All right, now that I’ve come up for air almost $800 later I can recap for you my VED or Very Expensive Day.
But it all goes back to Saturday night. I was going out with a girlfriend for a walk along Alki. We had taken my car and were chatting away. I avoided a bus in my lane and then I started hearing this great thumping sound. Suspiciously like a flat tire. So I pulled over and discovered not only a flat tire, but a completely obliterated tire! Like there was a gash in my sidewall.
We hustled back in the car and suddenly the bus I avoided earlier was next to me. The bus driver opens the door.
“Did ya hit the metal?” Metal? What metal?
“I guess I did.”
So I turn around and go back to my apartment complex. Andy comes out and takes a look. We decide to take it to Firestone on Monday and I go to Alki, enjoy a walk, dinner and lots of great conversation.
Monday rolls around and we call AAA to get it towed to the Firestone. We agree to try and put on the spare before AAA gets to the apartment and discover that I have anti-theft lug nuts. Meaning that one of my lug nuts of the 5 on my tire needs a special adapter to get it off. I knew that, but since I have literally only had 1 flat tire in my life 9 years ago, I never use this adapter. But my VW dealer does. So we rip apart my car thinking it’s somewhere in the car first. Can’t find it.
I got back up into the apartment and call the VW dealer in Seattle and ask about the special adapter. I’m treated like an idiot, which is unusual for my service department, and am told that the only way I can get an adapter for the anit-theft lug nuts is to bring in the car and have it matched.
“Really? You can’t use my VIN?”
“No we cannot. Just bring the car in.”
I call the Firestone and let them know about the lug nuts.
“Oh we can break that for you.”
“It’ll cost $100.”
I tell them that I’ll bring the car anyway and I secretly pray the AAA driver has an adapter that will work.
AAA shows up. No adapter. But he takes my car to Firestone with no problem.
Ok, but the big part I missed is that prior to calling the VW place, my phone was having some issues. Has been having some issues. It freezes for no reason then requires an epic reset because it’s a Blackberry. When I have a countdown of a AAA truck coming and a lug nut adapter to locate, a phone freezing is the last thing I needed. But it did anyway and I got mad and may have thrown my phone against the ground.
I know you’ll be shocked to hear this, but it broke. Like in half.
Thankfully, Andy’s phone is still in the bedroom so I use it to make all my calls. I call AAA and Firestone and let them know to use Andy’s number to contact me.
Then the tow truck shows up and we are back to our story.
So here I’m thinking I’m going to have to pay for all 4 tires’ lug nuts to be broken since I need new tires and can’t get to VW. Or I’m going to have to pay for two tow truck rides and a new adapter and 4 tires and now a new phone.
OMG today is going to cost me a fortune after the Mouse just took all my money. And I vowed not to eat out for 6 weeks. It will easily be the rest of the year now. OMG OMG OMG OMGOMG.
My brain switches on and I call Firestone to let them know that I only want the one tire replaced today, but that I will pay for 4 new tires (hoping to get some kind of discount) and that I will bring the car back in on Monday with the lug nut adapter to finish the work. I’m thinking this is going to cost me $1000, easily. They say that there is a VW in right now that they might be able to use their lug nut adapter. Thus saving me $100.
Seriously? Do it. Borrow the dude’s adapter. Save me $100! And call me back.
Phew. Ok, but I still have my broken phone. I’m thinking I’m going to have to send it out through the insurance and spend $100 to have it replaced due to physical damage. Really, a phone shouldn’t crack like an egg when it hits a carpeted floor.
My car is safely at Firestone and we go to Sprint where we drop off my phone with the promise to see if they can get it up and running with just changing a chip or two. This is after a completely unnecessary lecture by the host dude about how phones don’t cost $100 anymore and I can’t expect to have a phone instantaneously. On a side bar, I think it’s ridiculous that you work for a company who has helped make cell phones indispensable and think that someone can actually go 2 full days without a cell phone. Especially a smart phone.
I say many prayers and we run a few more errands.
While standing in the aisle in the grocery store I get a call from Firestone. The adapter didn’t work. They’ll have to break the lug nut. Fine. Do it. But the call continues. The result?
I’m a genius.
What would have cost me $1100, I negotiate down to $776. I get: A broken lug nut, a lifetime alignment warranty, and 4 brand new, all weather tires with road hazard insurance and a 65,000 mile warranty. Tires that are normally $175 each I get for $129.
I can pick up my car that evening. The guy even compliments my negotiating skills. I’m awesome.
We go back to Sprint. They managed to fix my phone so I don’t have to send it out and spend $100. I just get my phone.
Which I promise I won’t throw to the ground any more.
Non-travel lesson #2: Don’t throw your phone to the ground. It just adds stress when your car is having a wardrobe malfunction.
More about my travels on Friday.
Q&A Thursday is tomorrow! Submit your questions here!