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Thoughts Of Suicide

Confession: March 24th was going to be the end for me. Months with no car, pain, painful treatments, meds screwed up, isolated, low on cash...

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Car "Repair" Saga Continues

On Wednesday I took my car to the dealership and was informed that the "blown head gasket" would cost $400.00 and half would be needed upfront. Put it on my credit card? No problem. "Steve" said he would run my card and the mechanic would get "right on it." Wonderful.
"Call us back on Friday." he said.

Today I called as instructed only to find that:

 1.The card had never been 'run.' (what?)
 2. The mechanic "couldn't possibly start on the car until Tuesday at the earliest." (crap!!)

"I don't understand." I said.
"Well little lady," he said, "it's going to take time and you'll have to pay half up front."
"But you ran my credit card so I could pay half up front."
"Actually, I didn't. But we'll take care of this sometime next week." He hung up the phone. I immediately called back but could only get voicemail. What was going on?

It was at that moment I realized it was Labor Day weekend. This may have started on Wednesday but they had no intention of fixing or even looking at my car that day or the rest of the week. Nothing was going to be done until the end of the holiday---at the earliest.

I spent most of the day mentally beating myself up for believing "Steve" had 'run the card' and the mechanic was 'on it.' How do you NOT run a credit card? Is it like the car salesman who "checks with his manager" who is always "in the back," wastes a little time out of sight, returns to say "it's a done deal" and the customer believes him? Probably. With no father/brother/hubby etc., who'll deal with things like this on my behalf, I'm the perfect fool. My fault.

I always seem to have car issues just before a holiday. Labor Day is no exception. Just my luck, this time it's the holiday that celebrates "work"!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Women Beware When You Need Car Repairs

My car's temp and engine light began flashing. I added antifreeze but over the course of time, I was adding antifreeze once or twice a week. After going online for information, I made an appointment with a nationally known car repair chain who were going to fix my problem--a blown head gasket. I get to the shop and after I explained to them that no, my husband/boyfriend/brother/uncle etc., weren't with me, the "Boys" took the car and I waited in the lobby.

A hour later, I was called to the desk and informed that my bill would be $519.34! "You see hon, you need the $365.00 water pump package, $65.00 warranty and..." the tech said. But I stopped listening at $365.00.

I drove home, told a friend of mine the story and he recommended a mechanic who did "good work." This man came to my home, I explained about the head gasket but then he started telling me how " women are just helpless with cars." It took him less than an hour to fix the car and only charged me sixty dollars. Really? A blown head gasket fixed for sixty dollars?

Two days later, I found that he hadn't fixed the car at all. The temp and engine lights were back on requiring me to add antifreeze again. The man came back to look at the car but he quickly became so condescending I had to make him leave. There is just so much eye-rolling I'll take!

So what have I learned?

As a woman when I need car repairs (and cannot find any male to accompany me), I'm supposed to turn the car over to a mechanic, pay whatever I'm told and be nice about it. Some businesses even have game plans to get more money in unnecessary repairs from female customers. For example, I was supposed to take the car to the "Boys," blindly trust their 'diagnosis,' buy the water pump package and the warranty, leave the car to be fixed, then return to find THEY had discovered an "unforeseen problem"--a blown head gasket... the reason I took the car to them in the first place.