Once upon a time, not so long ago, in a little town not so far away, there lived a guy who though he was old enough to know better, he used drugs and drove a car anyway. Through this course of action, the cops caught him driving said vehicle while under the influence of said drugs, and after the traditional court case experience, this guy was left without a license.
Now, my part of the story begins.
Friend of the folks' was in here huntin' this taillight for a truck we don't have around here, The Boss ordered one in from an aftermarket supplier. When it got here, it ended up being the wrong side. I'm still not entirely sure who told who the wrong side, but anyway, there was some catch involving delivery fees for getting the aftermarket supplier to exchange it for the other side, so that light is still in the box, layin' on the counter.
A week ago yesterday, I was given the task of finding a used one -- which I attempted, even though now I wonder if I might've been better off to just put the box in my car and drive into Tulsa to exchange it for the other side. Now that it's been a week and a day, I might've even been better off to hook the box under my arm and take off walkin' to Tulsa to exchange it, but anyway...
So, a week ago yesterday, I typed a request into that computer system that connects, at current count, 783 salvage yards all across the country. Eh, the 783 yards that are willing to pay what amounts to the equivalent of a payment on a reasonably decent truck every month to be connected to the system. It's like those phones that used to have the speaker on 'em and just talk all the time way back in the day -- now we've gone digital and we type it in to show up on a screen. From voice phone to satellite to internet, the connections between salvage yards have come a long way over the years, but we still get the same ol' BS, I guess.
Looking through the list of replies from yards where someone had seen my request and sent a reply, the closest one with the best price was in Tahlequah, the little Oklahoma town made famous in "Where The Red Fern Grows," as in "What're we goin' to Tahlequah for?" It's not close like jump in the car and dash right over there, but it's close enough our football teams play each other once a year; it's been a long time since I took that bus ride, but I'm guessing it's probably about an hour and a half or so.
Part of the accountability of that "like a decent truck payment" fee that we mail off every month is being able to just send a purchase order and get it goin' without all the hassles of making an account and filling out a credit application or using a credit card; yards who pay in have credit with other yards automatically, supposedly to make for an easy flow of commerce.
Apparently, nothing is ever at all easy.
I sent the order and we waited a couple days; figuring that two days was enough time for "the big brown truck" to bring a box from Tahlequah, I sent another message asking for a tracking number. I had to re-send it about half a dozen times, and finally, I was told that the yard in Tahlequah "didn't see the message," and had never shipped the taillight.
In the midst of the bitchyfit that I caught for "dropping the ball" (apparently I was supposed to drive to Tahlequah and point at somebody's computer screen), I was told that "____ is really worried about his kid driving around with the broken taillight because if he gets stopped, he'll get hauled to jail for not having a license." Call me crazy, but it seems to me that if someone doesn't have a license, a broken taillight should be the least of their worries, 'cause their car really should stay in the driveway and they should ride with somebody who has a license.
So, I caught a bitchyfit because someone at some other yard wasn't paying attention to their computer AND some un-licenesed drug user is driving around with no license. Both are totally my fault. Nice, huh?
After sending back "nevermind, cancel my PO" to the yard in Tahlequah, and resisting the urge to scream at anyone, I looked through the replies again and the only yard that matched the price was in Tennessee. Since I felt like I'd been bitched at enough, I wasn't really in any mood to ask about spending more money. I sent an order to the yard in Tennessee; thankfully, they sent back a reply thanking me for the order so I could at least know they were paying attention.
After the holiday weekend, it kinda seemed like the one that was ordered from Tennessee should be here first thing Tuesday. It was not. Today, Wednesday, I sent four messages asking for a tracking number and got no response at all. On the phone, I still couldn't get 'em to give me a tracking number, and I was told that they "shipped it to the wrong place" and had it returned; they'd shipped it out to us on Tuesday. Terrific.
I resisted the temptation to scream into the phone because being mean to someone on the phone won't make the taillight get here any faster. For the record, taking it out on me isn't going to make it get here any faster either, but that's a whole 'nother rant.
There's been no shortage of bitchyfit on the incoming side... Seriously, I don't work in Tahlequah, I only had dinner there a time or two, it's not my fault they didn't see the message on their screen. I've never even been to Tennessee, so that whole shipping the part to the wrong place mess wasn't my fault either.
We're waiting-and-seeing if it shows up tomorrow.
Once upon a time...
I know, I know, I've made some mistakes of my own, but I know which ones are mine to deal with, and the ones in Tahlequah and Tennessee are not mine.
Once upon a time...
Now, just let me clarify this: If you drink or use drugs and drive a car, then get caught and lose your license, it's your own fault. Don't even try to tell me cops are dicks and that's why you got caught. You got caught because you were drunk or high, end of story. If through some odd occurrence, lawnmower flinging rocks, errant golf ball, crazy ex-girlfriend, whatever, you get the taillight broken out of your truck, that sucks. If you're driving it around with that broken taillight and the cops stop you and ask for your license, it's still not anybody's fault but your own because hey, you weren't supposed to be driving anyway.
Yeah, yeah, the folks at the salvage yard are trying to order one in and it takes a little while, that sucks, but hey, if you don't have a license right now, you've got some time to find a taillight 'cause you won't be driving anywhere for a while anyway, right? If you get hauled in for driving without a license, it's not my fault, it's yours. If you get hauled to jail, it's not 'cause your dad ordered the wrong side, it's not 'cause Tahlequah ain't watchin' their computer, it's not 'cause Tennessee sent the box to the wrong address, it's not 'cause of me or anybody else in the salvage business. If you get hauled to jail for driving around without a license, it's not because it took me a while to get your taillight shipped in, it's because you're the one who decided to hop in the car and drive around with no license.
I have a few hard questions I'm dying to ask... So, if you're driving around with no license, do you have insurance? While driving around with no license, if you do have insurance, will it cover you without a license? If you hit someone, will your insurance company take care of them, or will the claim be denied because there was an unlicensed driver involved? Since you lost your license due to a drug/alcohol related offense and you're driving around unlicensed, are you still driving around under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol too?
I really hope the big brown truck shows up with that taillight tomorrow, 'cause I am sick and tired of catchin' hell over it.
I really hope I can resist the temptation to call the cops on this guy just as soon as he gets that damn taillight installed...