Friday, April 24, 2009

Extreme Frustration

Sorry about being gone so long. We've been extremely busy between work and school and the theater and stuff.

I'll talk about those next week – promise. Right now I just need to vent.

I knew I had a car problem, Bertha was dripping brake fluid for a couple of weeks – not a lot but noticeable. I planned to nurse it along until the end of the month. Keep a close eye on the fluid level, watch the drips in the carport.

That's not the frustrating part. A week ago Wednesday, on April 15, Tori got in and the brake pedal went down to the floor. Not because she has such powerful leg muscles (although she does) but because the slow leak had suddenly become a really bad one. You could sorta pump up the brakes, but it wasn't what you'd call a safe ride.

Last Friday I took the car down to the shop – THAT was an exciting ride, let me tell you. I got there, the guy said the calipers were shot. Not a surprise, I'd seen fluid leaking out from inside the brake unit. Had to be something like that. The problem - the part did not exist on the island. The part is never on the island. It had to be ordered. It would be in Monday.

It is now Friday and the part is still not here. It got shipped, it went through Miami, it got as far as San Juan and then disappeared off the face of the planet. Puerto Rico is the bottleneck where mail to and from the Virgin Islands goes to die, and this is gone. So they've re-ordered the part and with luck and help from the post office we'll have a car – next week. Which, not that I think about it, is just about the end of the month, which was my original plan but no real help.

Talking on the phone wth the guy at the mechanics, I could tell he felt awful, and I apparently was not the only customer who had this problem this week. So yelling wasn't going to do any good. But man, it's frustrating.

Meanwhile Tori and the family have had to get too and from school every day in a cab, which is not money we'd planned on spending. And I've been walking everywhere, taking the island's taxi vans (they're actually kind of cool, you can get anywhere on the island for $2.50, if you're not picky about when you get there.) Can't get to the major grocery store. This is getting old. Old old old.

There. Needed to get that off my chest. No, I don't feel one bit better, but at least I got the chance to vent.