Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Lady, Get A Cab!
It was all worth it. I got to spend the day with my little granddaughter, Jailynn and her mom, Amber. Just looking at her sweet face makes me smile.
Her mom, Amber is as sweet as she is lovely. My grandson chose well when he picked her to be his wife. If you are wondering what my grandson looks like ....... just look at his daughter. She has his eyes. She would tell you "I am eat up with him!" She did tell her Papa Drew that when he told her she looked like him.
This day was definitely a high-light of my trip. The ride home was a nightmare. You have read about day one and the smelly hotel room. I did not get much sleep and woke at 5:30. Really tired, I thought I would be able to sleep longer, since I was instructed to wait until I heard from He Who solves my problems before heading to the airport to return my car.
In addition to being smelly, the air unit needed some maintenance. Every time it came on, the fan would rattle and it sounded like someone was tapping on my window. This was disturbing, since while I was parking I saw a man climb out of the window in the same wing my room was in. I did open the window for awhile hoping to eliminate the smell, but I was careful to lock it tightly before retiring for the night. I decided at some point in the night that should the fire alarm go off, I would ignore the evacuation route and exit through the window. It was a tall window that slid from side to side and would easily accommodate my girth. These are things I ponder in the night when I can't sleep.
So, after hearing every door open and close (seems sound proofing was not a priority either), I was up and showered by 7:30. I marched to the lobby several times for free coffee. Figured I got a little exercise in, since I would be sitting and driving for 6 hours or more to make it home.
You will recall that I was without many options to get to my car. He Who knows people was busy making arrangements and I was told to sit tight in my stinky room until summoned to the airport. At 9:07 I got the call that my car would be at the airport in roughly two and a half hours. I did some mental calculations. I was not quite 6 hours into my trip when my car died and left me rocking in the wake of big trucks on the side of the interstate.
The same tow company was to be dispatched to bring my car. This made me a little uneasy since the same tow company was responsible for my current dilemma. The same tow company owned by the man so rude to me on the phone and who called me "lady" (and not in a good way). He Who knows me well instructed me to play nice ...... like I had a choice.
I checked out of my room, hoping that I didn't smell like it and arrived at Hertz without any problems due to my on-going friendship with Never Lost (I wanted to take her with me). Then I cooled my heels on a hard, backless bench for over two hours. I had been told that the driver had my cell number. I waited patiently until 11:30, then 11:45 and then 12:00. All the while recalculating my ETA for home .... remember I have night blindness.
By 12:30, my stomach churning with anxiety, I wanted to cry. All the information I was getting second-hand from He Who was making calls on my behalf. I was told:
The driver had been calling me and I did not answer my phone.
My car had been towed to my hotel and the tow truck was at the Hertz lot to pick me up to take me to my car and to walk out into the parking lot to find the truck ......
The same people who picked me up were there to get me.
I assured him that I was answering my phone and when he asked me if it was working, I reminded him that I was talking to him at that very moment. I asked how they knew which hotel I had stayed at. He didn't know, he was simply relaying info to me. I gathered my belongings and dragging my stuffed to capacity luggage on wheels behind me walked all over the rental car lot looking for a tow truck.
Called my hero back. He had called the transmission shop and was told my car had not been picked. I almost started crying. It was 12:30 and if the dispatch time was estimated at two and a half hours, then I wouldn't be headed home until 3:00, meaning I wouldn't get home until 9:00 and would be driving in the dark.
Another call to the tow company owned by the not nice man was made and he was told that the driver had been looking for me at Enterprise and Hertz and could not find me. I was at Hertz, no one had seen anyone looking. Took another phone call to get the driver's cell number, which they seemed to be reluctant to divulge. Really, like I am a would be phone stalker in the future.
I found him. Not in a tow truck, but the same personal vehicle that had delivered me to the airport (for my comfort). Not the same driver, but the son of the not nice owner. It was 1:30. The child driver admitted that he had not been able to call me because his phone had spotty coverage. We proceeded to wind around to the interstate while he talked to his little brother on his phone.
He was making me nervous with that phone and his lack of attention to the road. He finally ended the call saying he had a passenger and was driving. My foot was planted on my imaginary brake all the while. He stayed in the fast lane, but we were moving at snails pace and the traffic was passing on my left. His phone rang periodically and he would slow down to about 45, still in the fast lane.
He told me that my car was actually 40 minutes north in Missouri. This lightened my mood a bit, until he took the Blytheville exit and said we had to make a stop at "the shop". My heart sank. He encouraged me to go into the office with him and I got the stink eye from the not nice owner and his witchy wife. They barely acknowledged my presence while they talked about a call the kid driver had to go on and what they were going to do with me. They decided to send the 18 year old daughter to deliver me to my car ........
The girl admitted that she wasn't sure where we were going, but she had her smart phone with Google map in her lap. Her witchy mother was shouting instructions to her while a toothless man in a greasy shirt that revealed the underside of his large belly was interjecting his own nuggets of directional wisdom.
She drove while looking at that phone and we occasionally swerved into other lanes of traffic. We were apparently taking the "back way" because the interstate made her nervous. She made me nervous as we limped along taking curves at 10 mph and still not staying in our lane. I had to use quite a bit of self control not to make her pull over and let me drive. She turned the wrong way at the intersection and decided to call Witch Mom for instructions. I could hear her shouting through the phone, berating the girl for know following her instructions.
This is when I asked Siri for help. The girl told Witch Mom that I had Siri and hung up. Witch Mom called back and told her to ignore me and my phone that I was going to "get her lost". We finally made it to Highway 84, a four lane divided highway. Siri told us to turn left and she did ..... on the wrong side of the divided highway into on-coming traffic. I grabbed the wheel and turned her back to the cross in the median. The child kept apologizing and admitted that she has not had her license for long.
I admit that I was worried about her making it back all by herself. I was dropped at the transmission shop where an old guy in over-alls and a long-sleeved white shirt sat atop a fender sipping from a thermal cup. He told me the "owner" was in the bathroom and would be right out. He asked which car I was there to pick up and I told him. He grinned and said, "I don't think it's ready." I knew he was messing with me, but I lowered my Dollar Tree sunglasses (mine had been languishing in my car all week) and let him see my eyes and said "I will cut you."
I didn't want to disavow my image that all the gossip had created. This all could have been avoided if the two truck had simply taken my car to a shop in Memphis from the get-go and not fed me all this bull about it being the best thing to leave it in their shop and leaving me to believe they were willing to pick me up. I feel quite certain that not nice owner of the tow shop is also not honest and charged AAA for a tow when they delivered me to Hertz in the Hybrid car that saved on fuel. They were reluctant to try that ploy on my return trip, so just left me stranded.
They were forced to go get me and I knew the not nice man would try to make it unpleasant. I was nice, even when I was terrified by the child driver. I tipped her and she seemed surprised and pleased. Her not nice father can go to not heaven, as my buddy, the valedictorian would say!