Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Clutching at nothing

I know - two posts in a day - but the car whinge I was working on has been escalated.

Man, have I had a shocker of a week.

My car (which has been around since 'Salina was a baby) needed a little TLC, so I took her to the mechanic last Monday.

"Could be oil," said the mechanic. Only it wasn't. We would need a full clutch repair.

Our budget doesn't need drama. While V and I both breadwin, my winnings are currently crumbs and are absorbed all too readily and have to be accounted for very strictly as it is a NEIS initiative, and his crusts are currently quite soggy due to the fact that he doesn't get paid when bricks don't get laid - and they don't get laid when its raining.

As a result, I asked for a quote. "$685" was the reply.

Yikes - but hooray, I actually have (by coincidence of not buying the laptop I need last week) that amount of money.

On Wednesday, I rang to see how my car was progressing.

"Not well" they said "as we have been flat out fixing cars that got wet in the floods." Obviously my $685 was not the priority to them that my car is to me.

On Friday, I rang to see how my car was progressing. We were travelling to CQ for the weekend, and if we could swing it I was staying on to do some work in that neck of the woods for an extra day.

"Not well" they said "as when we took out the gearbox before lunch, we discovered the main seal has been leaking and we had to " he then mentioned some other car bits and dramas.

"How much?" I asked, and he laughed and said it wouldn't be cheap, and it wouldn't be ready any time soon.

I did have options to get the extra work on the weekend - but one option involved having someone "drop me home" on Monday (only 400km out of their way), and the other option involved me getting home - tomorrow - and V having 3 days and nights of sole parenting, which, while both he and 'Salina are admirable buddies now, was not something I wanted to foist upon either of them. Therefore, no extra work on Monday.

Today, I rang to see how my car was progressing.

"Well, there is good news and bad news. Which do you want?" he asked. Honestly, I only wanted good news, but I knew that wasn't going to REALLY be an option.

"We fixed it - all finished - yesterday. Took it for a test drive. Then the clutch fork broke." he said.

"Is that the good news or the bad news?" I asked.

"That is the good part. The bad part is I had to order the part in, but there wasn't one in Brisbane so they are sending one from Sydney. It should get here tomorrow."

"How much?" I asked.

"Well, the part is about $200, but with labour and that its hard to tell." he said.

Tonight, I have a networking function to try and build my business. At least I can borrow V's work vehicle and rock up.

Tomorrow I have an agency meeting about developing my business further. Public transport in this neck of the woods is laughable, and although I valiantly cycle to the school and shops, there is no way I would do it 15km to the "big smoke".

And I think that, tweaking the budget figures, I should be able to pay for my car some time around Easter - if we live very quietly, have sunny days and lots of work from home for me...

Okay - enough of a pity party. At least it IS sunny, at least I have someone to look after 'Salina while I try and get things happening, at least I have his car when he doesn't need it, at least I have a family who will bail us if we get into really dire straits and at least I have friends who I can occasionally go "waaaaah" to.


Julie Pippert said...

Oh Jeanie!

"Our budget doesn't need drama." Oh AMEN and understanding about that. I'm sorry you get drama anyway.

I hope it gets settled soon.

Maude Lynn said...

Is there anything worse than being deprived of your car? Hope they can fix it!

mommamia said...

I'm so sorry. I hope you get your car back soon and no other problems are discovered.

BB said...

Darn... and other choice exclamations our mother might use! That is NOT good news. Drama is not what you are looking for in your wheels (and I know). Hang in there!

handinhandaus said...

Cars, the bane of our lives!! Zac keeps harping on about how great it will be when he has his own, I just smile to myself. Here's hoping for good and great news soon!

Jen at Semantically driven said...

Car dramas - what a pain, both financially and otherwise. Hope it gets sorted and then you get the work that you need to pay it off.

Melody said...

Oh man! *said in Swiper the Fox voice*

What a shit time you're having. Cars are expensive things aren't they?

jeanie said...

Thanks for the empathy guys - the car is back - and there is a big hole where my bank balance used to be. Actually, a bigger hole than my bank balance - but the car is back.

The Brave said...

Damn cars. Glad you got it back now. I know nothing about cars and have no interest to either, so when things don't go well with cars I am both clueless and panicked at once.