Sunday, May 08, 2005

Oh, no...don't close that...oh.

Yesterday, I headed up to one of our Girl Scout camps in the area to volunteer as a workshop leader. It's the first Girl Scout event I have volunteered at since leaving my job with the council in December. My workshop was called "Songs and S'mores." Things to know about me...I can build a roaring campfire, I make a mean s'more, and I know enough camp songs to entertain a group of children for several hours, if needed. Those are all talents that should serve me well in life...

Anyway, at camp, I always lock my purse in my trunk, after carefully setting my keys on top of the car. This time, however, I had a tote bag full of things to keep me busy and healthy snacks, so I left my keys with my tote bag...on the front seat...IN THE LOCKED CAR, as I put the purse away. Oops. If I had figured it out sooner, I could have left the trunk open and folded down my seat to crawl into the backseat and unlock the door. Too bad I didn't remember where the keys were until I heard the trunk slam shut...

But no problem...I have AAA. So I called them, and I knew that it was off to a bad start when the operator asked me for my membership number after I explained that all my belongings were locked, with my keys, in my car. Yes, my membership card was also in the car. Now, my name is not unusual, so when I told her my name, she had to further narrow it down by street address. I told her I liked on Skyline Drive, and she started searching. Minutes passed, the silence puctuated only by an occasional, "Hmmmm..." Finally, she said, "Here it is...Livinsgton Court, right?" Wrong...Skyline Drive. Then I hear, "Did you ever live anywhere else?" Yes, I lived on Cherokee Street, but that was over two years ago. Next, "Oh, here it is. Darien Court, right?" NO! SKYLINE. DRIVE. "Can you spell that for me?" With teeth clenched, I complied.

Next question..."What is the address of your location?" Well, in the Poconos, everything is by rural route number, so I told her I could only give her directions because there wasn't really a street address. I let her know that I was on Mosey Wood Road, which was located off of route 940. She assured me that there would be someone there in an hour to let me into the car. I thanked her and hung up.

I headed off to run some workshops, and at 12:30, I got back down to main camp to ask if anyone had seen a sign of a tow truck. When the answer was no, I got back on the phone to AAA. This time, a very nice man named Mike answered, and he confirmed that I had called that morning and that a truck had been dispatched. However, the truck had been unable to find the car or me, so it had been cancelled. I told him I still needed my car unlocked. He asked me if I was at the corner of Mosey Wood Road and route 940...well, no. As I had explained to the first person, I was on Mosey Wood Road, which was off of route 940...a completely different location, indeed. Luckily, this operator was a pro...he pulled up a Google map, I gave him some landmarks (two ski resorts, and again, route 940), and he pinpointed my located. He would have someone there in an hour. I thanked him and hung up.

Fast forward an hour and a half...still no tow truck. I called AAA again, and to my delight, Mike picked up the phone. I reported that it had been longer than an hour, and still no tow truck had come. At this point, I am starting to panic because I have to leave camp by 4:00 to get to work on time, and it is 2:00, and this has been a FIVE HOUR OPERATION, and my. car. is. still. locked. I was smiling, but not so much on the inside. He agreed that I had been waiting a long time and called the dispatcher. Good news! I am next! They should be there in five to ten minutes, if that! I asked Mike if he was SURE that they knew where to find me, and he assured me they did, so once again, I thanked him and hung up.

Twenty-five minutes later, I was thinking about how I was going to explain to my manager that I locked my keys in my car at 8:45 THAT MORNING and was still not able to get into the car and get home in time to go to work. I decided to call AAA one more time, and this time an operator named Chad picked up the phone. I explained who I was. I told him this was my fourth phone call to them since 8:45 that morning. I asked where my tow truck was. This time, he connected me directly to the dispatcher. YES! Why didn't somebody think of this sooner? I reiterated the careful instructions I had given her...adding that when the truck driver entered the camp and saw the "No trespassing" sign, he should ignore the sign and come on in. FINALLY, about fifteen minutes later, the tow truck driver came into the parking lot, where he was greeted by a crazy girl (me) jumping up and down in excitement. I can't imagine he gets a reaction like that everyday.

Fifteen minutes later, I was reunited with my keys. My Pria bar had melted, and my water was warm. I had four voicemails on my cell phone, and I hadn't gotten to do any of the fun stuff that I had brought with me in my tote bag. But it was OKAY because I could get in my car, go home, and get to work.

Oh, and none of this would have happened if my parents weren't it Florida this week. I would have just called them and prevailed on my dad to drive my spare key up to me. He wouldn't have liked it, but he would have done it. But instead, I had to stand on my own two feet and get this taken care of! Is anyone surprised that I woke up with a headached today?


patrice said...

seriously? that sounds like hell. I've been to the poconos quite a few times, and it's always been difficult to find my way around, let alone trying to explain to a AAA person where the hell you are.

that's gotta be some kind of record, though.

NME said...

I have locked my keys in my car on more than one occasion. It's SO frustrating. Once I actually bashed in the window rather than wait for a locksmith.

AAA always takes five times longer than they say - even if you are at a place that is easy to find.

kt said...

i keep my membership to AAA for emergencies.. i've never had an incident with them that takes under 3 phone calls. i've just come to expect that if something goes wrong with my car, my whole day is shot.

M.Thom said...

I think I was lulled into a false sense of security after several positive AAA experiences. I had a flat on the turnpike once, and it only took one phone call and a 45-minute wait for them to come out and help me. I managed to get my car stuck on a snow bank one day, and I had to call them to tow me off of it, and they were there within the hour. And a few months ago, I had a flat in the Wal-Mart parking lot, and they responded in 35 MINUTES (a possible world record). But I guess they showed me this time!

Fred said...

We flew home from Hawaii (9 hour flight), arrived at 6 a.m. extremely tired, took a bus to a lot with thoudands of cars, walked five minues to the car, only to see the keys through the window. Depressing.