You can take the girl out of Jersey ...
(... but you can't take the Jersey out of the girl. As you're about to find out.)
(OK, I'm sticking in a preface. I read this again, and if I sound like I was a complete bitch, I PROMISE I wasn't! I swear. I was only a little one. I didn't raise my voice or gesture wildly with my hands or anything like that. In fact, I'm normally very non-confrontational about these kinds of things. But I was very tired, it was a very ridiculous situation, and ... I'm going to stop now.
Anyway. Back to our regularly scheduled post.)
You guys! I'm back. And you know how I had a crazy time GOING on the trip? I had just as crazy a time getting BACK. I swear. Sometimes I seriously feel like I'm on a candid camera show.
So this is what happened. Before I left, I dropped my car off at the shop because it had been spazzing out whenever I accelerated. I called the shop the day before I came back because I hadn't gotten a call with an estimate yet and I wanted to make sure it was going to be fixed and ready for me to pick up. I was informed that I had gotten a tune-up and that it was going to cost $200-something. I was pretty ticked that they hadn't called BEFORE doing stuff to my car, but fine. It didn't cost that much, and if it was fixed, fine. "I can come pick it up when I get back in town, right?" I asked. Oh, yeah, they told me. The shop itself would be closed, but there would be a woman there who could take my payment and give me my key. I've done that like seriously a half-dozen times there, and it's never been a problem. So ... good.
So my friend picks me up at the airport and we go to the shop to get my car. I pay my $241.86 and wait for the woman to give me my key. And wait. And wait.
Her: I can't find your key. Do you have it?
Me: Ummm ... NO.
Her: You might have to come back tomorrow.
Me: Are you serious?
My friend goes to check my car. He comes back with this "please don't shoot the messenger" look on his face.
Friend: Uh ... your key's in the ignition. And the doors are all locked. And (deep breath) ... the radio's on.
(This is where I go from pleasantly mellow to cranky and tired and pissed off.)
Me: What? WHAT?!?!?! You've GOT to be kidding me. (Turn to back to woman.) What are you going to do about that?
Her: I can't do anything about it.
Me: Well, I'm not the one who locked my keys in the car with the radio on.
Her: Well, neither am I.
Me: OK. I understand that YOU, YOURSELF did not lock my keys in the car. But SOMEONE here did, and seeing that you WORK here, I want to know what you're going to do to help me.
Her: I told you, you're going to have to come back tomorrow.
Me: OK, do you not understand that my car is also ON? I am not leaving my car here, ON, all night.
Friend, under his breath: We can call Triple-A.
Me (eyes, no doubt, blazing): SHE can call Triple-A. And besides, why should I call ANOTHER garage to come open my car when I'm already AT a garage? The garage that DID IT in the first place? (Turn back to woman.) You're going to have to call someone.
Her: I'm telling you, if you just come back tomorrow ...
Me: You know, I really wish you would stop saying that.
Her: I know how you feel, but ...
Me: Oh, do you? Really? Are your keys locked in the car right now? Is your battery going to be dead from the radio being on for who knows how long? The battery you bought here a mere six months ago?
Her: Well, no.
Me: Look. I'm sorry, but this is seriously unacceptable. And I really wish you would stop trivializing it and start trying to fix it.
Her: FINE. I'll call the manager.
Me: THANK YOU.
She picks up the phone and starts dialing.
Friend: Do you want something to drink?
Me: Do I want ... no! I don't want anything to drink! I want my keys out of my car!
She hangs up.
Her: He's not home.
Me: So call someone else.
Her (makes indignant sound): But, if you just come back ... (pauses when I shoot her my Swishy death glare) FINE.
Me, hissing to Friend: I see you've got the whole "strong and silent" thing down pat.
Friend: You think I'm getting in your way right now? Nooooo way.
I laugh. Just a little.
She hangs up.
Her: He's not there either. There's no one else to call.
Me: Really? REALLY? You only have two people who work in that whole garage?
Me: REALLY. Two whole people on staff, huh? That's interesting, because when I dropped it off, there were at least four people working. And that was at 6 o'clock.
Her: I've done everything I can. I'm sorry. You can come back in the morning.
Me: Fine. Give me the numbers. I'll call.
Her: I can't do that.
Me: Then I want names, including yours.
Her: FINE. I'll call someone else.
Me: THANK YOU.
Friend (whispering): I wish a policeman would come by. They always know how to get into locked cars.
Me (whispering back): I wish a policeman would come by, too, to stop me from diving over the counter and throttling her.
I hear her talking on the phone: "She's really upset. I mean, I understand, but you know, what I am supposed to do? She refused to leave until I called someone, even though it's not really reasonable to expect ..."
Friend: You'd think she would lower her voice if she's going to talk about you.
Me: You'd think.
She hangs up.
Her: He'll be right here.
Me: Thank you VERY much.
The guy shows up, bless his heart, with two pajama-clad kids in the backseat and has my car open in about two seconds.
Me: Thank you so, so much. I really appreciate it.
Him: No problem. I'm just sorry about the inconvenience.
Me: Out of curiosity, does this kind of thing happen a lot?
Him: Often enough that I went out and bought a tool for it.
(Thankfully, my battery still had juice, but the car had been on long enough that it had used an entire quarter tank of gas. Other side note: Yes, I do have a spare key, but it was at my office, 20 minutes away, and there was a principle at work here. The principle being: IT SHOULD NOT BE MY PROBLEM THAT YOU LOCKED MY KEYS IN THE CAR! And one final thing: I did feel bad later about giving her a hard time, so I was going to call her and thank her again for helping and my friend WOULD NOT LET ME! He confiscated my phone.)
OK, the trip! The trip itself it was fun. I saw my brother and sister and everyone played nice for the most part. And I got to eat my pizza! This is one of my favorite places in the world:
And this ... this is heaven on a platter, my friends: