Wednesday, February 11, 2009

No Worse for the Wear (Maybe even Better)

I was sitting at my desk minding my own business when I got a call from our Security Department. Someone had hit my car in the parking lot. In fact, they said it was a "hit n' run". "Fuck me", I said as I put on my coat and borrowed an umbrella to go check out the damage. The last thing we need right now is a car repair bill since we are teetering on the financial brink right now.

I arrive at the scene of the crime and ask the Security Office, "Who hits a parked car?" I then realized that the driver was standing there (so much for hit n' run or maybe they came back....I never did find out). She was in tears. I felt like shit for compounding how stupid she probably felt.

I inspect the damage. Scratches, no dents. Some will probably rub out but my driver's side bumper is noticeably scratched. My car is 3 years old which is brand new to me. I drive cars until they fall apart and then I get a roll of duct tape and keep on driving. Mr. Peeveme's car has about 200K on it. Mt last car was well over 140K, then we let me step son drive it and now we have lent it to my brother who has fallen on hard times. So while I'm not a slave to car-imagine I do try to keep my car nice because I will be driving it forever.

After inspecting the damage I look at the woman who hit me. She also hit the car next to me and that bumper was dented and really scratched. She was shaking and she was pushing back tears. She's saying how sorry she is in accented English. And I realize she is having a really bad day...perhaps the worst day of her year. I know I would be upset if I damaged two cars. I realized she needed a break.

I announce that it's not that bad and I don't need to fix it and didn't need to pursue it. She thanked me repeatedly. She was so anxious and practically distraught. I ended up trying to comfort her: It can happen to anyone, I'd be upset too but in the long run it's not a big deal, You seem really upset, is there anything I can do for you?". I think I even gave her a little hug.

I called Mr. Peevme and he was not mad but not happy. What if the damage is worse than I think? He also thought that if the other car was going to put in a claim then it wouldn't really make it worse to get our car fixed. I just asked him how many times we keep saying that we never get a break? Why can't thing just be easier for us? Well I just made someone's life easier and it didn't cost me a thing...not really.

I guess I am especially sensitive since our financial status is extremely bad and man, would I love someone to give me a break. And suddenly I was in that power position. I could give her a break...or I could make her fix minor cosmetic damage on my car. I was the person who could make this awful day for her a little less bad.

I hope when I see those scratches I will be reminded to look for opportunities to be THAT person. The one who makes life easier.

10 comments:

areyoukiddingme said...

I've heard that the Bible says that what you give you receive back tenfold - that's a good an excuse to be generous. You did a very nice thing, and I'm sure the woman felt much better after talking to you.

Renovation Girl said...

Having been on both sides of this (yes, I did hit a parked car, but I swear it jumped out in front of me!!), I can attest that what you did was very kind. It's hard to see new cars (yeah, 3 years is a newborn in our lives, too, the newest car we own is 10 years old right now...) damaged, but she needed this.

Sky said...

Can I just say, I love you for that. If EVERYONE decided to TRY to be more patient, more kind, more understanding and give someone else a friggen break once in a while when it truly wasn't a big deal, the ENTIRE PLANET would be such a better place in which to live.

I am no bleeding heart but I have gone above, beyond and out of my way to help people and to never play the drama or litigious game. And like you, I drove my old Corolla until it had 213K miles on it (duct tape to open the door from the inside and a case of oil in the trunk so I could pour one in every few weeks) and it would have given me such pleasure to make a difference for someone who did nothing malicious when the damage was negligible.

I do believe in good ju-ju and yours is coming sister!

Sky

Marie said...

That was a really nice thing to do and yes, I believe you will be repaid.

Oooh happy 15 weeks!

Chelle said...

I believe the "what goes around, comes around" saying. It was incredibly nice of you to do that and I hope the favor comes around to you!

April said...

You did an AWESOME thing for that poor woman. And that is what good karma is all about. I think your "break" will be coming back double to you now!

musicmakermomma said...

Good for you to see beyond your own bubble! Life is so much better when we can help other people, I know this will come back to you.

Brenda said...

This story made my day. It is wonderful to hear about someone being kind and helpful to another person even if it may inconvenience themselves!

jodie38 said...

And that's why I look forward to reading anything you post. What a lovely thing you did for her - and for yourself. Just warms my little black heart. Keep that karma wheel spinning....

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