Monday, November 22, 2010

A Window! My Kingdom For a Window!!

I live in a safe, pretty quiet place. Or at least I thought I did. And then on Friday I was awakened by a phone call telling me my car had been broken into. The driver’s side window was obliterated and a honeycomb of shiny aquamarine colored glass was strewn across both seats and the dashboard.
Bits and pieces of window saved for future artistic projects.
 The maintenance staff was already cleaning up the shards on the pavement around my car and helpfully putting a temporary plastic covering on the space where I’d formerly had a window. They pushed the black plastic back so I could look around and see what, if anything, was missing.

**Before I continue, let me make this disclaimer: I am the girl who locks her car no matter where it is, including her parents' driveway in Minnesota. I am also the girl who keeps her car in meticulous condition, inside and out. I love my car and treat it with great care. It is neither an old car, nor a customized car of any sort.**

Right, so where were we…? Oh yes, I was going to tell you what was missing. On first glance the only thing missing was an ancient 2nd generation iPod which I use only in the car and worked about, oh, say 50% of the time. It’s been obsolete for a few years now and it honestly never occurred to me in a million years that anyone would actually break into a car to get it. Everything else seemed to be intact, from my full little Liberty of London coin purse to a Dunkin Donuts gift card that was also pretty full.

Annoyed as I was, I came inside and called the police and was informed that this was a pretty typical crime, some kid looking to pawn something to buy a “dime bag” of some drug. I’m not actually sure what most of that means, but it suffices to say that it was unlikely I was going to get my iPod back. The policeman never even got out of his cruiser, looking over at the mess with a disappointing nonchalance. He then handed me a card with a number on to get the police report.

Excellent, I figured, police report taken care of, I’ll call my insurance company and file a claim and get working on a replacement window.

Um, not so fast. I have a $500 deductible and while the replacing of said window is not cheap, it is under $500. Okay…not amused but, that’s the deal. After a few calls to dealers and glass places, I settled on a national company--recommended by my insurance company--that said they could be out that afternoon. Huzzah and Halleluiah!!

Well, readers, let’s just say that things went down hill from there. I barely got the final chorus of Halleluiahs out when, while doing a more thorough check for missing items I found that the bastard thieves had also taken a small good luck piece--a tiny gold wishbone pin--that had been given to me by someone whom I love very much and which had, in turn, belonged to someone whom he loved very much, his mum. The small pin had been given to her by her father and had watched over me from my car's visor for a couple of years now. I’d not been angry about the iPod, but with this discovery I could immediately feel hot, angry tears streaming down my face and a sourness churning in my stomach. Insult had been added to injury and on top of everything else I needed to break the news that the pin had been stolen. I figured that once I had the window back in and the glass cleaned up I’d take care of that difficult task.

The glass company (to remain nameless for the time being) sent out a very nice gentleman who got straight to work and told me what to expect, etc. About 45 minutes later he calls me back down to the car and tells me there is a small problem--the window wasn’t the right one. It was the right shape, but two small holes, needed for bolts at the base, were not there. He did a quick little plastic treatment and told me they’d reorder the part and someone would be back out the next afternoon. I wasn’t happy, but it wasn’t his fault and I went about my business after a bit of a rant on Twitter.

Saturday morning rolls around and lo and behold, a call from the glass guys. The part had come in wrong again. It was going to be Monday (today) before they could get the part from a dealer or dealer’s vendor. Less amused than ever, but I was polite and thanked them for letting me know.

Morning came today with a renewed sense of hope and feeling that I was going to have a car with all four lovely windows in place once again. Alas, it was not meant to be. This morning’s phone call alerted me to the fact that the dealers hadn’t told them this was a special order and was going to take an additional 3-5 days…and when you add in the holiday, well, it was going to be ANOTHER WEEK. Next Monday. Meaning my car was STILL vulnerable and by the end of this all it would have been so for 10 days.

I really didn’t know what to do upon hearing the news this afternoon. I was furious beyond reason, but no one else was going to get me the glass any sooner at this point since it clearly had to be ordered and shipped in. After a few phone calls to area dealers I realized I was just going to have to suck it up. I asked the young woman on the phone if someone could come out and do a “new and improved” window treatment to get me through the next week…one that is forecast to include inclement weather. She said absolutely and they sent out a very thorough repairman who gave me about as sturdy a temporary window as a girl could hope for. Not perfect, but with any luck, it’ll do.
The "new and improved" temporary window, thanks to Paul!
As for blame…well, I’m as upset with myself as anyone for leaving even a crappy old obsolete piece of electronics in a visible spot in my car. As far as I can tell both the glass guys and the car dealers are equally responsible for how long it will take to get me an actual window, so that’s a wash, I guess. What is always interesting to me, though, especially in a time of crisis, is who steps up. Who comes thru and who doesn’t. It’s a good reminder of who has one’s back, isn’t it?

Oh, and the pin…I did finally tell him about the pin being gone. I sobbed through the telling of the whole sordid story and he interrupted by telling me it was going to be all right. I sniffled through more details and he said of course he was disappointed that the pin had been stolen, but what was most important was that I was okay. This induced more tears at which point he said, ”the pin may be gone, but the sentiments behind it still remain, okay, no one can take those.” 

That'll do...that'll do. 


sid fernando said...

The Snow Monkey is a gentleman! And I feel for you and your car, Michele. Hang in there.

The Paper Tyger said...

Thanks, Sid, he's aces in my book, that's for sure :)

Jil Nelson said...

Michele, so sorry about the pin. I hope the glass is in. And yes, I would out the company on Twitter.