08 March 2009

From Bad, to Worse, to Great!

Okay, so I wouldn’t normally write such a long post about my bad morning, but I thought some of you might find it funny and there are some lessons to be learned. It begins with Thursday night... on my way to my edu leadership class my passenger side window fell down, I didn’t think of it as such a big deal because I knew it was broken and all that had to be done was to open the door panel, push the window back up, and reset the 2x4 holding it up (this is another long story). So, I figured I’d just go to a service station and get help doing this. Ah, but no one would help me without paying them $100 first. So, I just went to class with it broken and had my husband fix it when I got home. When he fixed it the door lock wouldn’t go back in place, so now my passenger side door will not open from the outside. Ugh.

Friday morning…I decided to get to work early so I could use the time to get some of my grades done. While on the 57 freeway I hear a “thunk” sound and about 30 seconds later it came back “thunk, thunk, thunk” – one of my rear tires had blown out. So, I slowly move from the fast lane into the slow lane so I can get off of the fwy, but as I start doing so my car starts shaking violently. So, I ended up pulling over on the side of the fwy at the Lambert exit.

The next series of events: I call my husband and learn that he never got around to adding me to his AAA after telling me to cancel my own. I learn that I do not have my wallet with me. I start to cry.

A CHP officer pulls up behind me and walks over to my passenger side window and asks me to roll it down which, of course, I can’t. So he yells at me to unlock the door, which I try to do but, of course, he can’t open it. So I lean over to open it from the inside, and it still won’t open. At this point I am very frustrated and still crying.

Eventually I get out of the car on the driver side (the officer controlled traffic so I could do so). He is obviously very mad at me and tells me that I should have driven to a service station; I try to explain to him about the violent shaking and he just says to me, “haven’t you watched all the car chases on TV – You can drive on blown tire.” At this point he is laughing at me.

He has me follow him off of the fwy on to Lambert road – I think he is taking me to a service station, but no – he takes me to the parking lot of Kaiser Permanente. Once there, I turn off my car and get out and he says to me, “I suggest you call your husband or someone to get this fixed.” And then he LEAVES!!!! No offer of help, nothing!

I can’t call a towing company because I have no wallet to pay them; I have an idea of how to put the spare tire on, but I didn’t think I was capable of doing it myself.

Long story short – My friend Claudia ended up calling her fiancĂ© for me (he works in the OC), and he was able to come by where I was parked on his way to work and put my spare tire on for me. I actually made it to work before my first class. However, I am still shocked at the lack of help that was offered by strangers – including the CHP officer. I am so thankful for friends like Claudia and Gill. Gill even showed me how to change the tire myself incase it happens again.

The day ended up better than I could have imagined. We had our "Staffulty" awards dinner Friday night and I ended up getting an award from my students that made me cry -- it was wonderful! -- I would have missed this if I had given up on the day and gone home like I wanted to; I'm so glad I went to work and stuck it out!