Saturday, May 17, 2008

Freaky Friday

9:30 p.m. on a rainy Friday night and just minutes before we had left our friend's house after a fun afternoon of snacks, laughs and kids screeching through their house. The morning started off on a bad note as my husband spent 4 hours in the local ER because it sounded like a flute was stuck in his chest. After 3 Albuterol treatments, some prescriptions for extra-strength allergy medicine and steroids, he was on his way and so were we.

Now, at 9:30 p.m. on that same day, we are sitting on the side of Rt 495 somewhere north of our friend's house, but south of the Mass Pike. That's about all we know. And we've got a flat tire. And it's raining - no pouring out. Oh, and our 3 and 5 year old are sound asleep in the back. Not a fun time.

My husband and I decide it's not a good idea for him to be crouched down in the breakdown lane of a busy highway changing a flat tire on the front left side of the car. And, even though we have Honda's "road side assistance" because it's a new car, my husband would rather use my service. So, I whip out the cell phone, find my AAA card in my wallet, dial the number and explain to the woman on the other end that we aren't sure where we are, but we think it's about Exit 21A and that we have a flat and two little ones asleep in the car. She's now on the other end asking me if I want a state trooper to come sit with us while we wait for the tow truck. I say,

"Yes, that would be nice"

and I'm trying desperately to suppress the news stories flashing through my mind of those poor, helpless people in the breakdown lane that don't get home to take their next Albuterol she says she'll try to send one out to us. And we hang up. And then hubby and I sit and stare at the headlights whipping past us on the highway and try to talk about things that don't mean much but keep us from noticing how our little SUV shakes every time a tractor trailer whips by.

And suddenly we see flashing lights - it's 9:41 p.m. - but they aren't blue lights, they are from our tow truck. 11 minutes. It only took AAA 11 minutes to get someone to us. He beat the trooper. I was in love - I'm still in love - with them and the idea that this only costs me $90 a year. It's hard to find piece of mind and security for $90 a year.

The tow truck is HUGE and blocks us from all the motorists and he assures us that things will be fine and he knows we have two kids in the car. He says that we will need to step out but we can keep the back open in case the kids wake up and they'll know we're back there. They can stay asleep. So, in the pouring rain, this nice man changes our flat, keeps us calm, sternly tells my husband to get the tire fixed and not to ride on the spare for too long and we are back in the SUV - the kids didn't even move their heads. My son will be so disappointed he missed a real tow truck in action. 9:52 p.m. and we're heading home.

I work in the "social media industry" and have learned that the power of the consumer is great. We are experiencing a time when positive or negative comments posted on the Internet can have a true effect on a company. So in this blog post, it is all about the positive. Positive about the lovely lady who took my information and actually made me laugh at one point on the phone. Positive about the tow truck driver and the way he just made us feel at ease. And positive about a company that has been around for years, and that I just recently subscribed to, and I wanted to let you all know about our great experience in case you ever wonder if it's worth the 90 bucks - because it is.

Looking back, it was just a flat tire on a rainy night, but at the time it was pretty unnerving on the side of that dark highway with our kids sound asleep. Good bye Freaky Friday.

1 comment:

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Great story. I have been saved by AAA more times but I was sold on day one. I had signed up for their service, was given a temporary ID and left the office to run an errand. While out, my car broke down. I had to walk to the service station (these being the days before rampant cell phones), call my office and ask for someone to find the scrap of paper with my temp. ID. I called Triple A not 1/2 hour after I had joined and had a tow truck out to my car shortly. I've been a member ever since.