Monday, August 27, 2012

Lunch Break Post: I'm Beyond My Breaking Point

This weekend was about as good as my past two weekends. And by that, I mean it sucked. Okay, okay, it didn't all suck. But the fact that I've spent half of my paycheck on my car really sucks.

I was up at 6am Saturday morning. I had a little breakfast and hit the road, trying to make it to St. Louis by 9ish to have my car worked on. Surprise, surprise, I didn't even make it to the highway. My tire blew. So I pull over to the side of the road, called my dad (and I'm pretty sure I woke him up--oh well), and then I called my lovely roommate who had told me the night before if I had car trouble and wasn't over an hour away, she'd come get me. Lucky for her, I don't think I was even ten miles away. Unlucky for her, it was 6:45 am. But she's awesome and said she'd come pick me up and we'd try to find a tow company or whatever to get my car.

Then, something amazing happened. A guy pulled over to the side of the road, asked if I needed help, and then proceeded to change my tire so I could drive to Plaza Tire (more on them in a bit). I have never been so thankful for a stranger in my entire life. As he was changing my tire, Kirsten got there. After he finished and I thanked him profusely, Kirsten and I turned around and she followed me to Plaza Tire. By now it was 7:15ish and they didn't open until 7:30, so we hung out in her car for a bit.

I went inside and told them I needed a new tire because the rear right tire blew and I had a spare on it now. For whatever reason, these guys never seem to think I know what I'm talking about, so they go out and look at my car anyway. Whatever. I also told them to change the oil because I was well overdue for that also.

Kirsten and I left and made our way over to Bread Co. where I bought her some breakfast for being such a good friend and roommate. After we finished there, we decided to head over to Starbucks across the street for some coffee. It was a nice day, so we sat outside drinking our skinny mochas (I think they have less than 150 calories?). About an hour or two later, I decided I needed more coffee. I got a phone call from Plaza Tire, and I excitedly thought my car was done. It wasn't. The guy said that the belt was almost broken and needed to be replaced and he asked if I wanted them to do it. Well, duh. I don't want to break down again.

Those of you who have been reading for the last few weeks know that I just had a belt replaced two weeks ago. But as much as I hate to admit it, I don't know very much about cars (although thanks to all this nonsense, I'm learning) and because the guy referred to the belt as something different than what someone called it the last time I had it fixed, I assumed there were two different belts.

There are not. So they replaced the exact same belt they had replaced two weeks ago. My total cost for a new tire, oil change, and a new belt (plus labor, tax, etc) was $216. I get to St. Louis and my dad is looking at my car, seeing what they did and everything. He informs me that they replaced the same belt again. Well of course they did--because I can afford things like that and I have time to go argue with them. Blah. After that, I go to my cousin's house to have him look at it and figure out what was wrong that would make them replace it twice.

The balancer is messed up. When they changed the belt the first time, I asked them to look at all that stuff to make sure it's all working properly since the belt was less than a year old. Apparently they didn't, and so it was on the verge of breaking again two weeks later when my tire blew. Now, I have to go back there sometime this week and get my money back for charging me for something they screwed up.

In addition to all that nonsense, someone somehow got a hold of my debit card number and has been charging stuff from a Walmart in Arizona, and a Foodmart in Texas. Now I have to wait for a new debit card, and in the meantime can't buy anything online. And I can't buy anything anywhere else unless I write a check or pay with cash.

Sorry I didn't take any awesome pictures of my blown tire or anything. I really gotta work on that.

Head over to www.facebook.com/RunChata and show me some love! I could use it! :)