- by Michael (again) (of course)
So I wake up early on Friday, refreshed and eager to get on the road, hit the pavement, get movin' down the road, and I pull out of the driveway and up to the highwa- wait, nope, this one's a parkway! Passenger cars only! Again!
This only took me an hour out of the way, and I was amused at what I chose to consider a cosmic "homage" to the previous day's travails. But I at last reached Highway 90, hit my cruising speed, and was only a short six hour drive away from Chautwhat-is-my-truck-doing?
No, really, what does "Check Stabilitrak System" mean?
So I called Penske. "Just a sensor problem?" I asked, to which they replied, "Yeah, that's not a big deal at all. Go ahead and go, we'll fix that later, it's not a safety issue."
However, four minutes after hanging up, another "sensor" type warning popped up. Then the brake-light came on. Then - joy of joys - the speedometer informed me that I was traveling at every conceivable velocity at the same time, based on the seizure-inducing speed with which the needle was bouncing over every option on the dashboard.
And then it was Christmas. Or so it seemed from the fact that every light on the dashboard lit up.
Called Penske back, and we agree - it's time to be concerned. We find a Penske location in Utica (30 minutes away, most of it in the wrong direction) and I head there, turn in the car, and wait.
And get lunch at a diner, funded by Penske, and wait.
And then find out that my truck can't be fixed.
And the nearest available replacement truck is in Liverpool, which is - OF COURSE - two and a half hours away from Utica. "It's been on the road for a bit, so should be here in... two hours? I think?"
I got to Penske at 10:30. I left at 3:30. Which was approximately the time I planned to be kicking up my heels on my friend's porch, drinking a beer, and enjoying the happy ache of muscles that have just successfully unloaded a truck.
Instead, I arrived at 8:30 or so. My friends took me out to dinner, which was wonderful and fun, but we ended up not starting to unload the truck until ten thirty or thereabouts. Finally I get the truck unloaded, collapse into bed, and wake up to drive the truck to the nearby Penske to turn it in and get my refund because of the trou-
OH WAIT THEY'RE CLOSED!
It's a holiday weekend and the local Penske is closed! No notification, of course, and nothing on the website. Or their door. At all.
OK, they have a key drop, but still - the errand that never ends.
But whatever! I get to the airport, get through security, get onto the plane, get ... um ... get off the plane ... our flight has been delayed by a minimum of one -
No, two -
Wait! Wait! Three and a half hours!
At this point I honestly expected the flight home to explode, or to see all taxis in NYC spontaneously turn into giraffes with bowel trouble, or something similar. But apparently this was the end of my troubles, thanks be to God. I finally touched down at JFK, found a cab, and arrived at home only six hours after I'd planned.
And let me tell you something:
I love my job.
Happy summer, everybody. Happy summer. :)