Friday, March 30, 2007

Men, Women, and Cars

What is it about women and motor vehicles that leads men to automatically assume we're a bunch of unknowledgeable idiots? (Of course, my enlightened male readers excepted!)

Wednesday morning, I got in my state car to head up the happy highway to work. I started smelling something funny, and approximately .1 miles down the road, smoke started pouring out the vents. No dummy I, I turned that rig around and headed back to the VDOT lot where I park her. Because I am now cell phone-less, I had to go back home and call the state's vehicle management center.

The conversation went roughly as follows:

Me: Yes, I'm an employee for the Dep't for the Blind and just got out of my state car. There is smoke pouring through the vents.

VMCC Guy: What do you mean?

Me: There's smoke coming in through the vents.

Guy: Did you turn the heat on?

Me: The a/c was on, yes.

Guy: Well, can you drive it to the garage?

Me: I'm not driving it anywhere.

Guy: Well, I can't just authorize a tow for any reason.


Guy: Can you put your driver on the phone? I know you ladies from the department have drivers.

(This really got my dander up)

Me: Listen here, I am fully sighted. I am the sole driver of the car. I saw smoke coming through the vents, and I parked the car and I am calling you. Someone better pick that car up and repair it, because I am not driving it any further. I wouldn't drive it if it were my car, and I'm sure as hell not driving it since it's your car.


Guy: Can you turn the car on and turn the heat off and tell me what happens?

Me: I'm not at the car at this point, I'm at home. I don't have a cell phone. [Doesn't that just freakin' figure?!]

Guy: Well if I'm going to send a tow truck over there, you're going to have to go drop off your key anyway. Go over there and then call me back.

Me: Fine.

I go over to VDOT, and do as he says, and the smoke is gone, but a strange smell of burning or melting plastic or something is now coming into the car. I check all my stuff to make sure nothing is touching the vents or nothing could be melting and find nothing.

So I go into the VDOT facility where I park it, which I should have done in the first place, and ask to use the phone. Where I get guy #2.

Guy: Well, all this sounds rather vague. I'm not sure I can authorize a tow. Can you be more specific about what the problem is?

Me: There was smoke pouring through the vents. It was gray and smoky. There is now a smell of burning or melting plastic. I am not driving the car to a garage. I am not turning the car on again.

Guy: Where did you say you were?

Me: Falmouth VDOT.

Guy: That's S-A-L-M-Y-T-H??

Me: F-A-L-M-O-U-T-H.

Guy: S-A-L-M-O-U...

Me: F! As in Frank. F!

Guy: Oh, F.

(You can say that again)

Guy: Can you hold while I try to get Tony at the garage?

Me: Sure. (What the hell? I know Tony--he'll tell me it's gonna be a while)

Guy: Ok, I'm back.


Guy: Ok, Tony says he can't get there for a couple of hours.

Me: Fine. I'll leave the key.

Guy: He says you won't have your car for at least 3 days. (said in the tone of "I'm going to take your favorite toy away since you can't play nice.")

Me: Fine by me. I'm not driving it while it's smoking.

Guy: Ok (as in "Fine, if that's the way you want to be, lady.")

Me: Bye.

Now, all things considered, I held my temper pretty well. But come on, please, who in their right minds is going to drive a smoking vehicle to a garage? Jeez, I particularly don't like those kind of macho men who think I have no brain just because I don't happen to have a Y chromosome.

2 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Lesley said...

I think it's a sign of your writing talent that even when you're describing one of life's less entertaining moments, you still make me laugh.

So did they figure out what was causing the car to be BURNING somewhere?

By the way, that visual DNA thing you have on the side is blocking some of your post on my screen, not sure if anyone else is having that problem ...

Kate/Susan said...

I've removed it, Lesley! It was cut off on my computer--the Visual DNA thing was, not the posts. Hopefully the Library Thing will be OK.

Believe it or not, all that went down on Wednesday and I STILL haven't heard about my car. I'm going to swing by there on Tuesday to find out what's up.