Thursday, July 17, 2008

Isn't it the Weekend Yet?

This morning was a little rough. But not as rough as the rest of the day would turn out to be.

First off, the alarm went off at 6 a.m. I know that's not unusual for many of you, but normally I sleep until around 7:15 a.m.; for me, getting up at 6 a.m. might as well be getting up in the middle of the night. Today, though, I had to get to work by 7:30 to get a document ready for a court trial, so at 6 a.m. I was dragging my sorry self out of bed.

I drove to work with the fuel light on all the way, but I figured I could make it--and I did! The rush project was completed on time, and the attorney hustled out the door with time to spare. Since I had come in early, I was hoping I'd be able to leave early, but another rush was looming on the horizon for the same attorney, same trial. At that point, though, we were unsure exactly what was involved and how long it might take.

At lunch time, I drove to the gas station and filled up my tank. $70. Yikes! To add insult to injury, the car wouldn't start. Oh, it teased me a little at first, but then it died altogether. ARGH! What to do?

Hubby works for an auto parts place and knows a reasonable amount about cars. Should I call him? When I thought about it, I heard his voice in my head, saying the same words I've heard on a few similar occasions: "Well, what do you want me to do? Call AAA!" Okay, so I called AAA and told them the problem. The operator asked what kind of service I required. Hummm. Not a question I was really prepared to answer, but taking a wild stab at it, I told the woman, "Uh, probably battery service, I think." I was told they'd be there within 40 minutes. THEN, and only then, did I call the Hubby to let him know.

"No," he said after I told him what the car had done, "I don't think it's the battery. You need to have it towed into Terry's shop." (Terry is one of our best friends/mechanics.) "Alright, Honey," I replied, "Would you please call AAA back and tell them to send a tow truck instead and tell them where you want it towed?" So that's what we did. After all, Hubby assured me that when Terry had serviced the car for us about a week and a half ago, the battery was fine. It must be something else electrical.

So I sat around the gas station for awhile, waiting for AAA and getting high on gas fumes. Finally I saw a bright yellow AAA truck! But, I quickly realized, it was the battery service truck--ARGH! When Doug, the battery service guy, pulled up, we chatted and he acknowledged that right after he left the office, he had heard the change to tow service come over the radio, but since he wanted to get out of the office anyway, he thought he'd just come on by. And since he was there, did I want him to check the battery? "Oh, no thanks!," I told Doug, and I explained to him how and why it couldn't be the battery. We chatted another minute or two and Doug said, "You know, I might as well check that battery since I'm here." "That's alright," I told him, "I'm sure it's something else and not the battery." Doug went into the little gas station store and came out a few minutes later. Again he offered to check the battery and again I politely refused. He then told me the tow truck was about 30 minutes out still. Was I sure? Yep. We waved to each other and Doug left.

More hanging around the gas station ensued, and finally the "real" tow truck arrived. The kid looked so young, I considered asking to see his driver's license. He was polite, though, and seemed to know what he was doing, so I let it slide. "Ma'am," he said, "I need to take a look at the battery first and make sure that's not the problem." "Well, okay," I told the 10-year-old tow truck driver, "but I'm pretty sure it's not the battery." "Company policy, ma'am," he replied and popped the hood.

Tow boy then commenced poking at the battery and making noises that communicated to me that things were probably not what they should be with that darn battery. We then did a bunch of stuff, like hook up jumper cables to the battery, etc., and determined that yes, indeed, the fault was with the battery. Apparently the darn thing had sort of exploded or something since the car was in the shop a week and a half earlier. And apparently sometimes hot, hot summer weather can do weird things to batteries. Who knew? And I learned that the battery was in such sad shape, it wouldn't even hold a charge. ARGH! He then hooked up my car, I jumped in the cab, and we all went back to my office so he could be on his way and I could make some telephone calls.

You see, I had bought that battery from AAA the LAST time I had a dead battery and it was still under limited warranty. So, I called AAA and arranged for someone to come out and look at it and replace the battery. About an hour later, I got a call advising me the guy was outside at my car.

OMG! Wouldn't you know that the guy out by my car was DOUG, the first guy who showed up at the gas station and offered to check my battery something like 17 times?! Thank goodness Doug has a sense of humor! The first thing I told him was that I had moved the car from the gas station to my office in hopes that he wouldn't realize it was ME! He laughed and said that as soon as he heard the call, he knew EXACTLY who it was.

So, $95 and about an hour after I was towed back to my office, I had a new battery. And Doug and I were buds. And then I lived happily ever after. Except I didn't get to leave work early because my automotive adventures had sucked up 2-1/2 hours. And then we got a couple last-minute rushes, and that meant staying an extra half hour. But I was able to drive home without any trouble.

A tank of gas: $70
A call to Hubby from the pay phone: 50 cents
A new battery: $95
Coming home after a much-too-long, much-too-stressful day: Priceless.



Eileen said...

Gee, what would it have hurt to have Doug look at the battery first? I know doing what hubby said. So did you have some handwork in the car? Or a good book? Bet not. Glad you got home OK

Teresa said...

Well, at least you had some down time away from the office stress. I just hate dealing with car issues.

MichelleB said...

Can I check your battery for you? Please!

Julia said...

Wow, $95.00! That stupid "limited" warranty thing.
You always seem to have the most amusing adventures. Thanks for sharing them with us. lol

Su Bee said...

OMG - lets see -- what could possibly be more fun than hanging around a stinky gas station in 95 degree heat? Ummm.... oh, I know -- ripping out every stitch of machine quilting on a king-sized quilt! There - isn't that better?

Diana Banana said...

Sorry, to hear about your car touble.

I've been reading your blogg for a few months now and I just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading it ... your quilts are beautiful.

Karen said...

Hilarious story!!! And I am so glad you took a photo of Doug!


quiltmom said...

Hi Kim,
You are determined to have adventures aren't you? VBS It is good that you can find the humor in the situation. Hope that today was an easier day with no more car problems.

Have a great weekend.

yellowfarmhouse said...

Oh girl I always enjoy your stories and get such a hoot - I hope that's OK. Did you have any quilting in the car to stitch down while you were patiently waiting :)

hugs - Karen

Quilt Nut said...

LOL Kim! and love how you got a picture of Doug too