Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Look Ma! No Brakes!

Last Friday night I was riding high after making 8 sales in the last 35 minutes of work.  I hadn't had any in the previous 9 hours and 10 minutes.  So I'm driving home talking to Gretchen on the phone, who was about 3 minutes ahead of me, telling her about the end of my day.  I pulled up to a stop light and I was just sitting there.  I adjusted my foot on the brake and heard a pop.  I then thought I felt the brake pedal get really soft.  I continued on my way home but kept testing the brakes to make sure I had some.  About 1/2 mile from home, I decided that I was just going nuts and that the brakes were just fine.  After being in the house for 10 minutes, I realized that I had left my phone in the car.  As I turned the corner to the driveway, I could see the puddle under the car.  I checked the brake fluid and it looked about 1/2 full.  I checked it about 20 minutes later and it was empty.  Now I have a tendency to get worked up about things like this.  But eventually I decided that there was nothing I could do about it and accepted that fact that I would have to get it fixed.  If only it was that easy. 

The next morning, I called my insurance's emergency line to get a tow.   This is how it went:

IML:  blah blah blah

Me:  Yeah, I need a tow.  I think I popped a brake line.

IML: Oh sorry hear that......Let me ask you "are you in a safe place"

Me:  Physically or mentally?

Nothing.  No, snicker, not even a sympathy chuckle.

IML:  Physical, sir.

Me:  Yes.

More questions followed but no jokes.  I wasn't going to that dry well twice.

IML:  blah blah...........I will call you back.

Ring Ring.

IML: Mr. Morgan were still trying to find a tow with a reasonable amount of response time.  We will call you back.

Ring Ring.

IML(new person): Blah blah........They will be there within the hour.

Okay now as that transpired other phones were being made as well. 

Brake shop #1  .... how can I help you?

Me:  I was calling to make sure you were open.

BS1:  Yeah, 8-12.   (It was 8:10. he didn't answer at 8:00).

Me:  Good.  I have one being towed to you.

BS1:  What's wrong with it?

Me:  I think I popped a brake line.

BS1:  We don't do brake lines.

I called them because they had done my back brakes a few months back.

Me:  So you have "Brakes" in your name but you don't do brake lines?

BS1:  Like I said.  We don't do brake lines.

Geez, tough crowd today.

Me:  Do you know who does?

BS1: ...... does.

Me:  Okay thanks.  ( in my you're an idiot tone)

BS2:  Blah blah

Me:  I was calling to see if you were open.

BS2:  Yeah, 7:30 - 2.

Me:  Great. I think I popped a brake line.

BS2:  Better get here quick.  I don't do much mechanic work on Saturday.

Me:  I have tow truck on the way. 

I thought "Damn.  Doesn't anybody work anymore."

The tow truck arrived.  I wait for the driver to get out of the truck but in seems like forever.  Finally he gets out and the following occurs:

Driver exits truck and walks to me.  He walks with a bad limp almost as if he has a wooden leg.  I don't dare ask.

Driver: Is dsjgbgshi upihg caufff a.

Me:  Excuse me.

Driver: Is this going to .....?

Me:  No.  they don't do brake lines.  It's going to......

Now the driver couldn't have been more stereotypical than this piece of work.  Add to the limp, a extremely rural Louisiana hick dialect and a dip of tobacco in his lip and you have my driver.  I could understand about 10% of what he said.  I responded "Uh-huh" to everything.

 After a quiet ride in the tow truck, we arrived at brake shop #2 at 9:30.  I explain that I had called about the brake line.  Then I told him how BS1 had recommend them.  The following monologue the occurred:

BS2:  I can't believe that guy would recommend someone to me.   That guy is a crook.  I sent someone to him.......$975.  He doesn't even need to work he has all sorts of money...............

I knew today was going to be rough but this day exceeding my expectations.

As I sat in the "waiting area" I thought about blogging "Scenes from the Repair shop,"  because I was the only one there without a mustache. And that included two women.

The owner/manager liked to talk.  In my roughly 4 hours of being there, I heard him run down about half of the people in town.  I don't know how he stays in business.  I know I ain't going back.  In the end and $477 later I get to drive home.  Luckily, it was payday.  Unluckily, it looks like a lot of Ramen Noodles in my future.  ( Chopped Challenge is coming)


  1. It's amazing how difficult it is to get the simplest things done anymore.

    A simple tow and new alternator was a complete three day nightmare for me last year.

    1. It sure is. And the crazy thing is that people complain about not having money or a job and yet the simple things that you need done, you can't find anyone to do them.