Saturday, September 20, 2014

Red tape makes for a long day, even if you're a superhero

The events of yesterday inspire this post. It's actually given me the idea to write many posts: a "what happened yesterday" post, thoughts about time, thoughts about my job, and thoughts about good customer service. I think there's enough that happened that these could all be different posts, but we'll see what comes to fruition as I write this one, the "what happened yesterday" post.

First, with things like this, I need to preface everything with EVERYONE IS OKAY.  NO ONE WAS HURT. So, yesterday early morning TheGuy was in his car on the way to work and he and full school bus ran into each other. He was going straight and the bus turned left in front of him, he swerved but not enough and the rear end of the bus ended up ON TOP of the hood of his car.

I repeat, everyone was okay! Shaken up but okay. He called me and I immediately started heading toward the accident site from my office. By the time I arrived a second school bus had arrived and taken all the kids on the school. There were police everywhere. There was a rep from the school on site to answer questions and "facilitate". There were people directing traffic. I let TheGuy know I was there, I took pictures from a distance with my camera, and then I sat in my car until he was ready to go.

Tow truck moving the bus off the car was interesting and it ripped the hood off the car like popping a tab on a soda can. The bus was drivable and off it went. TheGuy's car was not. Off it went attached to a tow truck.

TheGuy got in the car and after some deep breaths and such, he told me what happened. Then we decided to just go to the insurance office IMMEDIATELY- it was across the street from where the accident happened- yes ironic.

TheGuy's car was 17 years old so he only carried PLPD on it. Do you have any idea what sort of issues this causes? Ohhhhhh... so many! If he's found at fault or there's a "no fault" then any of his expenses come out of his own pocket, like towing, impound lot fees, repairs, replacements, rental cars, etc. If the school bus driver is found at fault, then all those things are covered by their insurance. However, because this happened in a BIG city, the official police report won't be available for 3-5 days so no one has any idea whose fault this is- he says the bus turned left in front of him, on a yellow light. So, if we left his car in the impound lot where it was towed and he was found to be financially responsible, ALL the lot fees would fall on him- to the tune of $100/ day.

He told the insurance agent what happened and all the paperwork got started. YAY- he had a towing rider on his policy he had forgotten about so the tow from the accident site to the impound yard was covered! The agent is doing her thing to contact the school's insurance company and sort out all the details. What TheGuy (we) had to do was figure out the other stuff.

Because the car is so old and had such extensive damage, the police and TheGuy were guessing it's going to be totaled which is why it was taken to the impound lot. We didn't have a garage to do repairs, and really, TheGuy was so frazzled about it all, he didn't process where his car was being taken when he said he didn't want it to go to a garage. (If I had been able to walk up to him, under the police line tape, I would've handled it, but oh well.... lesson learned)

We had 6 hours to get the car out of the impound lot before the fees started. TheGuy has a HUGE IMPORTANT thing happening at work and short of death, he really needed to be there. He now is car-less. We only have a few issues. We had a brief talk with the agent and we decided to get the car out of impound and tow it to our apartment parking lot to our space until it's all sorted out- the agent approved that.

And this is when my powers of organization kicked in. I would singlehandedly take care of the red tape. I would be RED TAPE GIRL! I took him to run an errand he had to do for work. While he was in that office, I called three towing companies to get quotes. I called the impound lot to find out what we had to do to get the car. I called my boss to update him as to what was happening (I told him TheGuy was in a wreck and that was it.)

Then I took TheGuy to his office. Now remember, I live in a big city now, so nothing is nearby (except for the wreck and the insurance office). My office is 30 minutes from where the accident happened and we were still in the same city. It was 30 minutes in a different direction to his office- downtown. I get lost downtown- thank you car gods for giving me OnStar right now!

I told TheGuy what he would have to do for me to get the car from the impound- he had to call them to release it to me. I told him he would also have to pick one of the quotes on towing I found and call them and tell them to release the car to me. We're aren't married so legally I can't do anything AND none of this is jointly named. I suggested he do those 2 calls while I went to the bank (the tow company needed cash) and went to the impound yard.

I used the Chase Bank locator app and found the bank. Then I used OnStar to get to the impound. I waited in line and of course, the information from when he called wasn't in the system. I went outside to call him back and he called impound again. I went back in, took another number and then we were set. I paid the impound lot with the money from the insurance company. Then I went back to the parking lot and called the new towing company. The woman there said the tow truck would be at the impound lot in 30 minutes and I had to be present to sign a release form.

One hour and 15 minutes the tow truck arrived. I waited in my car that whole time (talking to daddy-O and my boss) because the impound lot didn't have a waiting room and it was in the boonies/ the hood so I had nowhere to go.  Tow truck driver finally arrived and loaded the car- after he unloaded what he had when he arrived. That took another 30 minutes.

I OnStar directions to my apartment. I got there before the tow truck and then proceeded to search the apt to find TheGuy's spare key- the tow truck driver said if would unlock wheels and make it easier to put it in a parking space.

Car unloaded, tow truck driver paid, paperwork filled out. Okay- almost done, right? Oh Hell no. I had to let the leasing agent of our building know about the car so it wasn't re-towed. But she wasn't in her office. Okay. I went to my apartment and peed. I walked my dog. Then I started going from building to building to find out maintenance guy who is the assistant leasing agent as well. Find him. Explain. He said it was fine to leave the car sit.

It's 3pm. Mac calls and said he just got off work 2 hours early and needs a ride. Did I mention I haven't had lunch? Oh, and he got dropped off at my office because that was our plan before the whole day exploded? i finally called my boss and left him a voice mail and told him the day was a wash and no I wouldn't be in after all.)

Back into the car I go, drive north- took me 20 minutes with less traffic this time- pick him up. Grab a coffee at Starbucks for Mac and me. 10 days ago I promised Mac I would take him to the video game store after work... Oh and just because I haven't had enough, I called Mac's bank for him to check his bank balance because I am stupid awesome.

We stop back at the insurance agent's office to drop off all the paperwork I collected. We stopped at WallyWorld so Mac could pee, and then we went to Game Stop where Mac made his purchases. I took Mac back to our apartment.

Oh yeah... TheGuy doesn't have a car so I drove downtown to pick him up and then came back home.

Good news- TheGuy is BEYOND appreciative of everything I did to help him out.
Good news- all people involved in the car situation were super, super nice, kind, helpful and understanding.
Good news- the school's insurance company's adjuster already called TheGuy and is coming to assess the damage on Tuesday
Good news- My boss (who is friends with TheGuy) is going out of town next week for a conference and offered to loan him his truck for the week so he'll have a vehicle to drive free of charge for one week

It was a tremendously LONG and arduous day. I'm glad it's over. I'm glad I could help. Of course I'm glad TheGuy is fine (and all the kids, the bus driver, etc.). There's a lot left to do with the whole situation.

I was a total superhero. Without a cape. Because... well... you know... capes are just an accident waiting to happen.



Jimmie Earl said...

Glad to read that all was okay. The good news blurbs at the end made me feel better. Hope all gets straightened out on Tuesday.

Curley said...

That wore me out just reading it. Sounds like you put over 100 miles on your car that day. Glad all are ok. Yes, you are Super Woman.