Yesterday was a crazy day. I had a lot of things on my to-do list, yet by 11 o’clock in the morning, I realized the list had to wait. Someone special needed and deserved my attention.
As I worked on the first item on my list, I learned that someone wanted to buy one of my prized possessions. Blue Betty, which I never called her, was my 2004 sedan who served as my think tank for the last 12 years and 200,000 miles. She and I covered a lot of territory during my lengthy commute to work. Betty heard me laugh, cry, and talk about family, friends, and of course, co-workers who couldn’t get their act together and disrupted my sanity. She knew my secrets and never shared any of them. She gave me space to sit and think and because of her, I dream of one day working at a think tank where I will go, sit, and think and before leaving at the end of the day, tell my boss, “I thought about it.”
Because I’m not well versed in selling used cars, I had to make a few phone calls in order to learn the rules. My mistake was waiting to make those calls until after I had a buyer. After all, I was contacting the DMV and the DOT and I knew that neither would welcome me with open arms. I’ve never had a good experience at either of these state agencies. When I have no choice but to contact them, I have to prep myself because I know I will be treated like dirt, and like I am dumber than dirt.
I put on my game face and made the first call. I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous just pushing the buttons, but after a few attempts I made it through to the first recorded menu. I listened to all the options and none of them fit with, ‘I need to know how to sell a used car.’ I chose the closest option and waited, and waited, and waited until a vibrant young woman named Carmen answered the phone. I immediately spewed out the reason for my call, just like I had practiced before dialing. I heard Carmen say, “I don’t deal with that. I’ll transfer you.” So I went back into a holding pattern for another 20 minutes. I believe my presence in the queue woke the next ‘helper’ up from her mid-morning catnap because she was much less enthusiastic than Carmen and answered my questions with a rough morning voice. Oh, and she made me feel like dirt. Actually, dumber than dirt. She answered all of my questions with one word answers. I could almost hear her saying, “listen, you stupid lady” before giving me the one word. I gave her a few one words too.
My last call was to the DMV in my local neighborhood. The ‘not-help-her’ there was abrupt. She must have forgotten that I contribute to her piggy bank each month. I barely got to the period at the end of my first sentence when she barked back, “This-is-the-DMV-we-don’t-do-anything-with-cars-you-have-to-call-the-DOT-and-the-local-office-doesn’t-answer-questions-over-the-phone-so-you-have-to-call-the-state-level-DOT.” I could tell by the way she rattled off that run-on sentence that she had used it many times to make other people feel dumb. Actually, I’m gonna use ‘the they don’t answer questions over the phone’ part in my think tank because phone calls would disrupt my thinking.
Blue Betty, which I never called her, heard me say a few choice words as I sat on her soft leather seats for the last time yesterday. But she didn’t care. She let me think, shed a tear or two, and wave goodbye as I headed home to finish the other items on my list and think.