OK, so awkwardness out of the way first: I got fired. Again. Sheesh, I hope this stays at two... one is an isolated incident, two is a coincidence, but three is a pattern.
What happened was, back in July, I got into a "verbal altercation" with a coworker. Me and my big fuckin' mouth, all over again. We were bantering, as was customary, but then he crossed an HR-line. No big deal, right? I mean, in this shop, I would hear the word "nigger" shouted at the top of someone's lungs at least once or twice a week. Not "nigga," but "nigger." So I figured, well, he crossed that line first... so now it's safe for me to cross it, because I know I'm not gonna report it, and if he does, then he'll get in just as much trouble.
He threatened me with violence because I made a "Yo Mama" joke, so I quoted The Exorcist at him, going straight for the jugular as I am wont to do.
Problem is, I don't think this guy's seen The Exorcist.
So he went to HR, which meant that I had to go to HR. I explained that things only went that far because he had threatened me with violence in the first place. Now, two wrongs don't make a right, but this made my actions more understandable, and we all came to agreement that "inappropriate" banter is OK so long as customers aren't around and nobody has a problem with it - what I did wrong was say something that he had a problem with. Hooray for understandings.
So we both got put on final warnings, because I have a problem with fighting with one hand tied behind my back. Now I had to be on my best behavior. For a year. Fast forward a few months. Two weeks ago (Saturday the first), I made what would have otherwise been a minor fuck-up, but instead was the last straw. Bam. Fired. Now, those two incidents notwithstanding, I was a freakin' model employee, and everyone was sad to see me go. I'm even eligible for rehire, but not for a month, and depending on business needs; the manager even said he wanted me back, but he wouldn't know if he'd be able to hire me first thing in January. He'd have a better idea on the fifteenth. Hence that seemingly arbitrary date.
I thought I'd still be able to write, but heading back into job-searching mode was as depressing as it ever is: a whole lot of casting out lines, and a whole lot of not getting a bite. I hate it more than I hate actual fishing. However! I lucked out, because a local locksmithing shop was looking for someone new to train who was bright and had a little experience with cutting keys and rekeying locks (which I do!). One of the steps in my interview process was actually solving one of those cool puzzle locks. I got the job, I've been working there all this past week, making more money than I was before and getting way more job satisfaction out of it. I still wasn't feeling the writing vibe, though, because I kept coming home with my brain full.
Anyway, things are way better now. As for Tooth and Claw, I have some sorting out to do; I've been doing it a bit wrong in a way I didn't realize until I took a step back, so I'm gonna reevaluate. More later.