Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Week of Irony

The week of January 7, 2008 from here on out will be known as my week of irony.

I spent nearly 3 hours this afternoon sitting on the side of I-43 waiting for a tow truck to show up. While traveling north in a two lane construction zone with concrete barriers on each side, my car suddenly seemed like it didn't want to accelerate. I took my foot off the gas looked at the gages and everything looked fine. I put my foot back on the gas and it was OK for a moment, but returned. I again took my foot off the gas, checked gages, and pressed the pedal again. NOTHING! It is the worst feeling in the world to be on the interstate going 40 (and dropping) MPH while people behind you are going well over the posted limit of 55. Thankfully, I had enough speed left in my vehicle to get out of that two-laned construction area with no shoulder. However, I did not have enough speed to get completely over to the emergency shoulder. I was out of traffic, but it was still in a lane. At times there were cars, trucks, and semis just inches from my car. I could feel the car shake as semis went by. I don't think I have ever been so nervous in my life.

I called AAA, told them where I was and the situation. The woman I talked to supposedly called the sherriff's department to come before she called the towing company. Several squads went by during this time, but not a single one stopped to check on me. I sat in that situation for 40 minutes before a sheriff stopped. He was very nice, he moved an orange barrel out of the way and gave my car a push with his to get me out of traffic. I was a little more comfortable having a couple feet between my car and zipping the traffic. Another sheriff stopped about 30 minutes later just to make sure I was still OK.

AAA had given me a 2 hour window of when the tow truck would be there and said my call was flagged an EMERGENCY since I was sitting on the interstate. Well, that window came and went without a tow truck stopping. I called AAA back, explained my disgust with the service, and explained once again I was not in the safest situation. I am pretty sure I could have called any local towing company directly and gotten out of there in less than an hour. It's not like we were having bad weather, it was an unseasonable warm day with dry roads. The second person I spoke with put me on hold while she called the garage that was supposed to be coming. She told me the truck would be behind me in about five minutes. Well, it was more like ten. I suspect that driver had just gotten my info!

I called Bob as soon as it happened and he came to my rescue. Bob was able to park up in front of the barrels in a safer spot than I was, but it still wasn't a safe area for either of us to be walking. We waited in our separate cars and talk on our cell phones a lot. It was a HUGE comfort having him there. Since I broke down near his office, he brought me back to the office with him so he could get out something that needed to go out yesterday and pack up his stuff. I waited at the bar in the restaurant downstairs, had a much needed glass of wine, and nice conversation with a couple people there.

As William Shakespeare said, All's Well that Ends Well!

If you are still reading thank you, but you are probably waiting for the irony. Well, I opened the mail box, pulled out the mail, and what's on top? The AAA renewal statement. I am not sure I will be renewing after this experience. We have only used them two times in nine years. The first time was fine. They came as they said they would in the amount of time they said, but it was also a job we could find a neighbor to help with or buy a set of jumper cables. This time left a really bad impression of the service with me. I still had to pay for the tow truck to take my car any further than five miles. (My plan pays for the hook-up & first five miles.) At $80 over 8 years I don't think we are getting our money out of it. I am pretty sure one towing & a set of jumper cables would come in under $640.

The other irony isn't as scary or bad, but Tuesday before I talked about the Project Runway designer t-shirts and ordered one. Wednesday night the designer of the t-shirt I ordered got kicked off! :( It arrived today! I guess my shirt is a collector's item!...LOL!


Carolynn said...

Wow, that is a scary story!!

And irony is an understatement!!

I was surprised he was "out" so early on!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Penny for that bad experience and especially you and Bob being in that dangerous situation. Glad you made it safely home. Shame on AAA!