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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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Well, this morning I got a call at 8 from my Geico adjuster: “Aaron, I rolled into work day and your car is here, what’s going on?”

I picked up my car yesterday; it was all shiny and pretty up front; I think they even painted the replacement grill, which wasn’t painted originally, but it looks nice (alternately, this part was updated slightly in later model years to not be matte). Inside of the engine bay looked good, though the cap for the windshield washer reservoir was off (and the reservoir wasn’t refilled). Not sure what was going on there; at the time it made me think “attention to detail, lacking, this doesn’t bode well.”

I drove the car back to work; let her warm up on 95 for a bit and did a few hot acceleration and deceleration runs on 7 just to make sure the brake were biting correctly, and everything held together. Let it cool down on main street and into the garage at work, feeling good that everything was sorted.

Drove home on the Merritt a few hours later, made a quick pit stop on High Ridge near the off-ramp, started back down the street, and I see a cloud of steam and start smelling coolant. I was incredulous for a second, but quickly confirmed that the reason I couldn’t see in front of me anymore was coming from under my hood.

I pulled off the street and confirmed that the wet streak from the road to the parking lot was in fact the remainder of my coolant, and saw a lot of red hot parts inside my car just behind the radiator.

It being after 7, I couldn’t call the body shop about it, so I called Geico; immediately connected with an agent, explained that my just-repaired car from one of their express facilities had its coolant system exploded, and her trained “oh, I’m so sorry, that’s awful” speech did confirm that they say the exact same thing whether you crash your car or your coolant system explodes. To the word, inflection, and everything. They probably have training on this.

Then I waited, as my agent waited, for an hour. We waited for the Geico towing department to pick up. Turns out that the areas the snow storm had already hit (not me) were trashing the queue, so it was taking an hour or more to schedule a tow.

Of course, once the tow truck is called, it takes an hour for them to get to you too.

Once the tow truck showed up, the guy wanted me to drive my car up the ramp, which was pretty interesting. However, unlike what I’d agreed to on the phone with Geico (“the driver will drop my car off at the body shop and I’ll take a cab home”), the driver told me I needed to go with the car to sign off that it was delivered safely.

Son of a bitch. Getting a cab by the body shop will be a lot more fun, since we’re supposed to have this amazing snow storm over night.

Got to the body shop, unloaded the car, and then fished around for a key drop. There isn’t one. Swell. There’s a storm coming tomorrow and I’m going to have to get the keys there. So the tow truck driver drives off, in the process dropping and running over his cell phone (but he doesn’t realize that yet, he comes back later to discover it). That sucks.

I call a cab, and it doesn’t show up. I manage to flag down another cab about five minutes later and go home, which catches us up with this morning’s call from my adjuster. Luckily the body shop is willing to send a guy out to pick the key up from me, since I really don’t feel like a taxi ride down to the body shop right now. We’ll see how long it takes to qualify me for a rental car again.