March 20, 2012

On Leading a Charmed Life

Last week, we had a hellacious hail storm. It was so loud on the roof and the windows that we were almost shouting at each other to be heard - inside our home.


It lasted only about ten minutes, I think, though it seemed much longer. The sound of the hail pelting down was continuous during that time. The largest hailstone I saw had the diameter of a golf ball.


Two hours later, despite temps hovering in the high 70s, piles of hail still remained on the deck.






The storm targeted our small town, for the most part. I have not heard about hail damage in surrounding communities.


A FEMA truck drove down our street today, if that is any indication of the extent of damages. There are holes in siding and windows, leaking roofs, damaged awnings and cars that look like they are suffering from severe acne scarring, what with all the dents and pits.


I took my car in for an estimate today. The car that we just bought at the end of January.


The total on the estimate? $5,000.94


For hail damage.


I'm still waiting on the homeowner's insurance person to show up, though I've seen their cars and vans all over our neighborhood for the past week.


We don't have any obvious roof leaks...yet.


Let me assure you that I haven't forgotten what's important here. Nobody was injured in the storm; we were merely inconvenienced. I am grateful for the roof over our heads that protects us each and every day, no matter what the weather.


I lead a charmed life.


The neighborhood is abuzz with damage estimates, as we gather in each other's yards and talk about deductibles and other insurance-related topics.


This afternoon, I was on the deck with my neighbor, Marcia. She had come over to tell me that her hail-ravaged car is totalled. While we were discussing whether she should buy the car back and get a salvage title, a black tow truck backs behind my car, and proceeds to lift the rear of my car into the air.


The neighbors would probably assume it's being taken away to be repaired (though I could surely drive it there without difficulty, as no glass was broken).


Nope, the driver's goal was to repossess a black 2008 Kia Optima at 904 (insert street name).


We have a Kia Optima.


But it's midnight blue.


And it's a 2010.


And we live at 903.


I yell at the man to STOP, and he asks, "Car Credit City?"


"NO!"


Then he figures he should get out of his truck and check the VIN.


Oopsie.


He blamed it on his GPS. Apparently it said he had reached his destination.


Any Optima in a storm, don't ya know.


He said, "It looked black to me".


"It was an accident." And he lowered my car back to the ground, and I pointed my arm toward 904 (insert street name). It's within a hailstone's throw away from us.


I was concerned that he had damaged the car - you shouldn't drag a front-wheel-drive car  like that (it could damage the transmission). As if the $5K damage estimate wasn't enough for the day...there was no way that I was going to go through the estimation process twice in the same day.


Marcia had pen and paper in hand and I wrote down the company name that was on the truck, and recorded the license plate number.


I was PISSED.


The men in the neighborhood (who had been outside) all came to my defense, and started talking, then yelling, at him. Their statements indicated that the man had consistently scored on the low end of IQ tests.


When my heart returned to my chest, I told him that it was no accident.


"You purposely backed up to my car, you purposely got out of your truck and pushed the lever to lower your towing equipment and lifted my car into the air. You never verified the address or the year, or even the color, of my car. You assumed that my Optima was the one you wanted. Shame on you."


I was upset. I was loud.


He retreated to his truck (big sissy). I had to badger him to get him to hand over a business card.


The men continued to harass him, and they convinced him to give me a proper apology. When that feat was accomplished, a handshake was exchanged between the driver and the most vocal man/defender.


The tow truck driver then headed in the proper direction and retrieved the correct vehicle.


And I waited until I had calmed down a bit before calling the office number on his card and leaving a quasi-cranky phone message.


Showing great restraint, I did not curse. I did not yell. 


Part of me wishes he HAD taken my car, so he could have cooled his heels in a cell for a while.


The police here are just so darned hospitable, don't ya know.


How was YOUR day?

8 comments:

  1. Oh I would have been ticked too! I hope there was no damage (beside the hail)
    We had hail here and I thought my sky light was about to bust....unfortunately we didn't have the 70 degree temps but the hail didn't stick around long!

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  2. First of all I'm glad that everyone is ok.

    You had great control my friend. I would have laid into him with both barrels.

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  3. Your fun just keeps on happening. It's like you have your own reality show. This incident would be a great "story".

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  4. I lived on The Plaza in Kansas City for awhile, and had to park in the parking garage behind my house. One day I went to leave for work, and my car was not in the garage...where I'd left it.

    After calls to the police and tow lot, it was found parked a few blocks away. Very confusing until the police got a call from a car owner in my neighborhood, who had the same make/model, in a different year/color, reporting a stolen car...

    Apparently, some repo guy, similar to yours, picked up the first Ford Explorer he saw in the garage...took off with it...and realized at some point he had the wrong car....so he dropped it.

    His eff-up cost me almost $200 getting my car back.

    Hate them all. :)

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  5. Can you imagine if you hadn't caught him in the act? And sorry about your hail damage. We had a lot of hail damage here a couple years ago (not us personally, just Atlanta in general). I knew half a dozen people forced to replace their roof. That hail does some serious damage. Hope your insurance takes care of it for you without a fuss.

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  6. Oh man. I swear that only you could have something like this happen to you. Thank goodness you were there to see him and had all kinds of witnesses.

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  7. OMG, Kim! You DO lead quite the charmed life, don't you!? Can I come and hang out with you for a day or two?? Like Linda said, you have great story fodder at your house! :)

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  8. At least you have some supportive neighbors. You can't trust those GPS to be infallible because they are not. We were thinking of getting one and borrowed my bil's to test it. It consistently said we had arrived at our destination on the left. Funny thing, our house is on the right.

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