Wednesday, October 31, 2007

the window

Momma woke me much too early this morning with some sort of story that, as my brain fought to become conscious, I heard as somewhere along the lines of, " . . . the car's broken in the middle and you need to wake up and take me to work and get it fixed."

My brain fought even harder to exit the fog of having just been deeply asleep. I heard the bit about something broken and needing to get up. I sat up, feeling the normal (for me) overly aggravated feeling of being awakened, fighting to make sense of it all.

I don't usually wake up well. It takes a good bit to drag me from sleep, and if someone is waking me up intentionally, especially with bad news, I wake very irritable and even a bit angry sometimes. I'm an asshole under the best of these bad circumstances, though I have warned the wife and kids to just ignore me, give me some time and space and I will calm down and become at least as rational as I ever am.

The real story was that our front driver's side window is now in hundreds of pieces down inside the door. The motor to that window has been slow since we bought the car, growing worse each year it seems and being especially difficult in the cold. Momma had rolled the window down to get some of the fog off, but the window proved especially sluggish on this rather cold morning. Her attempts to help the motor by pulling up on the window probably dislodged the window which had probably been helped along by a few years of having pulled at the window trying to help the motor. The window then fell far enough back into the door to shatter.

That's why I had to drag myself out of my warm bed, awakened to the need to wake the boys, put on extra layers and drive the few miles downtown with one window stuck open in the cold. Did I mention that it was pretty cold this morning?

It ended up being not so bad once we were driving and had the heat cranked and I'd gotten a handle on my oh so mature early rise aggravation. We dropped Momma off and went to get gut busting fast food breakfast. That may have been the bonus, that we got to spend too much money for unhealthy food, but on this of all mornings I felt that at least the boys deserved a little something special.

I wolfed down the gut buster while perusing the yellow pages for possible window repair services, found pen and paper for the estimates, and began calling, each call beginning almost exactly like this:


Them, "Hello, Prospective Auto Glass Repair Company, friendly representative speaking."

Me, "Hi, I'm calling around looking for prices to get a window replaced in my car."

See, right there I'm letting them know I'm not calling to get a job done just yet. I know better than to jump at the first person I call, and I don't want them thinking I'm setting up an appointment. I also know that, given the nature of the work, I do need to be quick and get this set up as early as possible in order to get the window replaced today. The later I wait the less likely they are to be able to work me in. However, I'm going to call enough places to know what to expect to pay and to find the cheapest of those prices. It's pretty much a no brainer, sort of a goes-without-saying sort of thing.

I got quote number one and went to number two. They were much cheaper, and I told the woman so. She informed me that they were short an employee for the day and that she would make some calls to see when they could get me in. I informed her again that I would be making more calls, seeking the lowest price I could.

She called me back a short time later to inform me when they could get me in, and she was ready to set up the appointment. I told her not to make the appointment as I wasn't done calling other places, and that's when she did it. She made a fake little-girl-acting-sad noise, a plaintive little "aaww" that I didn't tell her could have easily lost her company the deal right there.

I did set up an appointment with the third place I ended up calling. They had the cheapest price and can at some point do the job today. They are even coming to the house to do it. I'm no more stuck in the house than I would have been had we not had to get up early and take Momma to work, though having the car and being stuck is a whole new stuck, but that doesn't really matter in the end. Either way, I'm willing to wait in the warmth and not drive around town with a window semi-permanently open. Did I mention it was cold this morning?

And that's how my day began. We are soon to be out $200 for the pleasure of having a new window. I really need to see about getting that motor fixed now, but the slow leaks in two tires and the overdue oil change and the soft brake pedal will all certainly need to be addressed first, but damn if that's not just another pile of money growing ever higher looming, waiting to further deplete our meager funds. Damn cars!

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