I’m a loser. No, no, hear me out–glasses, car keys, driver’s licenses, you name it, I lose something of great value, significance, or importance daily. A little over a year ago, I was doing the Great Passport Quest of 2010 so I wasn’t surprised when my keys seemingly vanished into the thin air last Wednesday. Color me shocked when they didn’t turn up! The next few days would be spent bumming rides, walking, and using the bus system–all of which was a little jarring since I’ve been driving and have had a car since I was 16! I walked and waited on buses so much I got a tan! People actually thought I’d gone to the beach!
Fast forward to the 11th hour on Sunday. Still no keys and not wanting to hitch yet another ride I take a crash course in navigating the Charlotte Area Transit System–CATS. My first few trips were within walking distance, but I took the bus because of the sweltering heat, and on the off chance that if I had to take it to work, I wouldn’t look like a NOOB. I found 2 routes that would take me to work, one more direct and through safer ares than the other. It was scheduled to arrive at 6:29, this was my Route A. To be on the safe side, I noted the time for a less direct, more “ambitious” route, just in case. Well, until that point every bus I’d taken had been between 5 – 10 minutes late. As I approach the bus stop at 6:25 (4 minutes early) I see the tail lights of Route A leaving the stop so Route B it was! Apparently I still looked like a NOOB because a nice young man approached and asked how often I took the bus and then inquired about my intended route. He informed me that the transfer involved with Route B wasn’t in the safest area. He said that I shouldn’t attempt it alone for the first time and that my best bet was to transfer at the “transit” rather than on the street. Google Maps told me that doing so would make me late for work, but better late than dead. I took his advice and went to the transit, transferred and finally arrived at work at 8:30. Did I mention that my job is only about 7 miles away from my home?
A Dora Doppelganger - Get it? Dora the Explorer
After getting settled into work answering some emails and starting some projects I called the nearest Ford dealership to see if they could create a key off my VIN number. No dice, but they did recommend a mobile locksmith. I called the mobile locksmith, and the guy sounded like he was under the influence of something so I decided to try my luck with other Ford dealerships, Ford B said they could do it for $100, and Ford C said $225, so I called AAA to arrange for Dora (my car) to be towed to Ford B even though it was about 30 mile drive away. When I get to Ford B at 12:30, I’m told that the receptionist with whom I spoke didn’t specify the make and model of my car when she inquired with the service department about creating keys with my car. The service guy was super-apologetic, but he could not make a key for my car. So now I’m stranded. He recommends a mobile locksmith, I call him, and he quotes me a price of $135–cash only. I only had $100 in cash because of the previous quote from Ford. I realize that AAA will cover up to $100 in locksmith services so I call AAA back to see if I can have them cover some of the cost. AAA wanted to know why I needed a locksmith since they had all the info from my previous call, so after explaining that Ford couldn’t make the key to at least two more AAA reps I’m told that AAA won’t cover the locksmith unless they dispatched a locksmith on my behalf. So I call Locksmith 1 back and cancel my service call and had AAA send someone out. I waited an hour before I was informed that a locksmith would be there by 4:45 and that I would have to pay $40 out of pocket. The locksmith arrived literally at the last minute of his ETA window. It took all of 7 minutes for him to cut my new keys. I asked if he was local to the area and he said that he was from Huntersville (right outside of Charlotte) and when he handed me a “complimentary” key ring, guess what it said: yep, Quick Keys. AAA dispatched a locksmith from the same company that I’d originally passed on! In the words of Fancy Nancy, I was devastated.
***And to amend my longest blog post ever, I would be remiss if I failed to mention that when I arrived home to meet the tow truck driver, Kiwi, my puppy had relieved herself inside of her kennel, rolled around in her feces, and managed to escape from the kennel. When I came inside greeted me at the door, jumping on me with her poo covered paws! I only had a 90 minute ETA from the tow truck driver so I had to bathe and dry her and clean the mess in record time. Wouldn’t you know the tow truck was early!