Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Escape from New York (A Rant - you have been warned)

We've decide to move back to our beach home in Virginia Beach, rising oceans and hurricanes be damned. Rochester has been wonderful in many ways, but we miss our house and our friends in Va., not to mention that the winters are a little easier to deal with and the taxes are a fair bit lower. The last few weeks have been a mad dash of packing and goodbye's, the usual transition routine. My wife and I both have jobs lined up beginning this week and the original plan was to load the rental truck Saturday, get up early Sunday morning and hit the road. Arrive in Va. Beach in time for some dinner and maybe a little unloading. The fact that it's Tuesday afternoon and I'm typing this from our empty, very hot apartment in Rochester might be a clue that things didn't quite go like we thought.

Plot twist #1: I don't want to name names, so I'll just refer to the truck rental company as "U-HELL", they called Friday afternoon to let me know that they didn't have my "equipment" available for Saturday morning and would call sometime Saturday whenever it would be ready. I asked the nice lady, "So, if I haven't heard from you by noon, should I give you a call?". With more then a slight hint of irony in her voice she replied, "Ah, sure, if you like.". The next day, I got up early and finished packing and started cleaning, still hopeful that I'd get a call, but noon came and went. I tried calling the number I was given and sat on hold for over a half hour before giving up. I tried several times throughout the day to get through, but no joy. Ultimately, I would not receive a call from them until 5:35 pm Sunday afternoon. When the happy chap who called asked, "When would you like to pick-up the truck?", I replied, "Yesterday morning at 8 am.". I got a real problem with poorly run corporations who think it's o.k. to screw their "customers" over as was done in this case and will not give old U-HELL anymore of my hard earned money. If a company causes me great inconvenience and pain, then they had better be prepared to share that pain by offering discounts or something. Also, I received exactly two calls from them, one Friday night and one Sunday night, nothing in between to provide an update or status report. Bye bye U-HELL.

Plot Twist #2: As the truckless Saturday sunk in, we became resigned to the schedule shifting a day and went out to eat Saturday night. We had a lovely meal at a wonderful restaurant called "Basha" here in Rochester. Pay'em a visit if you ever visit. The great food and wine worked wonders on relieving the tensions of the day, until we got in the car to go home and the damn thing wouldn't start. I won't bore you with the details of the night, waiting for the tow truck in the rain and all of that. Let's just say I was wondering why God or whomever was picking on me, but then again, switching the news on put these small inconveniences into perspective, but even so, we all feel 100% of our own grief. The punchline is, "$720.00 plus tax and it won't be ready until Tuesday afternoon". Am I getting ripped off? Who knows, at this point, I'm a tad shell shocked and just want to get out of this frickin' town. BTW, the car is an old SAAB (pronounced SOB, as in what you do when you get the bill) and any repair seems to run $500-$900, I know, because we've had to take it to the shop too many times in the last year.

So the morals of the story are, never use U-HELL and never own a SAAB (unless you have loads of money you wish to give away).

Next post, hopefully will be from an air-conditioned place somewhere far south of here.

Wish me luck.