I really need to grow a pair. Truly. I let people walk all over me and I actually give them engraved invitations it seems. Urg!
So I left my car at this auto repair place last Thursday. It had gone dead twice and I figured I needed a new battery. So the woman from the shop calls me Friday morning around 11 and said, “A battery for your car will cost $89.” I hate spending more money on my car, but I had a killer week coming up this week (meetings, putting up my art show, hosting my art reception Thursday, etc), so I said “Go ahead”. Then I sat waiting and waiting. Finally around 2:30 I called her back to see what the status was. “Oh, the two bays in my husbands garage are still full and its raining out, so its not ready yet.” Me (through gritted teeth): “Ok, well please call me because I need my car. I have a very busy week coming up”.
My mom then called and reminded me that my battery was probably still under warranty and may or may not cost $89. She, by the way, was just waiting to come get me, since the garage was two bus rides away. So I called the shop back and told the woman what I wanted to do, i.e., bring my own battery since it was still under warranty. And suddenly my car needed a $75 diagnostic.
Funny how that worked, huh? Here, let ME be your $75 diagnostic. I NEED A FUCKING BATTERY, LADY!
But I didn’t say anything, since I’m like the world’s largest wuss. So we hung up and I called my mom back to just come and get me. She lives about 17 miles away and the car place was about in the middle of us. So she finally comes and we go to the garage, because in the meantime I had called Napa Auto parts where I got my battery and asked what I needed. The number on the battery and, well the battery, so they could test it to see if it was really defective.
We arrive at the now growing Evil Auto Shop. It was pouring rain. The woman comes out, all pouty and hands me my car key and I run out and get the info and look under the hood at the battery number. Blah, blah. blah. I then go to get in my mom’s car and the lady yells at me. “I need the key back!!!” Like I could really steal a car with a dead battery in the middle of a fucking downpour. So we get to Napa. They were really nice. But they couldn’t give me the rebate price without the battery. I used my mom’s cell phone to call Cruella over at the other place. Her: “No, we can’t give you your battery until the job is done.” Did anyone else hear the word “YOUR”. Doesn’t this kinda sound like it shaping up into a hostage situation?
“Bring da money or the Subaru getz it!”
So I paid the $89 and we drove back the HELL Auto Center and I lugged in the battery. The woman was standing there looking all irked. OMG, so sorry, your highness.
So we told he we needed the car before the end of the day and would be waiting up the street at a fast food place, since after all, it was only a battery replacement. She had my mom’s cell phone number. She said “Wahhhh! its raining out. My husband might get electrocuted”…Okay, she didn’t say that, but she did say she’d call when they were done. With the diagnostic. I told her I needed the car by the end of the day. Please just put the battery in. She again was standing there pouting. But she really got us good. Ha ha ha!
My mom and I went to Wendy’s and I ate a big thing of ice cream and I was all miserable and crying. All I could think was all the stuff I was going to have to go through because I didn’t have a car for the busy week ahead. And of course my mom did her favorite saying….”I’m an optimist…you’re a pessimist”. Yeah. Thanks Mom!!
So we waited and waited. And yes, it did stop raining. Finally at almost 5 p.m. we drove up to the garage and guess what? Go ahead, guess?? The bastards had closed and were gone. And my car had magically gone from parking in the crappy front lot to a safe, widdle spot inside their LOCKED garage. You know, in case I tried to steal it before they their precious $75 diagnostic.
Was I unhappy? Just a smidge. And then my mom started saying I should have refused the diagnostic and demanded the key. And I was thinking…and like how was I supposed to dramatically drive away in a cloud of indignant dust if my battery was dead??? I cried a lot that night. All night.
The next morning I had something to go to that was right next store. So I hopped my two buses and got there right when they opened their doors…at 11 a.m. Cruella was off. I guess she was having a Mean Girl Replacement Valve done or something, so I had to deal with her husband, who amazingly turned out to be even a bigger dickhead than his wife. I told him I needed to get my car and was it ready. He said he had done the diagnostic and there was a BIG DRAW on the engine, but he hadn’t had any time to figure it out. Mind you, this was Day Three of my car being at his garage for a mere battery replacement.
I lost it. I don’t really lose it in public. I usually just stomp around my apartment and in my car cursing at people. I am definitely a candidate for Anger Management. I did take it once, but the woman who taught it was always late and it used to piss me off.
Anyways words were exchanged and somehow the words, “Your wife has been holding my car hostage for three days” came tumbling out of my mouth and he took my key and physically threw it at me. It kind of bounced off my shoulder. So I picked up the key and went out and fortunately the car was working…at that point….and I got to do my indignant cloud of dust out of the driveway. No payments were exchanged. I was actually just going next door to do an art meditation class. Naturally the battery was dead when I came out. Fortunately some one gave me a jump start there and I got home in one piece.
I was pretty unhinged. Or more unhinged than usual because naturally the car didn’t start the next day…with the new battery. Incidently, before the car croaked I did get some of my money back from Napa Auto Parts and the guy there was extremely nice. He didn’t even check to see if the battery was, in fact, defective. I think he gave me a break there. Thanks Gary!!
So all day Sunday I tried to figure out what to do, since my impending week was going to be busy. So Monday I just went to a Monro Muffler up near where my mom lives (after yet ANOTHER jumpstart) and guess what? Go ahead guess? It was my Alternator. That’s it! That’s all it was! Genius at Brand X garage obviously missed the most obvious thing it could be next to a defective battery. Even I had thought, after a fashion, that it might be that. So I just said to fix it, even though it cost almost exactly half of my entire monthly income. YAY!
And I don’t know why…must be that pessimist thing, but I still didn’t trust that it was fixed until the car actually started on Monday evening for a meeting I had to go to. Charlemagne called for a ride and I had to wait until I knew the car was working. And it even started Tuesday for the hanging of my art show at this next little gallery. I was still convinced that it wouldn’t. So I’m….ALMOST….convinced, that the last car place actually did the right auto repair and my car should be working for the rest of the week.
I know one thing….I better sell a painting or two, since that has now become my main source of income for car repairs.