Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Um... thanks?

I really don't know what to do with this.

On my way home from work, I stopped for gas. I also checked for oil, which was a break from usual routine, and so with the second time I closed my door, I locked my keys in my car. Genius, I know. It was just what I needed when I was trying to get home early, get a little bit of work done, and go to bed. (I'm feeling much better today. Still tired, but way better. Don't know what yesterday was all about.)

So I'm at the counter in the station asking the guy for a phone book so I can call a tow truck to unlock my car. A pain, I know, but with my insurance, I'll get it reimbursed, it's just the pain of waiting for a truck to show up. But then a dude in line behind me hears this and asks me, "Hey, what's the problem?"

Me: Uh, I locked my keys in my car.
Dude: Oh, I can help you, I've got a slim jim.
Me: Really? Oh, that's awesome, thanks!
We walk outside to my car, and Dude says: Ok, so my shop is really close, let me just go get it and come back. I'll be about fifteen mintues.
Me: Oh, wow, um... Thanks! Do you have time for that?
Dude: Yeah, sure. I mean, if it takes a really long time, there may be some compensation involved, but I'll try to do it for free.
Me, warning lights going off in my brain: Uh, well, thanks. If you're willing to help, that's great, but if there's a charge, well, uh, I'll get reimbursed for a tow truck, so I'd rather do that.
Dude: Naw, don't worry, I'll try to do it for free.
Me: Uh, ok, well thanks a lot!
Dude: Yeah, don't worry about it, I'll be back in about fifteen minutes.

I go into the gas station and chat with the attendants a bit. They know this guy and say that yeah, his shop is just around the corner. Less than ten minutes later, Dude shows back up again with a coat hanger and a variety of long metal pokey things, none of which are a slim jim, but het, if it gets the job done...

Dude: Yeah, my buddy has the slim jim. He's in Richmond and said no way. If it was me, he'd be here in a flash, but I had to be honest, said I was just helpin' someone out at the PetroCan... said he wouldn't come over, so I dunno if this'll work, but let me give it a try.
Me: Ok, sure.
Dude, after two or three minutes of poking around and popping the lock: There ya go!
Me: Awesome, thank you SO much!
Dude: Here, you can have this, too [the tool he's fashioned to pop the lock]. You'll need it next time.
Me, not really wanting it: Thanks, but you can keep it.
Dude: No, man, you did it once, you'll do it again, keep it and you can use it next time.

I throw the thing in my car, not wanting to get into the discussion that, should I lock my keys in the car again, how am I supposed to actually GET it from out of my car? Whatever.

And then I realize he's not such a good Samaritan after all.

Dude: So how does $15 bucks sound?
Me: Uh, well I told you I could have been reimbursed for the tow truck. [I genuinely had no cash, didn't ASK for his help, and already TOLD him I could have had it done for free]

Dude starts to make protesting faces, and I notice that, as he's got his variety of screwdrivers, hangers, and metal tubes shoved in my window, reefing on them back and forth, he's totally dented up and scratched the metal trim.

Me: Uh, it's all dented here now...
Dude: Ok, well make it ten. Bring it over to my garage, we can fix it... But not for free. [chuckles]

[Side note: Where he pointed to when was was talking about his garage was down a street I drive every single day to and from work, and there's nothing but residential there for blocks and blocks, so it's obviously quite literally a GARAGE that he does work out of. Probably not equipped to fix the damage, not that I'd take it to him, anyway!]

Me: Look, I've got no cash, and I already told you...
Dude, getting angry and swearing under his breath as he storms away: Well thanks for being CHEAP!

Alllllrighty then. Not really sure what to do with that. I mean, I DID get my car opened, and didn't have to wait for a tow truck, but Dude totally thrashed my car. I'd rather have waited an hour. And then I feel like a creep for not paying the guy, but I TOLD him, and he did it anyway.



anne said...

You've got to love it when someone who helps you out ends up making you feel guilty. Like that's any help at all!

My kid locked herself in the car once. With the cell inside. Luckily, I was able to get her to hit the unlock too. Phew.

Glad you're feeling better! :)

Tori said...

What a jerk. I can't believe he did that to your car! You should be able to get him to pay for what he did to your car....

I guess this just goes to show, when those warning bells start ringing, STAY AWAY--thanks for reminding me, and I'm so bummed this happened to you!

Good luck with NaBloPoMo!!