Yesterday blew, quite literally! I was driving down the freeway and heard a noise. At first I thought a log that was in the bed of our truck had rolled and hit the tailgate. As I kept driving though I got a sinking feeling that it was the rear tire and this was confirmed when a mini van honked and flagged me down.
I pulled off to the side of the freeway and found that yes, my rear tire had blown out.
This is not the first time this has happened to me. You see, I have had THREE OTHER blow outs on the freeway! Not slow leaks, not on a residential street. Always the freeway. Thankfully no accidents caused my them.
The beauty of this incident is we now live in a world of cell phones! My last experience had me playing frogger across the freeway so I could run to an emergency roadside telephone. Thankfully I was able to pull over to the slow lane and stop in a wide open space so I could call Geico to send roadside assistance.
We've had Geico for about 4 years now and so far I love them. They cover a lot of extras without an additional cost, roadside assistance being one of them. They contract with various companies so you get someone different depending on what service it is you need. When I called they said it would be a half hour till someone was there. Immediately after hanging up my phone rang and it was the roadside assistance agent. The man told me that since I was in a truck the spare was located under the truck bed and I would need to find the tool that would allow us to drop the tire. My first thought was, "don't you carry one?" but I sucked it up and like the smart woman that I am...pulled out the manual hoping it would tell me where this tool was located so I wouldn't have to go on a witch hunt. I easily found the tool, put it together and put it in the truck bed so it would be accessible when my "help" arrived.
After waiting about 50 minutes the CHP at the truck scales where I was pulled off asked that I try to move my truck to behind their building. While I was in a space with room I was also still right on the freeway and there were cars hauling ass on one side of me, and trucks getting back on the freeway from the scales on the other. He was worried that someone wasn't coming and I assured him that I had called assistance who was just running late. When I moved the truck I decided to call the assistance again to let them know I was in a different spot. I found out that he was still at least 20 minutes. After two more phone calls for directions he finally arrived. At this point I was pretty pissed and knew this guy was an idiot. He got out of his car and told me to wait because he had to go to the bathroom. Oh go right ahead! I've only been waiting an hour and 15 minutes at this point anyway!
Once he was finished he came back and told me to go ahead and drop the spare tire. Now listen, I'm no princess that expects everyone to do everything for me but I'm here in work clothes waiting for ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE and instead I get put to work as his assistant. I bit my lip though and dropped the spare, then lifted it back up once he was finished. When he got the spare tire on I noticed that it was flat and asked that he put air in it. He told me I could get off the freeway at the next exit and put air in the tire at a station. At this point I pretty much wanted to beat him with the tire iron but instead got in the car and left. When I got to the station I had exactly $1 to use for the air machine. My tire had 10psi....it should have 40!!! My dollar got me to 30psi and I hit the road to the tire store. Not before I firmly grabbed the wheel with both hands and screamed at the top of my lungs.
While this is not Geico's fault, it sure did leave a bad taste in my mouth. I also learned that I need to start speaking up for myself a bit. I am much like my Mom in this way and just take things as they come with ease and rarely raise my voice. The worst part though is I internalize this and typically blow my top down the road over something ridiculous and it is NOT PRETTY. When I blow my top I am 100% my father. Friends who have seen this happen will tell you to stay far away if it does ever happen! Probably something I should work on so I don't end up in jail for beating a roadside assistance man down with a tire iron.