What a bloody way to end an afternoon!
A few minutes past five, I left to go pick up my car at the repair shop. Took me 20 minutes to negotiate rush hour, then I walked in to the place to deal with the receptionist who'd been left with instructions on how much to collect from me, and what papers she needed me to sign or initial. The poor estimator has had a hell of a time with her personal life; in the three weeks since the shop has had my vehicle, her husband has been hospitalized as many times, most recently in the wee hours of this morning, when she brought him to the ER in congestive heart failure. The poor woman is being run ragged.
I paid them my deductible, as well as for the dings they removed (not from the accident), and then got to see my car. The repairs they did looked great. The paintless dent removal lived up to its reputation and at $195, was $5 less than the estimate, and well worth the money. Their repairs to the front end damage looked wonderful as well. We then drove, me in my car and the receptionist in the rental, over to their rental area so I could finish that end of the transaction. Driving the Mercedes felt a bit strange, thought I'm not sure if its because the car just has a different feel from the Prius I've been in for the past 3 weeks, or because they weren't able to completely align it, due to the bushings that are torn in the rear. I was beginning to feel a bit uneasy.
However, it was as I was taking my things out of the trunk of the rental, to put them in my own, that I spotted the damage to my rear passenger door. It was covered with gouges, not scratches, but gouges, some of them right down to the primer, and none of them had been there when I left them the car. The receptionist was half way across the parking lot when I called her back.
Showing her the damage I said, "I'm not taking the car back like this. This was not there when I left you my car." She asked what I wanted her to do. I told her I was leaving them the car and not returning the rental to them until this was taken care of. She said she understood, but she wasn't authorized to have this fixed. She is after all, just the receptionist, not the estimator in charge. It was already after 6pm and a Friday to boot. I'll have to take this up with the estimator Monday morning. Bloody wonderful.
As the Prius needed to have its oil changed, as well as a car wash thanks to an avian bombing, the rental agent, who just happens to be one of my patients, swapped it with another Prius, keeping it on the same contract, since as of today I've exhausted the rental coverage in my own insurance policy, and part of the shop's agreement with me was they're going to cover anything above what my insurance would cover.
This was however when my mood went from annoyance mixed with resignation, to angst tinged with guilt and despair. My mother called.
My mother and I have a difficult relationship. I'm an adult, a relatively accomplished middle-aged man, and yet somehow, nearly every conversation we have leaves me feeling both like damaged goods and a failure. I'm not above using a modicum of Jewish guilt on a patient not doing what I think they should, but I try to apply it judiciously. I learned how to use it at the feet of the master, my mother, who unfortunately uses it, not as a surgeon wielding a scalpel, but rather as a workman with a sledge.( Behind the cut - Mom's a Jewish mother, and even after 52 years, it still makes me crazy! )