What to do when life smacks you in the face with a wet fish!
There are times in your life when you feel that nothing is going right, that if there is a God, he/she is playing some sort of cruel game; laughing at you whilst sitting safe and warm from the comfort of his/her “Insert Paradise of Choice Here”.
We had one of those days this week…
My husband Phil has been unemployed for a couple of months; he has had a couple of interviews, but as yet, no offers-and of course it is a worrying time for us. I am confident that the right job is out there, but it would be nice if it were to manifest soooooon!
(Incidentally, if you are reading this thinking ‘Where can I find a degree qualified engineer with bags of experience on PLC’s and other computery controlly stuff I don’t understand, As well as years and years In the print industry… Just get in touch!)
So as well as being unemployed, his car completely died a month back, and he has been using mine, but we were struggling with just the one means of transport so another car had to be found… He has a ‘new’ car now, or ‘preloved’ as some say. It’s really nice, an old Merc estate; we picked it up on Saturday morning from the Gatwick area, about 50 miles away from where we live.
The busiest days of the week for us are Wednesday and Thursday, I work at Waterstones during the day, and then run my Slimming World groups at night; Wednesday is the biggie, with just an hour between jobs and two hectic sessions to run!
Phil was pleased (I think that’s the term!) to be able to help me again as we had a car big enough to take three people and all my kit, so we loaded up, collected Marion and toddled off down to Pompey. On the way, his phone rang and I answered it; it was the chap at the agency-Phil had been for an interview last week, so maybe it was good news!
He returned the call as soon as we arrived…it wasn’t good news. Ho hum.
I feel so awful…like shaking these daft employers who cannot see what a wonderful person he is… Anyway, he helped us set up, and then went home to do dinner for the hordes.
He picked us up again at 8.00 and we set off home…
We have to drop Marion off first, so we come off the motorway at Havant; as we paused at the top of the sliproad, the car began to judder in an ominous manner…and I noticed that smoke was billowing from under the bonnet…
We limped the quarter of a mile to her front door and stopped.
Out first thought was that the head gasket had blown, but the temperature had been fine, so Phil suggested it might be one of the injectors. We called out the AA, Marion made us cups of tea, and we waited…
The AA man duly arrived about half an hour later and had a look. It was an injector, it could be easily fixed, but sadly, not by him. The thread had stripped on the bolt, and his efforts met with casual indifference from the car which simply popped it straight back out again as soon as the engine was started!
A flatbed was required to get us home as it is a rear wheel drive automatic. You cannot tow them, it knackers the gearbox. It was a busy night and the truck would not arrive until at least 11.20…
I was absolutely shattered, having been working (writing for the magazine) until 1.00am the previous night, so Phil called our friend Ross who collected me and took me home so I could have something to eat and get to bed.
He then settled down to play golf on his phone and wait…
…For a man who turned up with a transit! It had some sort of gizmo to tow the car backwards…except that it didn’t work because our car is an estate and he couldn’t close the doors on the truck again! Well, Duh! They knew what the car is, and it is not exactly a rare model!
The estimate for the arrival of the flatbed was now 1.25am.
5 hours sat in a lay-by, less than 4 miles from home, on his own, having just been told he had not got the job he went for last week, in a car he had only had for 5 days… There is absolutely no justice in that at all.
My poor baby finally arrived home at about 1.15; the truck having turned up slightly earlier than anticipated. He was cold and depressed and who can blame him.
Then of course, there was the worry over paying for repairs; the Merc is 12 years old, you don’t get a warranty on cars like that! We thought we might have to get Trading Standards involved and called them to check our rights.
We need not have worried, because the chap we bought it from could not have been more helpful. As we are so far away, he arranged for us to have it repaired by our local garage (who we have been dealing with for 25 years). He will pay the bill in full. He restored my with in human nature!
Then we had the call from the AA, to apologise for their part in the fiasco that was Wednesday night. They admitted full liability for the unacceptable wait and for sending out the wrong equipment and are sending us a cheque for £25 as a sweetener…
All we need now is for the interviewer from last week to call and say he made a terrible mistake in not employing Phil… The job is back up on the agency website, so it could happen…
…Are you listening up there?
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