Saturday, November 03, 2007

Not So Zippy

A few weeks ago, I got extensions put in my hair for work. The salon that did it didn't have a location within range of the T, so I relied on my trusty Zipcar membership to get me there.

That's where it all went wrong.

The nearest Zipcars to my office are in the basement garage of a hotel. I hate getting cars out of this location-- you have to go into the hotel lobby and validate a parking ticket to get out, and the automated arm is hard to activate. The garage itself is hard to navigate as well. It's tight, and the Zipcars are located in a far corner that requires a lot of finagling to get in and out.

That day, I'd reserved a car that was parked next to a pole and a wall. It had been backed in by the last person who used it, and the space was so small I had to climb in the passenger door to get in. I got out of the garage, and hoped one of the other cars would have left its space when I got back.

No such luck. I got back to the garage and was faced with the narrow spot. My appointment at the salon had taken longer than I anticipated, and I was focused on getting back to work. As I pulled into the spot, I heard a crunch.

I'd hit the back passenger door against the pole.

I looked in the rearview mirror, and saw I was wedged against the pole. I tried to back the car away, but it continued to damage the car. Figuring I was already on the hook for what I'd done, I pulled the car into the spot with another squeal.

The back door was covered with yellow paint, and a four-inch gash was under some yellow flecks. Being the chronically honest person I am, I called Zipcar to tell them I'd messed up the car.

"Well, we'll put a hold on your account until we decide if we'll charge you the $500 deductible," the operator told me.

After a week, I got an untitled email (geez, guys way to make it easy for my spam filter to delete it) saying I'd be charged the deductible.

"Fuuuuck," I said.

It's going on my credit card, which is the last thing I needed. I can barely afford my apartment, and I've been very good about not charging things and putting what I can toward paying them off. Now I've got another huge chunk to rack up interest.

Another issue is that I want to get these extensions out of my hair, which I can't do until Zipcar reactivates my account, which may not even happen if they decide I'm too much of a risk. So if anybody's going my way, let me know. And if you want to organize a fundraiser for me, I'd be grateful.

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