Apr 3, 2012

an obscure life post that i somehow relate back to writing.

I am bad at talking on the phone.

I don't know why. I just am. I get the sweats whenever I have to call people and ask for things. This doesn't really apply for friends or people I know. It's more for appointments. Like doctors or hair salons. Or, in this very applicable case, fixing one's car.

I was minding my own business, having a perfectly lovely Friday evening eating delicious/gourmet tacos when my car decided that it no longer wanted to run. I got into the driver's seat, turned the key and.... nothing. After going through all the necessary checkings (Is it the battery? Is the car set in Park?) I came to the deduction that the car was, well, dead. And that I had to get it towed.

Just the thought of calling a towing company was enough to set my teeth on edge. (Is there an actual term for phone paranoia?) But I did. And it was the worst of ordeals. This is how it went.

Saturday: Called a towing company. Waited 2 hours for them in a parking lot. Chickened out/had to go on a day trip out of town.

Sunday: Oh Sunday. Called a different towing company (as I took the fact that 1st towing company's no-show as a loud and clear, "We don't want your money."). The man on the other line told me he didn't want to drive as far out as I was from him. Called another different towing company. Man tells me it will be an hour. I bike to Taco restaurant to wait for them by my car.

An hour and a half goes by. I call back. Man confesses that he lost my number. Tells me tow truck will arrive in 5 minutes. Another half an hour goes by and I'm about to break out into hives because this entire ordeal is driving me close to insanity (Apparently my personality type doesn't "deal well with day-to-day" things. Which in my opinion involves employing tow-trucks.). Man calls back and tell me truck will arrive in seven to eight minutes.

Truck arrives. I ride along with my car to the car shop. The driver, who introduced himself as "Squirrely," then proceeds to inform me that their credit card machines are broken and he will only take cash. Car shop happens to be in the middle of nowhere. And I, flustered, explain that he must take me to an ATM.

Squirrely proceeds to drive me two miles further into the middle of nowhere. Here there be strip clubs (where Squirrely tells me there was a great knife fight the night before) and a gas station of a doubtful nature. I go inside and withdraw money from the ATM. I take the cash to Squirrely, who then proceeds to tell me that he has no change for the wad of 20s I have to hand him. I then return to the inside of the gas station, where the attendant searches for the watermark on my twenty-dollar bill before he gives me change.

Squirrely takes the money and then leaves me and my bike in the middle of stripclub/knifefight wasteland. I bike 4 miles back to my apartment.

I do not ever want to tow a car again.

The moral I will take from this ridiculous venture (besides the fact that all my paranoias about talking on the phone/setting up appointments are true!!!) is that in life and writing there will always be setbacks. Things will be late. Things will break down. People will only take cash and then not give you change.

The key part is you always, always have to keep going.


  1. Real life can be scary. That's why I have AAA, though. Then I don't have to call a tow truck company. Next time you need to call, tell them you are in the middle of an intersection and blocking traffic. They will come quickly.

    1. Good idea! You're right! Real life can be scary. I'm much more content making up murders and desperate villains.

  2. I'm afraid of talking on the phone too, I'll avoid it at any and all possible costs if I can -- I have mobile phone contracts to sort out, internet lines to set-up, and they're all getting pushed to the back of the to-do list because talking to strangers. Urgh.

    I thought working in a call centre-ish environment and using my phone for most of my work would change that. But nope. I'm still weird about phoning people outside of work.

    I wonder if there's a name for the fear of speaking on phones?

    1. Working at a call center would be terrible. Ack! I'm sure there is a name for it... I'll just call it Phonophobia (has a nice ring to it). (No pun intended!)