22 September 2009

Oh, they'll pick you up all right. But then they'll bend you right over that counter without even buying you coffee first.

"Call Enterprise! We'll pick you up!"

Yeah, no. They won't. Well, they might, but it will take three hours.

This weekend, I had a little car trouble. And by little, I mean a lot of car trouble. Like, my car is in the shop and I can't get it out without paying them more money that I have car trouble. Good times.

I was in my car Friday night, driving to girls' night sushi, when I realized that my car didn't really want to accelerate. I mean, it would accelerate, but it clearly didn't want to do it. Which is weird, since acceleration is most of its purpose.

I made it to the sushi place, had a rockin' time with my girls, then we went for some karaoke and I had a date. (Brave soul came out and met me with all of my girlfriends...)

I made it home, but the car still felt really weird. It was 4am, though, so I went to bed and didn't think about it until the next day.

As I was driving to my rock climbing gym, I found that my car wouldn't really go over about 45 MPH. Huh.

Then when I left the climbing gym, it wouldn't go over about 30 MPH. Oh dear.

I knew I was due for an oil change and I was hoping that would solve the problem. No, I'm not stupid enough to think it actually would solve the problem, but a girl can hope, right? Plus, it wasn't making any weird noises, so I couldn't do my usual turn-up-the-radio-and-drown-it-out plan, hoping it would spontaneously go away. Silent but deadly; it has a whole new meaning.

I sat at the oil changin' place for quite some time while they changed the oil, topped of the fluids (TWSS) and inspected my vehicle. I had mentioned my little acceleration problem, hoping they would locate the issue and tell me all about it. My car passed inspection with flying colors and I drove off the lot...once again realizing that I couldn't accelerate. But this time, it wouldn't go over 15 MPH. It seems that passing inspection has nothing to do with the car actually...going. Interesting.

The Move Trading Company parking lot was looming, so I pulled in there and had my car towed to the dealership. Which meant I was without car for the rest of the weekend.

It was too late to rent a car that day, and I was in a hurry because I was supposed to have a date, which I had to move to the bar across the street from my apartment (so I could walk), rather than going to Oktoberfest.

Rental car places are closed on Sundays. Who knew? So I made a reservation and asked that Enterprise pick me up the next morning. The guy on the phone said I had to call them an hour before I wanted to be picked up.

The next morning, Monday, I talked to the people at the dealership and talked to my boss to remind him I would be late. I called Enterprise for a ride and was told that the driver was out picking someone up, but that as soon as he got back, he would be on his way to my place.

Thinking I had a limited amount of time, I hopped in the shower and got ready quickly. Then I settled in to wait. And wait. And wait.

Two hours later, I called the office. No answer. GREAT.

Another hour later I called back. No answer.

Ten minutes later I called again and got the same song and dance about how the driver was out picking someone up and would be on his way as soon as he got back.

"That's what you told me at 8am. I'm really late for work now..."

FINALLY, an hour after that they called to tell me that the driver was on his way. Twenty minutes later they called to tell me he was lost. The office is three miles from my apartment. (I should have walked.)

When the dude finally arrived, I was beyond annoyed and he was trying to tell me what I should have done about my car. I almost killed him.

He walks me into the Enterprise office and asks for my ID and my insurance and all that jazz. (JAZZ HANDS!) I hand him my debit card (I don't like credit cards, so I don't have any) and he said, "Oh, do you have a major credit card?"

I said, "No, I have my debit card."

He said, "Oh, if you're going to use a debit card, we have to charge you a $250 deposit AND we'll need to see two recent utility bills."


I said, "Don't you think it might have been wise to tell me this before I left my apartment? Do you really think I just carry two utility bills around with me at all times in case someone wants to look at them before letting me use my own ACTUAL money from my own ACTUAL bank to pay for something?"

He said, "Adam? Did you not tell her about this on the phone?"

Adam said, "I didn't know she was going to pay with a debit card."

I said, "So this is my fault? You don't think if you had mentioned any of this on the phone, I might have mentioned I was paying with a debit card? You know what? This is fucking ridiculous. Give me my card back, I'm leaving. And if you charge me even ONE CENT, I will be back in here with some words for your manager."

With that, I walked out the door and realized I was stuck, three miles from home, with no car and no way to get to work. Of course, it was noon anyway, so I'd already missed half the day.

Sometime in the middle of all that, the dealership called to tell me that my car needed new coils and spark plugs and the pistons were misfiring so much that they couldn't even tell if this would fix the problem, but that these things had to be replaced for them to even look any farther.

"How much?"

"Ma'am, with labor and everything, that will be $878."


Here's my thinking at this point. I've already spent money having my car towed there (For which they, of course, accidentally charged me twice, so I have $200 sitting on hold at my bank for three business days. Goody.). They charge $100 to even look at it, which they'd already done. This money comes out of the repair cost, if they repair it. I can't drive the damn thing as it won't accelerate, so I'd have to have it towed somewhere else anyway. Just to likely find out exactly what they just told me and have someone charge me almost the same amount, which, when you add in towing fees and $100 would possibly even be more. So I said, "I don't really see what choice I have. Go ahead and do it."

And please, please, one more person tell me that they're doing too much to my 7-year-old car which has 140,000 miles on it. PLEASE. Guess what? It's a piece of crap, but I have no payment and I don't want one. And sometimes cars need work. Especially when you know nothing about cars and haven't bothered to do anything you're supposed to except change the oil. SHIT HAPPENS.

Every single time someone not at the dealership has tried to work on my car, from individuals to other auto shops and such, it has been a SHITSTORM OF FAIL. I don't know why. Also, the dealership people work fast and I know where they are and they're unlikely to be gone next time I need something.

Ahem. Can you tell I've been dealing with this for three days straight now?

I had a little bit of a breakdown when I walked out of the Enterprise place. So I called my mother. Which I was trying damn hard not to have to do. I'm almost 30, for cryin' out loud. However, at this point, I was stuck and trapped and they have an extra car.

I walked home and my Aunt Dana (who's been working on cars since she was old enough to walk) came to pick me up. We went to the dealership and evaluated the situation. As it turned out, the car needed several other things, including a new timing belt (which should have been replaced at 100,000 miles) and a coolant flush because the asshats at the oil changin' place had put the wrong coolant in and now they were all mixed in there and my car is old, yo. Dana said that the car gods had clearly been smiling on me and she thought that the work they suggested was warranted if I wanted to continue to drive the car.

SEE? I didn't just go with whatever they said. I'm not a complete idiot. (Even if someone did happen to call me one for being an atheist...on our first date. Wanna guess if we had a second one?)

At this point, making it to work was out of the question, so I went up to my mom's to work there and pick up my sweet ride. For the next two days, I am the proud driver of this:

Oh baby. HOT. It has the same size steering wheel as a racecar bed, I think. Maybe smaller. And it's ELECTRIC blue; inside and out. And doesn't the exhaust pipe look a little...phallic? Oh yeah.

Aunt Dana and I also saw this gem on our way to my parents house from the dealership:

The first thing Dana said? "That's a Pops move, right there."

My Pops (her dad, my granddad) is the master of all things bungee cord or rubber band or duct tape or...bubble gum. He tried to fix a gas leak in my mom's car with bubble gum when I was a baby. Bubble gum. Just in case you're thinking maybe that's pretty's not. Gasoline takes all the sticky out of gum in about five seconds flat. But he's cute. And he's the only person I've ever known who actually drives just as well asleep as awake.


M said...

Oh dear time you get stranded or need a ride to work, call a girl! I'm impressed you're still standing.

Also, I would have been a lot mean to...pretty much everyone in this story. So good for you for keeping your shit together as well as you did :p.

Jay Ferris said...

This is what happens when you buy American. That and partake in too much ghost riding.

Just A Girl said...

Jesus christ. That's a sexy car. It's better than when the rental car company tried to give me a PT Cruiser...

Travis said...

What the hell were you doing taking pictures of my move?!?

Other than that, the whole situation really lalls. "Lalls," is a word me and Ed are trying to get going. It means "licks balls." Just thought we'd fill ya in.

restaurant refugee said...

I've had AAA since I got my first car XX number of years ago. I haven't had a car for the last five years and I still keep AAA and still consider it a great value. If you need just one tow, jump, whatever in two years, it has paid for itself. Lecture voice now turned off.

That electric blue is HAWT... in New Jersey... in 1995. But it could be worse.

Ed Adams said...

That car situation seriously lalls.

Trust me, I was probably 30 I got a car that would drive from one gas pump to another without taken a big dump.

I say steal the saturn.

f.B said...

@Refugee and Just A Girl, in defense of New Jersey and PT Cruisers, I've driven one in the other and I've never felt so alive.

Lucia said...

Hey I'm in the same boat, move overrrr. My car is 14 years old and in August I repaired the radiator and now I have to get the fuel pump fixed by next payday, so 472.00 in August and now about 370.00 = 842.00 two months I have spent 842.00 or will spend on my car...but you know what...I have no payments on it! And that's the best thing...right?

Mega8815 said...

Oh My Fcuk! I can relate though.
My first car (a 1984 model) was written off by a drunk driver last year. My second got into a minor accident, I got it fixed, serviced and sweetened up, then they stole it. Now I'm on my third car and as if the first two didn't give me enough shit when I had them... this car is following them nicely.. Last night it decided it doesn't like the stormy weather and then it decided oh no a gearbox isn't necessary is it?!

Okay I'm frustrated. Sorry. Good luck sweetie.