Thursday, January 23, 2014

When The Road Gets Bumpy (or Tires Go Flat)

I'm writing this from the patio waiting area outside of Sterling McCall Ford - the BEST dealership in Houston, not a hyperbole - and I'll explain later.

So, things have been a bit rough lately.  The job I'm at now recently mandated I take a course (required for all supervisors/management) from 3-5p each Thursday from now until the end of next month. My usual schedule is 7a-4p, because my 1.25 hour drive home turns into a 2.25 hour drive if I leave after 4:30p. Hypercommuting is not for the faint of heart.

With these classes, I won't be getting on the road until 5p or later, so I have 8+ days of 2-hour drives home within the next 2 months. Not cool.

On the drive home yesterday, my rear driver-side tire blew out. I've never had that happen before, so that was fun. My roadside assistance people through Ford were friendly, and they got me back on the road within the hour. Alas, I still had a damaged tire and a spare that only allowed me to drive 55 mph the rest of the way home. I felt like such a jackass.

When I got home, Vince was happy to see I was safe, and he inspected the tire himself. A couple steps into the house, I smelled it. Bravo had stepped in dog shit and tracked in into the house on my tile floors while Vince was in the garage. If I could've snuck him out the back door, cleaned him up, and mopped up the floors, I would have. Knowing there was no hiding it from Vince, I asked for his help. We got Bravo cleaned up, Vince swept, and I bleached the kitchen floors.

We raced off to Whataburger for supper, because there was no chance I was cooking last night. Not after the trip home.

This morning, I had to make the trip into the dealership instead of going in to work. Though missing out on that place seems like a good deal, I wasn't looking forward to paying for a new tire. We were pretty sure we'd forgone the Road Hazard plan when we financed the Explorer.

Little did I know, two wrecks on Hwy 59 had caused a 2 HOUR delay, and traffic was at a standstill once I made it to the beltway. Here I am on my dinky spare tire, and now I'm sitting in a parking lot conga line. It took me 2 hours to get to the dealership - usually a 45-minute drive from home.

Sterling McCall Ford is located just outside the loop in Houston, TX. Taking US Hwy 59 N into Houston, you take the Hillcroft exit, go through the light, and the dealership is on the right side - you'll see the giant American flag.

I asked for the Service Manager, Mike Davis. He knows all about customer service, and I wish more service-industry people were like him. He and Paul Diamanti in sales make this the BEST dealership in Houston.

Though the tire would've cost around $250 for us, he went out of his way to match Discount Tire's price AND give us a discount on top of that. Talk about relief.

So now I'm enjoying the cool weather and free wi-fi outside in their waiting area. After the past 24 hours, I needed this break. Part of me wishes they'd take an extra hour to get the new tire on so I could catch up on reading, blogging, and resting. :)

Hoping for more positive things to balance out all the negative crap. If you're reading, I hope you have and excellent day!