Two Fridays ago (May 2nd), I was on my way to the Eastern Shore, for a weekend of camping, fishing, eating, and, most importantly, sitting. The Men's Group of New Hope was taking its 3rd annual camping trip and, just like the past two years, I was not going to miss it. I made it to Arnold (about 5 miles from home - and 15 minutes into a 3 hour drive), when I realized that I had forgotten a most important thing for camping - my sleeping bag. So, only being 15 minutes from home, I turned around and went back to get it. About 1/2 of a mile from the homestead, on Edwin Raynor Blvd., I was travelling behind a large black work truck. Said truck slammed on its brakes and I followed suit. I stopped about 8-10 feet from the truck's rear end, but I was only there for a second. The red Dodge Neon behind me decided that stopping was a luxury that it really could not afford, and, as such, it slammed into my ass pretty damn hard. It pushed me into the rear of the truck, crunching my front end.
Everyone was fine, no one in any of the three cars was hurt. The fuzz showed up and took reports from everyone. The fault was clearly established as belonging to the woman who drove her car up my tailpipe. I proceded to spend the next few minutes chatting with the fellows from the truck (which, by the way, barely had a scratch on it). Turns out they were on their way to the Orioles game. Bummer. During our conversation, one of the police officers beckoned one of the gentlemen from the truck. Next thing we knew, dude was getting cuffed. He had a Failure to Appear. I thought I was unlucky. This guy was going to jail. Anyhoo, nobody got a ticket, everybody left, and it was the chick's fault.
I drove the car home (barely). Once there, I called trusty AAA, who towed it to the body shop. I then, and I'm not making this up, spent the next 3 hours straight on the phone with the insurance companies. Needless to say, I was not getting to the campsite this weekend. I arranged for a rental car, courtesy of the asses at GEICO. So far, not too much of a headache.
The workweek began. I now had a lovely Buick Century to drive. The people at MetLife (my insurance) called and told me my car was totalled. The people at GEICO (her insurance) told me it was not. I liked GEICO's answer better. A small drama erupted on Thursday when the MetLife people told me that my car had been taken to the salvage yard, despite the fact that it hadn't. That was a fun conversation - an excerpt:
MetLife Chick: Sir, our records show that your Honda was towed to the salvage yard on May 7th.
Me: No it wasn't. I just talked to the Body Shop an hour ago.
MC: But our records show . . .
Me: Call them and see.
MC hangs up. I, slightly worried, call Body Shop. 5 minutes later, MC calls back
MC: Sir, the salvage yard said that your car was, in fact, towed on May 7th.
Me: No, I just called the Body Shop 2 minutes ago and the guy was looking at it. It's still there. Call the body shop.
MC hangs up. Calls back 5 minutes later
MC: Sir, the Body Shop informed me that your car was, in fact, not towed. It's still there.
An hour from my life, gone, just like that.
So, at this point, the estimate has been made, the check is written, GEICO simply has to get a recorded statement from the chick who wanted to see the inside of my trunk without leaving the comfort of her driver's seat.
Today, there was a wonderful screaming match betwixt myself and a GEICO Chick. This one concerned the length of time my rental car expense would be covered. An excerpt:
Me: How long will my rental car be covered?
GEICO Chick: Let's see, you've had it for a week? You should probably think about returning it soon.
Me: I'll be glad to return it. Just cut me the check and I'll have my car fixed. The parts are all ordered, I just have to have the money.
GC: We can't cut the check until our customer calls with her recorded statement.
Me: Looks like I'll be keeping the rental car until that happens, then.
GC: Sir, we will only pay for the rental car for a reasonable period of time. You can't keep it forever.
Me: I'd love to take it back. I'd love to have my car fixed. If I had my way, I'd be driving my car now, instead of the rental.
GC: I understand, sir, but that really isn't our problem.
Me: (Screaming a bit, at this point) How is this my problem? I'm the guy whose car looks like a refugee from Junkyard Wars. I just want to get it fixed.
GC: Sir, I'll make a note in your file for the adjuster to attempt to call our customer again today.
Me: You do that.
That is why I'm upset. And, I still don't have my damn car back yet. I'll update this later.
**DISCLAIMER** My apologies in advance to any of you who: a) work for an insurance company; b) have a close relative who works for an insurance company; or c) are offended by the word "gonorrhea."
Here's the thing: Anyone who works for an insurance company should die of gonorrhea and rot in hell. If Dante had known about these people, he would have added an extra level at the bottom for them. Oh, I'm sure that there are one or two nice ones . . . well, no I'm not. They're all evil.