Thursday, August 18, 2011

One Thing Lead to Another

Monday was a disaster!

After meeting two friends for lunch, I tried to leave the parking lot at the restaurant, but my car would not start: it was dead.

AAA was called to arrange for a jump.

I scrambled to find the phone number for my stylist, explaining that I may not make my hair cut appointment.

An hour later, the guy AAA sent arrived and jumped the battery. All was well.

I barely made my haircut appointment.

Thinking I would need a new battery, I left the car running. I decided to go to the service station after my hair cut.  It wasn't meant to be: the car stopped and refused to start.

Another call was made for a jump.

This time the service guy was from a different business and was not as competent as the first. If it wasn't so stressful, it might have been funny. The guy fumbled around inside the service truck cab, came out and stared at the hood, went back inside the cab and fumbled around even more. It was obvious he was looking for a hood-release lever.

The service truck was a Ford, and since I owned a Ford pickup several years ago, I walked over and opened the hood for him. From that point, he didn't fill me with confidence, and it didn't get any better.

My car refused to start.

The service guy pulled out a cell phone and called his boss for advice. The boss told him several things to try. Nothing worked.

By then, I was sure the problem was more extensive than a dead battery, probably electronic or electrical because some of the systems had power and others didn't. I decided it was time to "throw in the towel" and get the car to the Toyota dealer in Lander - 30 miles away.

I asked for the bill for the service call and said I was having the car towed to Lander. The service guy's boss was somewhat miffed; he wanted to take the car to their shop and told me I was being foolish for taking it to Toyota. He said, I needed to have my husband (I don't have one) keep a sharp eye on the Toyota service department and the repairs that were done. That statement irritated me since it insinuated a woman could not make intelligent decisions about car repairs without a man's supervision.

I wanted to tell the boss that I refused to put my car in the hands of a business that hired service techs who couldn't even open the hood on their own vehicle, especially when that vehicle was sent to provide a battery jump.

A towing service was called, and within forty minutes, my car was being loaded on the truck by an extremely competent and professional driver. I immediately knew my car was in good hands, even without the approval of a "husband."

Good news: 
• my knitting buddy, Cheryl didn't mind dropping everything to come and take me home
• the repair was not as extensive as I had anticipated
• my car insurance paid the towing costs
• a female can make decisions without the approval of a male

Bad news: 
• a blown alternator fuse and a dead cell in the battery
• day and a half without my car
• someone else will be at the mercy of the incompetent guy who now may or may not know how to open the hood of his service truck


  1. On a road trip through Iowa, I had car trouble and was towed to the Ford dealership. After spending the night in a fleabag motel with Auntie, the service manager told me that I needed a new carburetor. I looked at him and said "What beet truck do you think I fell off? This car is fuel injected and HAS NO Carburetor. Just button it up, I'm leaving." He sputtered and but, but butted. I held firm. What it turned out to be: corn gas. I had accidentally put corn gas in the tank at one fuel stop. The more 'real' fuel I put in the tank afterward diluted the corn gas, the better the minivan ran.

  2. ARGH!!!! I cannot stand the "get your husband to" or here at work, "Can I speak to one of the men?"

    So glad it wasn't any worse - the car, that is. I think that tow guy was about as bad as it could get... unless you left out the part where he called you sweetie?

  3. You handled it all like a pro:) "Stupid is as stupid does" comes to mind.

  4. I can't believe the "your husband should do it" mentality is still out there! I ran into it in Japan when the husband was on the ship and the Japanese men did not want to talk to me, only a man. But we're in America!!

  5. What a day! Sounds like you handled it well and managed a hair cut, too. That's something only a woman could do.

  6. Yikes, I hate car trouble. And, I hate not being visible to some men. Although I must admit neither hubby nor I like dealing with cars. I really liked our service shop in PA because the owner was our minister! So I always trusted what he said.

  7. Cars. A love/hate relationship. My late husband knew as much about cars as I do so there goes the husband theory. LOL

  8. OK... I hate to giggle at your expense, but this is too funny now that the crisis has passed!

    My sassy little niece (who's husband knows NOTHING about cars) told one auto parts store when they suggested she send her husband in to talk with them about the part needed, "You can deal with me, or not have my business... your choice!" She got what she needed.

  9. Glad you car is running and you don't have to deal with the "men" anymore. I have run into that wall on many occasions! I have owned my own business for 20 years but since DH came to work (for me) when he retired the requests to speak to "the man," "the owner," "the Mr." just never stop! I have become chopped liver.

  10. What a day!! Makes you appreciate the good ones:)

  11. Oh my word, Nancy. What an ordeal! I find it extremely sexist when people make assumptions about male tech guys who refuse to show women (i.e. "moms") advanced phones. I am so glad you were firm, trusted yourself, and did what you knew best.

  12. I don't mean to laugh, but that is a story for the books.

    I feel your anger when the ask for the husband. I've been asked that same thing when contractors have come to do things on the house.

    I too have proven that a women will not be pushed around to make an unnecessary and expensive decision.
    Way to go!!

  13. ROFL--I just LOVE it when men think women don't know beans! As a friend once told me--"its so much fun to play with some men's minds. It only takes one hand to dribble those brains like a basketball, and not much concentration on MY part!"


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