Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Scary situation!!!

Tonight I experienced a first REAL car breakdown! I was on my way home from work (running about 10 minutes behind, as usual) and my car was zipping along quite nicely. About 1/2 way home, I stopped at a red light then, when the light turned green and I stepped on the gas, my "check engine" light "binged" and my car the fast lane...on a main thoroughfare!!!

Well, I quickly tried to start it back up but, even though it was making a concerted effort, it just wouldn't turn over. So, dial AAA and I got a very slow talker. Very sweet but, when you have cars barreling down on you at 60MPH in daylight so that they can't see the hazards that start to get a little worked up and impatient. I finally had to let her know what a dangerous place I was in and she sped it up a little bit...though, I must say, not much! After about 10 minutes on the phone with her, we were finally done and she did put it in for a rush, which meant someone would probably be out within 1/2 hour. Well, by that time, I was starting to FREAK OUT, because there had been about 10 too close for comfort moments with other cars.

So, then I dialed 9-1-1 to get some cops out there to help. After an exasperating 3-5 minutes talking to the 9-1-1 lady, she FINALLY figured out approximately where I was. Even though I could tell her EXACTLY the road I was on and 2 cross streets within ~100 yards, she needed the town...which I wasn't sure of (UGH!). Thank goodness for the fastest police officers in the East...the first one was there in 3 minutes or less...amazing! And the 2nd was there about another 3 minutes after that! The lovely police officers helped move my car to a gas station across the fun ordeal with no power steering or power brakes when you have to cross not one, but TWO roads in heavy traffic. But with some stellar assistance from the nice policemen, I was in safety in minutes. I did have a dumb "blonde" moment, but I won't go into that!!!

Once I was in safety and waved goodbye to the officers, the tow truck driver came not more than another couple minutes later...about 20 minutes ahead of the estimate (yay!) He was able to tow my car about 10 miles closer to home to his shop at no charge (the shop waved the 9 miles over the AAA allowance...whew). Tomorrow they will run diagnostics on my car and provide me with an estimate (cringe). A couple people thought it might be my fuel pump, which I guess isn't a huge expense, so I'm hoping for something like that.

Well, this whole ordeal was very stressful. I was certain someone was going to plow into the back of my car with me in it, but God just did not have that planned for my day. What I did learn is how helpful people can be:
  • 2 cars stopped in the lane next to me to make sure I was getting assistance
  • The police officers were great and didn't even make me feel stupid with my dumb blonde moment.
  • The tow truck driver was ever so sweet and helpful and the other guys at the shop were so nice too.
  • My friend, who I was supposed to make dinner for, drove ~20+ miles to pick me up and take me home.
  • And thank good for the Vincentown Diner and for comfort food...diner's make the absolute BEST grilled cheese sandwiches!

Now car-less, I will have to work from home tomorrow (thank you God that I have a job that I can do that with!) but, unfortunately, I will miss our company's afternoon at the Phillies game. It's a free 1/2 day off work but, since I don't have any way to get there, I'll have to work the whole day and will not get the bonus of connecting with my colleagues. Oh well, again, I guess that's just not what God had planned, but still it's a little disappointing.

I'm hoping for a better day tomorrow...and for relatively good news about my car and the amount of $$$ that I'll have to fork over (another cringe).

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