Monday, January 12, 2009

I'd Settle For Uneventful

I love road trips. I love seeing what I get to see on road trips; towns, hills, grassy meadows, beautiful sunsets, clouds, and the list could go on and on. I love meeting new people, even if it's just the guy behind me in the check out line at Flying J that can't believe I drive that big truck and trailer (I was wearing a skirt, nylons, and my nice shoes at the time). I love the solitude of driving for hours and hours with just my thoughts and a book on cd to keep me company.

However, I do not love Events. My latest trip to Casper, WY had Events.

Event 1: I've already touched on this in a previous post - the leaking of the trailer roof. Fortunately, the water is coming through the uncovered A/C unit and it isn't a structural problem with the roof itself. I've been trying to get this problem resolved for months. I'm quite mad that it hasn't been. Anyway, the front carpet is ruined. A few other things are ruined. The trailer ceiling, both front and back, looks like trash. It was embarrassing. Especially when water started to drip while I was testing on Friday. Fortunately, it didn't drip in the room we were in, but the drips were loud enough that we could all hear them, even with the door shut. One of the soldiers asked, "Is that water dripping inside the trailer?" I nodded and explained the leaky A/C unit. The only thing I had to put under the drip was the trash can! At least the carpet didn't get any more soaked than it already was. Is. It's still not dry.

Event 2: Have you ever considered the impact wind has on your gas mileage? I hadn't. I do now. It was sooooo windy in Wyoming! Friday and Saturday were bad, but Sunday was the worst! I could feel the truck fighting against it as we drove from Rawlins to Evanston. It's a trip I'd made before. I knew that I could gas up in Rawlins then not need to again until the TA 30 miles east of Evanston. It's where I always gas up and I always have about 1/4 of a tank left when I get to the TA. So, imagine my surprise when my "Low Fuel" warning comes on. It comes on when I only have 15 miles of fuel left. The TA was 20 miles away. I prayed and prayed and prayed. Oh please let the truck's computer be wrong. Please oh please let there be 20 miles worth of fuel in the tank. Please help the truck make it to the station. Please make the wind stop. The wind didn't stop, but the truck made it to the fuel pump. Honestly, I'm not sure the wind was the reason for my low gas mileage, but it's the only variable that was different from the other four times I drove that stretch.

Event 3: Ever since last October, when I had this experience, whenever I stop, for any reason, I check my tires to see how their tread is, to check for wire poking out like it was that time. Last night my last fuel stop was in Payson and I checked the tires like normal. No problems. So, I'm driving along, it's dark, I'm enjoying the book on cd, and I notice the car that just passed me brake and slow down. I also brake, thinking maybe they noticed an animal near the road or something on the road. A woman sticks her head out the window and starts pointing at my trailer. I drive up to the car and roll down my window. She shouts that I have a problem with one of my trailer tires, I shout a thank you, and get off the next exit, which was just seconds after she told me. I stopped and yep, the tire was blown out - completely shredded. Really, there wasn't a tire left, just splotches of rubber. I hadn't noticed a thing! I called my boss to inform him of the problem, since he's the owner of the truck and trailer. He didn't answer his cell or his home phone.

I decided it was a good time to try out my tire-changing knowledge, so I put on my gloves and fetched the spare tire and jack from the back of the trailer. Bad idea. As I lifted the tire, something inside of me said Heck no! and pain shot through my abdomen. I had to pause to catch my breath and prevent tears, it was so painful. Undaunted, I proceeded to the blown tire and attempted to loosen the lug nuts with the wrenches my boss had provided for such an emergency. He told me that I didn't really need the star bar that Dan at Walmart had suggested. Well, I couldn't get the lug nuts loose. I was in pain. I called my boss again. Again, he didn't answer either phone. I desperately held back tears.

Fortunately, I was only 10 miles or so from home, so I called my dad. He came. He got mad at my boss for not providing me with the needed tools and for a couple other reasons. His lug nut wrench (or whatever it's called) didn't fit the tire's lug nuts and he couldn't get them off with the normal wrenches I had either. He wanted to leave the truck and trailer there and let my boss deal with getting it back. Instead, he followed my suggestion and tailed me to my boss's house. Multiple times I tried calling my boss to tell him what had happened. Nothing. So, imagine my happiness when Dad and I arrived at his house to find all the lights on and both cars there. Dad wanted to go give him a piece of his mind (he doesn't get mad very easily), but I asked him not to. Dad helped me load my stuff into my car then he left. I was so grateful for his help! What a guy!

I stayed to fill out paperwork in the truck, then I called my boss one last time. Nothing. I finally left a message telling him to check the trailer to see if he could spot anything wrong. I was hurt. I was cold, in pain, frustrated, and hurt. It appeared that my boss was home ignoring my phone calls. He never called me last night. I desperately hope he had a good reason, like he was at the hospital administering to the sick or in a very important meeting or something.

He called this morning. I didn't answer it. He's called multiple times since. I haven't answered. My lovely coworker covered for me when he called the office and said I was on the phone. I just need some time before I talk to him. Please let him have a good reason for not answering the phone last night!

Yeah, I'll take unEventful any day and twice (make that 100 times) on Sunday.


Melissa said...

Oh those stupid tires, they have given you nothing but trouble! And I can't believe that your boss didn't answer the phone! On the other hand, what a Great dad to come to your rescue when you needed him!

tearese said...

OMG, I would be so mad at the boss too. Seriously. You just had surgery for crying out loud! You are so lucky your dad was close and could come help you.
You need to take it easy!! I can't believe you went out just two weeks after your stuff. Glad you got home safe.
And I would be SO embarrassed about the leaky trailer.

tearese said...

PS- yes, the wind totally messes with your mileage. In WY, and KS and all those super windy places, we had to gas up much more often than we planned!

Mellissa said...

I'm sorry your trip was not uneventful. I'm also sorry things aren't working out with your boss like they should be. It seems like there are always crossing with lines of communication with you two. Hopefully, he was administering to the sick. How nice of your dad to help out! You're very lucky to have him around.

Booklogged said...

Hey! I worry about you on those long drives by yourself. I hope there was a really, REALLY good reason why your boss didn't answer the phone. Steam coming out my ears!

julie said...

Melissa, yeah, I'm really concerned about that back tire - I don't want it to keep happening! My boss took the trailer in to be looked at and hopefully they'll figure out why that same wheel keeps blowing out tires. *fingers crossed!*

Tearese, I keep forgetting that I should be limiting myself since my surgery wasn't that long ago. Mom, Dad, and my boss were upset that I had tried to change the tire myself. I thought it was a good time to figure out how to do it! Hopefully, the leaky roof is being fixed this week - my boss discovered that there are a few cracks in the roof. Not fun. It's good to know that the wind can so strongly affect gas mileage - I had never even considered it before!

Missy, yes, lines of communication with us tend to get crossed every now and then. I'm really glad I gave myself a day to get a hold of my feelings. When we talked today, I wasn't so upset and was a lot more rational. I also totally lied to him about not being mad at him. I figured, what was what the point? Whenever I tell him I'm mad, it doesn't change things and I end up feeling worse. I have other reasons as well. Just please don't tell him I really was mad. :)

Book, like I said to Missy, I lied to my boss, so I never found out why he didn't answer the phone Sunday evening. I realize that telling him that it made me upset wouldn't change anything; he still probably won't ever answer the phone when I call on a weekend. Why make a fuss? I'll just feel worse. My coworker thinks I'm letting him get away with it, but I've walked this road before with him. And, I have another reason for not telling him. Whahahah.

sar said...

Julie, the trip you described sounded utterly frusterating. It was nice your Dad got mad (and rescued you), and I too would have been soooo mad at your boss if he had done that to me.

Wendy said...

I hate those unplanned for events that make life so very difficult. I am very glad that your dad came and helped you. I think it is sweet that he wanted to give your boss a peice of his mind. It shows that he loves you. I don't blame you for not answering your bosses calls.

Framed said...

Car or plumbing problems get me down worse than almost anything. I wish I was more self-sufficient. I admire that you even tried to change the tire. At the very least, your boss needs to get you better tools. Can you just buy them and charge them to the business? Sounds like a justifiable expense.

julie said...

Sar, hi!! My dad so rarely gets upset nowadays, that it was sweet of him to get upset in my defense. Hopefully, he won't have to very often!

Wendy, I'm glad you don't think I was petty for not answering my boss's calls. Part of me wanted to be petty, but another part wasn't ready to talk to him because I was so mad. I wanted to be cool and collected when I spoke to him. Funny, eh?

Framed, today I went out and bought the needed tools. On the business Amex. Now I'm totally prepared for a tire emergency! *cross my fingers that I don't have another one!*