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Broke.

March 21, 2009
by

Those of you that follow me on Twitter know that I didn’t have the best evening on Thursday.

This was my view for most of it…..

Broke

I was at a meeting in Bradford all day and had been up at 5 something, traveled for two hours, sat through a boring meeting and set off home again. I was dying to get home and relax and was really looking forward to seeing my dad too. He was playing golf near us very early the next morning and was having a very unusual stop over at ours for B&B.

Naturally – the car I was traveling in broke down on the M606 outside Bradford at the junction for the M62. Literally (for those of you that don’t speak Motorway) 10 minutes out of Bradford. I was still 2 hours from home.

We broke down at about 5.30pm. I was traveling with my boss, Mumsy, and her boss Moonraker. We had picked Moonraker up just outside Bradford that morning (to save him the parking fee no doubt!) and when we broke down we were about 500 yards from his car at the nearby Travelodge. He immediately had a look under the bonnet to diagnose the problem in the manliest way he was able and declared that the fan belt had either come off or bust. I can’t remember which.

At this point he and Mumsy were both outside the car and I was stuck in the backseat with child locks on the back door! We were barely pulled over into the slip road for the upcoming roundabout and I was shouting at them to let me out of the car. I was thinking any second now someone is going to slam into the back of us and I’m toast! I think it took about 5 minutes for them to let me out. Fucking numpties. I then stood behind the car frantically waving at cars coming off onto the slip road to try and alert them to the fact that we were blocking it. There were about 7 or 8 pretty close calls as cars came off the road at 40-50mph only to have to try and re-enter traffic. It was pretty hairy.

Moonraker (there is a story behind that name) got in the driver’s seat and took the car up onto the grass verge and suggested that he’d walk to his car and come back and get us whilst Mumsy sorted out vehicle recovery.

Seemed like a plan. I have to say, I’ve not seen anything quite so funny as Moonraker disappearing off down the motorway carrying a briefcase and a Clinton’s bag (mother’s day card) in business dress. I bet anyone that passed him thought that his missus has chucked him out of the car and left him to walk!! Lol.

So, this left Mumsy and I alone… trying to sort out getting home.

I always trek to her house on the morning of any meetings up North as she lives about an hour north of me, and we travel together. Easy for me being a non-driver obviously but also saves on company expenses and better for the environment to be fair! Her husband runs his own business and as soon as we broke down, she called him and asked him to call Greenflag, the recovery company he is with for work. Turns out Greenflag weren’t interested as they cover the business vehicle only and not their personal car. Typically. Resigned to the fact that this was not going to be simple, she called the RAC and asked what they could do. Ten minutes later she was a fully fledged member of the RAC with full cover (their best policy apparently) and £120 poorer for it!! Shocking.RAC man in patrol van was dispatched and all we had to do was wait.

See why I’m glad I don’t have a car!!?

In the meantime, Highways Agency turns up. I saw what I thought was Police about 200 yards behind us, slightly obscured by a signpost so I wasn’t sure, and thought they were coming to either help us or shout at us for parking on the grass verge of a slip road… turns out it was two very friendly guys who had been traveling up the other side of the 606 towards Bradford and had seen some random bloke walking down the hard shoulder, suited and booted carrying a briefcase and wondered WTF was going on!! 😆

They obviously found us – luckily they can tow a small way and took the car down to the safe lay by a little further down so we weren’t in quite so much danger. They were very good I have to say and took Mumsy’s name and mobile number so they could check on her later and make sure she’d got home safely. I mean? How good is that?! Bless ’em.

But anyway – the RAC guy attended within about 30 minutes and that sounds great except that when he got there it took him all of about 30 seconds to ascertain that the issue was one he couldn’t fix. The tension puller (?) had gone (he reached in and actually pulled it out) and this is the main part that controls the fan belt etc. Basically? Meant that we weren’t going anywhere. John, the RAC guy was an absolute treasure I have to say and said that he’d call it in and get us a tow.

I’ll call this in and get a tow organised he said. Where are you going?

We gave him Mumsy’s postcode and it turns out she lives 60 miles from the point of breakdown. The full cover from the RAC only takes you 50 miles as standard. The ten miles would cost her… wait for it…. £100. I was so shocked that I couldn’t let her do it. There must be another way. After about ten minutes we came up with her friends address. He had moved to Haxy and she thought this would be about 10 miles closer.

Turns out it’s seven.

How much would the extra 3 miles cost?

You guessed it.

£100.

Shocking I know. I mean… WTF? Fucking extortionate. What an effing rip off. Disgusting.

So.. at this point, we were freezing, had enough. It was about 6.30pm and she decided just to pay the £100 and go home. £10 per mile for the extra ten. (Oh yes she is going to complain).

It got even better.

The RAC call centre blatantly forgot to process our order for the tow truck and having been told that our truck would be with us in 45 minutes at 7.15pm? Still no truck. RAC John really thought that it wouldn’t be that long, two lone females on the side of the motorway etc. he said he thought it would be 15 minutes tops. He even stayed with us. He didn’t see the point in leaving us by the side of the road and said that he would stay until he got another call. Bless him – he truly was the one redeeming feature of the RAC.

He even drove me to MacDonalds to get coffee.

RAC John

The Best member of the RAC – RAC John

Mumsy was ringing RAC as we went for coffee and got told that it would be another 45 minutes to an hour. She went a bit mental and they pinned it down that we should expect it at 20.35. That’s 3 hours after we broke down.

When the guy turned up eventually (at 20.35) he told us they received the job at 19.13. (Yes I am alternating between 12 and 24 hour clock… but I’m kind of typing the way I speak… also… they gave us that time in 24 hour clock so it’s just how I remember it…..)

Apparently the RAC had pestered them every ten minutes after giving them the job.

Yes. I bet they fucking did.

I got home at 10.35pm.

I was tired and I was not happy. Natch.

So…. I didn’t much feel like blogging…. but now I have. I swear it doesn’t sound as bad as it was at the time unless you factor into it that I needed a desperate wee (shouldn’t have had coffee) from about 8pm and nearly wet my pants as I was unbuttoning at 10.36pm (following a run upstairs) because my bladder suddenly decided I was ‘close enough’ (yes that’s quote marks for my bladder because it speaks to me) …. ‘hey I can see the toilet from here’ it said – ‘you did well … just let it go and I’ll take care of the rest….’

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Mancais permalink
    March 21, 2009 8:41 pm

    Can’t have been very nice.
    I thought these RAC/AA/Greeen Flag things offered full onward journey/return home towing? Really bad if they’ve stopped it.
    Hurrah for RAC John though. Could be worthwhile sending email to RAC saying how good he was.

  2. March 21, 2009 9:30 pm

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

  3. March 21, 2009 9:31 pm

    (PS – praise the lords you haven’t had a botched up c-section. My bladder doesn’t make more than about 10 minutes after it first goes “yoohooo!”)

  4. HelenHaricot permalink
    March 21, 2009 9:58 pm

    @Merryhttp://www.shewee.com/
    sounds hideous. some insurances do cover, but at that price was prob cheaper to be towed

  5. March 21, 2009 10:06 pm

    @Helen re: shewee – I think I needed one just then when I laughed till I weed a bit 😆

    @ Merry – I think you need to get one 🙂

  6. Mancais permalink
    March 21, 2009 11:01 pm

    Those shewees don’t look like much use when wearing trousers. And you’d look a bit odd sidling up to a tree. Especially one that’s a phone mast in disguise.

  7. HelenHaricot permalink
    March 21, 2009 11:06 pm

    @nutty mummy, for that i recommend a physio!!
    @scm – actually i have 2 for daughters somewhere, but have been convinced by friends of their ease

  8. Mancais permalink
    March 22, 2009 11:00 am

    @HelenHaricot – I’ll take your word for it. I can be a bit cack-handed at times and would manage to use it the wrong way round or in slightly the wrong place and get wet hands.

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