Yesterday morning we were treated to some lovely fog along the Portneuf river. The Bannock mountains behind were lit up in the sun, the beautiful colors of the snow highlighted by the dark junipers. The view across the valley from SillyBilly’s school is particularly nice, as is the panorama as we crest the hill between our house and Anthropapa’s work.
I’ve often thought of stopping to take photos of these views, maybe even taking many shots over the course of a year to compare and possibly even inspire some artistic work.
So yesterday morning I remembered to pop the camera in my pocket amid the rush out the door. We didn’t have time to stop on the way to work, but after I dropped SillyBilly off at school, I noticed the view there was looking particularly good, and that the fog would be likely to move and obscure things later. So, I took my chance.
Or tried to.
I pulled the car out of the parking lot and down the road about 50 feet where I could pull off and not have power lines in the photo. I put the car in park, but thought (as I never usually do) that I would leave the car running since I’d only be a few moments.
And I got out of the car, and shut the door firmly with camera in hand. Shut the door firmly, thereby locking my purse inside with the engine running.
After cursing my inattentiveness and overall foolishness, I walked quickly back to the school office, and tried to call AAA to see if they could send out a tow truck. No dice–they couldn’t find a record of our membership. Maybe it had expired since we moved from New York. The kind lady offered to transfer our membership to the Idaho region, if only I had a debit card handy….
Next I called our auto insurance, USAA. Now, though USAA membership is only available to those in the armed forces, military retirees, and their families (thank you, Grandpa Al!), I always make a point of praising their customer service, which is excellent, so that anyone I know who is eligible might check it out. Their security measures are exemplary, and their call centers are too.
Here are some examples of that excellent customer service:
- Their operators are always very well-informed and their databases must be quite efficient. It took the person mere moments to find our account, even though I could only give her my social security number, name, and address as every other applicable bit of information was locked in the car. It took only moments to confirm that I indeed had roadside assistance coverage.
- The operator took the time to explain my situation to their roadside assistance department while I was on hold, so that I didn’t have to repeat myself.
- The roadside assistance department was equally efficient, completing the transaction in just a few minutes.
- Both ladies asked me if I was in a safe place before discussing anything else, given that I was locked out of my car.
- I received an automated follow-up phone call within 5 minutes giving me the name of the local towing company, their phone number, and the estimated arrival time. I also received a call about 5 minutes after I arrived home stating that the tow truck should have arrived by then.
In any case, the tow truck did arrive, the nice man used his little pump and pillow thingy to pry open the door and the little wire loop thingy to pull open the door lock (the whole operation took about 3 minutes) and I was on my way.
Later when I came back to pick up SillyBilly, I told him the whole sad story and then we pulled over in the same place to take some photos, as the fog had not yet obscured the view. This time I turned the engine off and put the keys in my pocket.
The camera batteries were dead.
Want to see what those mountains look like, before I get the batteries charged and my brain back in place? Look here!