I didn't think I would do another post so quickly, but I can't help myself! Sheesh, I'm a weakling! Caroline, I need help with my addiction!!! It didn't help that my brother just told me that he has wireless. I didn't expect that, but I'm loving it!
This trip is . . . "an adventure" just doesn't do it justice. I'm still working on the right description. I'll get back to ya on it. I was ready to leave Wichita yesterday, right on time, at 10:00 AM. Got in, pulled out, waved goodbye to my daughter-in-law and granddaughter and hit the road. Before I left town, however, I needed to go to an ATM for cash and to put gas in the car. I was planning to take a short cut my son told me about, but I didn't know if I would find an ATM I could easily get in and out of with the trailer in tow, so I chose to go the familiar route where I knew there was a Bank of America and a QT right across the street. Keepin' it easy.
I turned into the parking lot of the shopping center where the bank was, intending to go into the big lot behind the bank and simply walk to the ATM. That way I could avoid having to park in a cramped area or blocking anyone else. However . . . HOWEVER, I pulled instead, into the bank lot which had no spaces long enough for my "rig." When I pulled around to try to exit to the street, I found I couldn't exit there, and would have to circle the bank. I looked at the drive through lanes . . . hmmm, doubtful that I was good enough to make it. If I could pull perfectly straight, it might work, but it was risky. The ATM lane was a bit wider, but it had several cars in line. OK, here we go!
. kerrrrrunnnnnnch. CRAP!
Yeah, I caught one of the fenders of the trailer on one of the protective poles they put around their ATMs and drive-through stations because of people like me. I got out to inspect it, and clearly, there was no way I was going forward. I began backing up a few inches, getting out and assessing, backing a few more, reassessing. The bank manager came out and offered to help me by watching one side while I watched the other, and in a few minutes, we did manage to get trailer and car out of the lane, but naturally, the trailer was crooked. He suggested that I simply drive out the way I came in, and he would stop traffic. It took several tries to turn car and trailer around in that small space, but I managed it and was set free! The fender was mashed against the tire. Not a pretty sight.
As I pulled around into the parking lot I intended to go into in the first place, I could smell rubber burning from the fender rubbing on it. I parked the car, and considered getting out a crow bar and straightening it myself, but I decided that when I turned it in, they might be a bit perturbed. So after a few angry tears, I got out the paperwork and called UHaul. Oh, what an experience THAT was!!
The first person I spoke with was "James." I thought for a while I was talking to Caroline's doofus ex, but no, it wasn't him. He was, however, equally a loser! He talked through his nose and ended every string of words, question or statement, with an extreme elevation of his voice, mumbling, the whole time. I asked him to repeat himself about 12 or so times. After taking a report, which took about 1/2 hour, he told me that someone from "repair" would call me back within 1/2 hour. Then he gave me the report reference # and the insurance department number for me to give to the bank. I'd already told him that there was no damage to the post, for god's sake!
Next I walked into the bank, gave the manager the information and apologized and thanked him at once. He assured me that it was not a problem and wondered why they wanted him to have the #. I got my money, along with many "condolences" from tellers and loan officers. Geez, how embarrassing! They were all extremely nice, but I could have just slid out the door unnoticed, thank you very much.
Back to the car, I opened doors to have a cross breeze for me and the "kids." It wasn't bad, about 81 degrees, and the wind was strong enough to cool us fairly well. Then my cell phone rang. It was my favorite person, James. He regretted that he did not tell me earlier that since the accident was "customer caused," I would be responsible for the repairs.
WHAT?!?!?!? I bought insurance!
He repeated, like a drone, since the accident was "customer caused," I would be responsible for the repairs.
Then why did I buy insurance?
He repeated, since the accident was "customer caused," I would be responsible for the repairs.
What does the insurance cover?
To learn that I had to call the insurance department. And, of course, once more, since the accident was "customer caused," I would be responsible for the repairs.
Was I agreeing to pay for the repairs?
I already said yes, (unspoken "you idiot!!).
Damned if he didn't repeat it, Was I willing . . .
Yes, unless you have another suggestion, James. It doesn't seem that I have a lot of options, does it?
I'm writing down that you agree to . . .
James, it has been 1/2 hour since you said that someone would call. How much longer do I have to sit here?
I don't know. I'm just calling to say since the accident was "customer caused," you would be responsible for the repairs.
I hung up, crying hot tears of fury and frustration. A few minutes later, I called the number he gave me for "repairs" in case I had questions. I asked how long I could expect to wait. The very nice person, named Bob, looked it up for me, although he was a bit confused why I was give that number because a different department handled accidents. He was able to locate the report and talk with the company that was dispatching a truck. They said it would be about 20 minutes before a truck would be back in, and would be immediately dispatched to my location.
By now the thermometer in the car was reading 90 degrees and it was getting miserable, so I leashed the dogs and we walked to a grassed area in the shade of the drive through of the bank. I took water for the dogs, and we just lounged for a while. One of the tellers came out, bringing cold bottled water for me and a decorative ceramic flower pot full of cold water for the babies! She asked if they could do anything for me, bring me a soft drink, anything? I thanked her, explaining that the water was perfect as I rarely drink soda. A few minutes later, she returned, offering to hold the dogs while I took a bathroom break. I thanked her and declined, and she again asked if there was anything, just anything, they could do. When I declined, she said she would have me in her prayers (gee, who would think I need that?), and I told her that it was very much appreciated.
Soon, my daughter-in-law showed up to give me moral support. She was on her way to work, and had time, so she thought she would see how I was. We just stood and chatted for a while and she commented that the people in the bank were always very nice, and she was impressed with their concern for me. And I want to say that I have never yet met a rude employee of the Bank of America. I’[ve been treated quite well at every branch I’ve been in, but these folks took the cake.
Finally the guy in the truck showed up. I walked over to talk to him, and asked if he needed me there or could I wait in the shade. He said that he was just going to pull out the fender and it would take just a few minutes. I could wait wherever I wished and then I could be on my way. I said that apparently he didn’t see anything else in need of repair, and he said no, but he was just told that he should pull the fender out. I replied that I had told them in the report that was all that was needed, and so just in case, I’d appreciate a professional opinion. He replied, “Then I wonder why they sent me?” I think he was kidding. I HOPE he was kidding! Later he said that he checked the tire and it was OK, and that nothing structural seemed to be damaged. I could go on my trip. Oh, After paying the bill. It was $110.68, much less than I was fearing.
So at 2:30, I called my brother again to tell him that I was again leaving, and I would tell him the saga when I arrived. The remainder of the trip was fine. I’m not happy to be getting 10-12 miles per gallon when I normally get 25-30, but I’ve been pulling some pretty good hills through southern Kansas, Oklahoma, and while there are hills here in Texas, they are more rolling and didn’t put as much stress on the li’l Montana van. Oh, and in Oklahoma City, I counted 8 wrecks along my path. Naturally it was rush hour, but 8? Lots of slow travel, but no other problems.
So, how am I? I’m actually fine! I’m learning to let go of many frustrations. I bring them here, share them with all you (hee hee!) and I’m fine! I don’t like all the challenges I face, but, gee, none have stopped me yet, have they? Slowed me down, yes, but I’m still headed in the direction of the next chapter of my life. Life is good.
Note: This was accidentally posted earlier before it was finished. My Bro and SIL wanted to go to dinner, and I meant to save it as a draft but hit Publish, instead. So if you read it and noticed some strange spellings, etc., now you understand.