Oct 8, 2009

My Gas Problem

I have these lovely friends, Andrea and Carlos, who were getting married last weekend. In Vancouver.

Great, I thought. I can finally get some use out of my camper van. The weather was promising to be not rainy, practically a miracle for October on the mainland. I'll hit the wedding, then drive around for a few days. Maybe hit up the Okanagan for some fruits and veggie cases I can practice my preserving skills on. Sweet.

The plan was to leave Saturday and attend a meet and greet for the out-of-towners, so we would have people to talk to at the actual wedding on Sunday.

I packed like I always do for road trips. Everything goes. Hey, I don't have to carry it around on my back. So extra clothes, more books than I'd be able to read in a year, all my shoes, cooler, tent, portable stove, oversized bag of knitting supplies. It all comes. The van lives at Granny's, so I throw all this junk in my car, drive to her place, and transfer it into the van. Then, I'm on the road!


As I pull out of the parking space my mom starts waving her arms frantically, like she's stranded on an island trying to get the attention of a rescue plane. I see you, mom. I'm right here. I roll down the window and she runs up. "You're leaking! Gas!"

Sure enough, when the van is on it's projectile vomiting gas all over the parking lot. Goodbye, party. Hello, tow truck.

I transfer all of my crap back into my car, and manage to find a mechanic that's open on a Saturday (Transmission & Auto Care, a place that rebuilt my transmission a few months back). The guy is nice and comforting, telling me it's likely just a cracked hose or something, and he'll take a look right away and call me.

Mechanics never call. Have you noticed that? We'll call you when it's ready. Yeah, right you will. I'm used to guys not calling. My life is filled with guys who are constantly not calling. But mechanics are worse because they have my car. So I can't just say to myself I never liked that douche anyway, and watch another episode of Buffy. I have to call him. And then give him money. It's a situation that's not great for my ego.

So I wander around downtown for a few hours, don't receive the promised call, then wander back. Yes, he has an update. It was a cracked hose, it's a $5 part, it's on it's way, but they're closing soon. It'll be ready on Monday. I'm going to Vancouver until Tuesday, I say. No problem, pick it up Tuesday. Good.


So Sunday morning I bus->ferry->bus to Vancouver, enjoy a lovely wedding (more on that later), then on Tuesday I bus->ferry->bus back downtown. This other mechanic that did my transmission is all Sarah, what are you doing here? And I'm all Picking up my van. And he's all We have your van?

And then I find out that they sort of "forgot" to fix it. They hadn't noticed it parked on their lot. For three days.


But this nice mechanic gives me a ride home, and he calls twice early the next morning to tell me it's fixed and I can pick it up any time. So I do just that, and I stupidly don't really pay attention to the fact that they're charging me $94. For a $5 part and minimal labour? Back home I look at the bill, which says nothing about the part and labour, but does list a BCAA inspection I never asked for.

So now I need to call them. And be all Hey, what's up with this stupid bill? And be assertive and possibly have a confrontation, which are two things that make me feel woozy in my tummy. This may explain why I've been biting my nails for the last 12 hours.

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