Sunday, February 17, 2008

My Friday

So, I'm still unhappy with my job. I know a lot of it is phone anxiety, and another part is the sense that I'm kind of being hung out there. We're told "do this lawyer task," and then given no guidance, and then chewed out if we do it wrong, even though there's not really anyone to answer our questions. But perhaps the biggest thing is that it's temporary work, so I don't know when I'm going to be out of work, and it's temporary work of the kind I don't want to do for the long haul. That all combines to some pretty hefty work stress. On the bright side, I slept almost 4 hours last night.

This Friday, things went ok at work, for the most part. We all got chewed out for doing something wrong, but it wasn't a big chewing out. The problems started after work. I got to my car at the top of the garage, unlocked the doors, got in, and got nothing when I turned the key. I tried again - nothing. Fortunately a guy was walking by, and I asked him for a jump. He didn't want to stop, but since I had cables and it was raining, he probably didn't feel like he could just leave. The jump didn't work, though, and I didn't want to keep him too long. I called the wife and told her, and so she could get the kids and then come get me. In the meantime, I called our insurance company to try to set up a tow. As I mentioned, my car is at the top of the garage - ten floors up. The insurance company has several towers on their PO plan, but unfortunately, none of them had a vehicle low enough to get under the clearance of the crossbeams (6'10").

After I get off the phone, another guy stops and asks me if I need a jump. I told him I was waiting on my wife and we had a tow on the way, but he insisted on helping, to which I was quite thankful, particularly after the problems with trying to get a tow truck up there. We tried to jump it again, and nothing. We had absolutely no juice at all - no lights, no nothing, so we figured the battery must be completely dry, and we thought we might try to run to Goodyear and pick up a new one. We tried to get the battery off, but the positive connector was stripped, so we were stuck. This basically meant we had to rely on a tow. I decided to coast the car down the garage in neutral (manual steering and really sluggish brakes - that was a bit scary), until I got to the second floor. That way, when the tow got there, they wouldn't have to go as far. This was fine, except the clearance was still the same. So we call and unhold the tow call, hoping they can find someone with a low enough clearance. They don't, so the insurance company (USAA ROCKS!) called the towing company that tows away the vehicles at the garage's request, only to find out that they wouldn't take my insurance company's PO, and wanted $150 in case to tow it to our garage. Well, I don't make it a habit to carry that much cash, so we decided to call and ask how much it would be to tow it from the garage to the parking lot on the street right next door. $60 - cash. We said no thanks. By this time, the wife and kids were here, and the kids were being placated with Cheetohs. This was good, inasmuch as I was a little stressed after the week I'd had - it was a "what else can go wrong?" sort of week. Anyway, we decide to roll the car out of the garage on our own, thinking the wife could steer while I push the car up the mini hill from the garage to the lot (it's on the same block, so we're talking maybe 40 feet total). This turned out to be a little more difficult than I thought, but I probably could have done it alone. Fortunately, another nice guy came and helped me push it onto the parking lot and out of the street. No blocking traffic - this was good. The guy didn't even complain when he slipped and banged his knee on the metal grate.

So then we get a call from the insurance towing agency (who we'd called to inform that we would have the car where they could hook it up to the tower) - the guy is going to be there in about 30-45 minutes. We don't really want to keep the kids sitting still for that long, and it's about 8 pm and they've not had dinner yet, so we load them up in the minivan and drive to McDonald's to get some quality nutritious meals. We get back to the parking lot just in time to have the tow guy call me and say he's there. I walk out to the street to show him where we are, and he gets us loaded up and towed out quickly and easily. It was a nice end to a rough evening at the end of a really rough week.

The garage called me the next day to tell me the car started up just fine when they came in, and they wanted to know why I brought it in. Of course. Well, I got a diagnostic done, changed the oil, and fixed the motor on the driver's side window so it works again, so it turned out to be a worthwhile tow anyway, but really. 2 hours stuck in a garage downtown trying to figure out how to get a car where a tow truck can reach it, and it starts right up the next morning?

Apparently there is a problem with the anti-theft systems shorting out the electrical systems with Chevys, and that may be what happened to my car, so if the theft system light comes on again, we'll just have them disable it.


Gramma said...

Good Grief! You and your sister got together this week? I just joined Triple A by long distance because they are stranded on the shoulder of I-5, south of Portland. Their gas gauge doesn't work, and they think they are out of gas. No problem. I guess they are on their way home now. I miss my little friend, Jack. I'm all for AAA. What a good company! So glad you are safe, you and yours=mine.! said...

I kept having problems with my Mazda not starting. Turns out it was the cable thingie that connects to the battery thingie not connecting well because it's old and loose. So I'd just have to jiggle it and the car would start.

Now the Mazda is Andrew's problem and I've upgraded to a car that's really expensive to get repaired. What is wrong with me?

Jamie said...

I had a 2000 Mazda Protege and I got the same problem. It would be completely dead sometimes although it always worked whenever I jumped started it. I took it to an independent auto shop and also to the dealer and neither place could figure out what was wrong with it.

Now I have a Honda Civic and have heard that it actually lasts a pretty long time.

Bellejar said...

What a crappy day! What kind of job are you working now? Are you a legal temp?

Steve said...

I'm a contract attorney doing document review for a mass torts firm.

It's not quite what I was looking for when I first started law school.