife was on strict bedrest, and I was now without a job—at least until I called my job recruiter and explained the situation to her. By the end of the evening, she had my new job ready to start the following Wednesday.

The hour drive was rough, and in the Mustang averaging a measly 22.5MPG, the 112 mile daily round trip consumed 1/3 of the 16 gallon gas tank. I needed a daily driver, and though I wanted to wait, I took yet another risk and bought one of the best cheap cars that I could think of:

A 2003 Toyota Corolla LE.

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As much as this car represents the antithesis of what I normally believe a car should be, I grew to love it instantly because of what it offers: the ability to simply hop into the car and drive peacefully to your destination. I’ll write more about it in a Driver Mod section later, but I’ll tell you that the gas mileage and operating costs are substantially lower on a daily commute.

Kudos to gas mileage—even though the Service Engine Soon light illuminated days after purchase for a stupid evap control fault and has been on ever since. It’s also a swell family road trip car. Oh, and it’s much easier to buy a daily driver when you finally earn a reasonable salary. Thanks, new job.

Ryan’s A Father! (8/29/16)

Though I’m sure Ryan will have much more detail to add, I will never forget being at work the morning he informed me that his wife had gone into labor. A few hours later, he sent me a photo of their little boy, Isaac. Everyone’s life had changed from that point, and all for the better.

 

I’m A Father! (8/31/16)

This was the greatest day of my life. We woke up early and drove to the hospital, knowing that Ashley would be induced within the next few hours. We thought it would be a quick ordeal, but it wasn’t. Nearly twelve hours later, our daughter, Lila Faith Williams, was born at 6:36PM. My vision was blurry for the first five minutes of her life because I was crying so hard. She was tiny, but strong, willful, direct, and exactly as I had imagined.

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The very first night in the hospital, she kept us awake until 4AM because she wouldn’t stop crying. Parenting 101 began on 8/31/16 at 6:36:01PM, the very first second that she was in our hands. I had never taken a class on fatherhood, and my exposure to babies up until that point had been extremely limited, but hell, we figured it out together.

My friend and fellow Machscriber, Ryan, has largely done the same with his wife and son.

 

The Adjustment Period (9/1/16 to Present)

 

I soon realized that it cost $2,200 to change jobs in the USA when you have a small family. That, ladies and gentlemen, was the cost of COBRA health coverage after I discovered that the HR department of my previous job tried to charge me twice for health insurance. Ashley developed a uterus infection just days after we took Lila home, which required an ambulance ride back to the hospital where she was admitted for another two days. She is clearly the strongest person that I have ever seen. It was rough, but we made it.

The new job has its pros and cons, but it’s a better place than the old one. My biggest concern is that the hours aren’t necessarily steady, and dealing with the constant frustration of bureaucracies has been a major stressor. It pays the bills, I suppose.

Oh, and I finally ran a 12-second quarter mile, all before teaming up with some fellow enthusiasts to install a slew of modifications to the Mustang the following week. Going to the track to see and feel the difference is what drives me to continue on with this.

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I see people everyday on YouTube, Facebook, and other media sources working towards and working in their lifelong dreams. Chris Harris, my hero, has the world’s greatest job. There is a dude in SoCal named Spencer that has literally achieved everything that I’ve ever wanted to do with automobiles. He makes a load of money marketing, selling, a photographing automobiles of exotic origin.

This is why Machscribe is here. I hastily put it together in 2014 because I dreamed of making a reality out of my passion with cars, gadgetry, fiction, and news. My friend, Ryan, has similar ambitions, but we’ve long ago realized that it’s much harder than it looks.

One day, we’ll have podcasts, we’ll have live coverage of automotive events, shows, and news. We’ll test new and old automobiles objectively and evaluate them to the best of our abilities, connect with our fans, viewers, and readers, listen and grow with the guidance of their feedback, and push forward from there.

Sorry that we can be a bit spastic at times, but hey, when life hits, you have to regroup and hit it back.

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–Bryan