I have had a rough two weeks. More hits have been thrown than the 1893 Guinness World Record boxing match between Andy Bowen and Jack Burke. I have lost count of the number of times I thought I had outwitted, outlasted, and outplayed Karma. However, it seems that pesky female is always one step ahead of me.
Let me start at the beginning.
Once upon a time, I had a Jeep Compass, and it could get me from point A to point B with no issues. It even had heated seats and the perfect placement of cup holders that held my Venti Pumpkin Spice Lattes with an extra shot in easy grasp. I would plug in my phone, and while charging, it would play Pandora and all my Audiobooks in surround sound. It got great gas mileage, could easily navigate snowy winter roads, and zip into the smallest of grocery store parking spots with ease. Was it the car of my dreams? No, not really- but it was the perfect little car for where I live in the world.
Two weeks ago, I had to take my beast of a Smurf size vehicle to an event two hours away from my home. Unfortunately, it had been an early winter for those in Alaska, and DOT had not fully cleared snow, ice, and slush off the roads. Me and my car? We did not care. Slow and steady with a Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte, and a good book will get you where you need to go! Halfway home, the end is in sight of my long day, and I notice that my car is blowing cold air. It’s winter- no big deal. Turn on the seat heater- and we are cruising like Lucille Ball is heading to Hollywood.
The next day, a friend is a beep bopping around the city with me, picking up our work truck that had been in the shop for 48 hours longer than anticipated. The work truck only went into the doctor to get an oil change and winter tires put on- ended up needing 1800.00 worth of medical bills. This should have been my warning sign of what my life was going. As we are heading out to the shop, my friend states that my car is blowing cold air. At that point, I noticed that my brakes were not as firm as they once were, and my car was running so rough that I think she is practicing her new dance movement- the car twerk.
I get her home and do what all good women do- I told the males in my family. I give them a breakdown of the symptoms, and they quickly diagnose that it was my thermostat that went out. Easy fix, they tell me. Great! Because my mother is flying in that night and I need my car.
Two days later, at 6 p.m., my car was being snatched from my garage and loaded onto a tow truck. I say snatched- because, within 48 hours, my car now had a slit radiator hose, blown battery fuses, wouldn’t start, someone had engaged the anti-theft system, and it was throwing so many codes that it would take a NASA engineer to tell me what was wrong.
Goodbye, dear friend. It was a pleasure. I had her only for a year and a half, but there were many good memories. I calmly started looking for a new car on the Facebook Marketplace because my family made me feel like my car being murdered was an inconvenience for them and their lives.
Truth be told- I was not looking calmly. In the back of my head as I was scrolling through the ’80s trucks riddled with rust spots, bird nests in the passenger seats, and driver side doors held closed by bungee cords (all for the low, low price of $5,000.00 cash)- I was a martyr for every woman out there in the world. This sacrifice was for every woman who has had to keep her relaxed, calm, self-assured presence while being royally screwed over because of ‘opps’ mistakes. I was going to ensure that my family was not troubled by my car’s experiment with new techniques and YouTube videos. But in the back of my mind, I was going to get my revenge.
The next day- sitting in front of the Service Manager of Dodge, Jeep, and whatever else… he tells me that it sounds like my computer was fried and that this was going to cost ‘a lot’. He said that while shaking his head and smirking. I asked what a lot meant, and all I got in response was, ‘how much do you have available on credit cards?
Check, please! I am done.
It is now a week and a half later, and my car is still not done. Good news- the computer is OK. The fact that I have to worry about a damn computer motherboard in my car is beside the point. It seems that mechanics, when given a car, do not look at the whole engine at one time. They only look at what is considered to be the most broken and work on that. If it takes three days to get the parts in-off to the parking lot it goes until the parts come in. What they do not do is look at everything on the list of broken shit and order all the pieces at one time.
Let me explain. The car was towed in because the car would not turn on and was throwing all kinds of codes. Along with that- somehow, the radiator hose was split, AND someone broke the brake line vacuum. Last Monday- they needed a new fuse to test the computer. It seems as there was no fuse of the correct brand in the state. Also, I need a new brake line vacuum fitting- also not in the state. Rush ordered the parts. Part comes in 3 days later on Wednesday.
Side note- If the parts come in on Wednesday, that means they don’t process it until Thursday. However, my tech is not at work on Thursdays, so it will get fixed on Friday.
Friday afternoon- 3:30 p.m.- get a call from my tech. Car starts! Amen! But she tells me that she can not fix the radiator hose, and the part is nowhere in the state. Who would have thought? The Service Manager tells me that he can order the part- but it will take up to a week to come in. So I ask the silly question- ‘there are NO radiator hoses anywhere in the state of Alaska?’ He says there are, but not the brand that they use.
So I have the part rushed; it will be here by Wednesday. The part will take an hour to put on, and then she will be good as rain. They told me that by Wednesday, my partner in crime would come home.
Tuesday night, I got a call. The car is all done. Come get it. The relief and joy that I felt that my life would be back to normal was overwhelming. Nick flies to the dealership after work with the help of a friend, pays the bill, and drives it home.
And then my hell starts all over again!
All I hear is my name being called, and I rush to the garage. My lovely garage, which is now covered in white smoke and looks like Lake Erie from underneath my car.
Pop the hood, and we noticed that the radiator hose was the same split radiator hose that it went into the shop with. It never got fixed! Call back up to the dealership- of course; the Service Desk has gone home for the day. The Salesmen listens to the story of my broken down vehicle, which is about to explode in the garage, and tells me to call back tomorrow morning. He also tells me that the dealership has a huge sale and that all vehicles are currently at employee pricing. Would I be interested in coming in tomorrow and looking?
Sure! Are you going to pick me up from my home with a 3,633-pound paperweight in the garage?
Needless to say, the car was quickly and safely driven right back to the shop and parked in the same spot it was retrieved from. I dropped off the keys with a lovely little note to my Service Tech, along with the copy of the completed work order and receipt of payment. I go home and patiently count down the minutes to 8:30 a.m. so that I can call my new best friends.
The Service Tech called me at 8:22 a.m., and I know from his tone that he had received my lovely little note and understands the assignment for the day! They will fix my car; the part is in, they are really sorry. Oh, and by the way- there is an additional cost.
I know now why people day drink.