Usually I reserve Fridays for chatting about CHARMING (and, YAY, it's on YABOOKSCENTRAL NOW!), but since I've had a rough couple of days, I thought I'd talk (read: whine) a little about standing up for yourself. You see, we've all be bullied at some point in our lives, pushed around, taken advantage of. Right?
If you haven't, you should just turn around now. Just kidding. You're still welcome here, you perfect human you.
My husband and I recently rented a skid steer, or Bobcat, to help us move twenty tons of stone around our yard. We're building a pad for a barn. Now, before you go thinking we're going to add more animals to our farm, I'll correct you: we're just trying to find a place to put all our stuff--4 wheelers, riding lawnmowers, chick brooders, hay, brush cutters, you know, all THAT stuff.
Plus, we are tired of walking around in the mud and brush and having ticks (UGH!) crawling up our legs. So we also wanted to put in a stone path around the barn and chicken coops. It's going to be so nice when finished.
But that's all beside the point. Anyway, the point is that the skid steer stopped steering straight. So, TJ thought maybe he'd run into something and decided to back up. When he tried to go forward again, only the left track was spinning. He stopped, got out, thought hmm, maybe I'm stuck, and attempted to get unstuck with some lumber. When he realized the right track wasn't spinning (when his beautiful wife told him), he stopped and called the company we rented it from to let them know.
"The track must have come off. Happens all the time. No big deal. We'll send someone out to put it back on and drive it out."
That was the response we received on a Monday. They didn't come out until Wednesday... in the middle of a FLOOD! They fixed the track and tried to move the thing in the middle of a historic downpour, people! The skid steer sunk two feet into the ground.
Whatever, he'd said it was no big deal and that they'd take care of it. We figured they were going to wait until it stopped raining to come back.
By Friday, the guy calls my husband in the afternoon (he can't take his phone into work, so he didn't get the message until 5:30) and says that since we damaged the machine, got it stuck, and left it in such a mess beyond their "professional capabilities" to get out, that it was our responsibility to remove it.
Twenty minutes later, he left another message saying if my husband didn't immediately call back that he was going to put the thing back on RENTAL.
Now wait a minute! The thing stopped working, we left it where it was, they said it was no big deal, happens all the time, and that they'd fix it, waited until a monsoon hit to try to move it and sunk it two feet into the mud, and now somehow WE'D done something wrong? You better believe I was furious!
So, my husband, 7 year old daughter, and I went out after work and put our heads together on how to get the skid steer out of the rut these people had left it in. Abby said, "Let's use the bucket to lift it up, put some wood under it, and pull it out with the 4-wheeler!"
Great thinking, Abby. And so we did. And twenty minutes later, two non-equipment professionals and a seven year old towed the skid steer out of the mud pit. TJ called the company, left a message to say they could pick it up, then tried to talk to the man who left threatening messages (who wasn't in, conveniently), and all was good and right in the world.
Until today... when I checked to make sure my husband's paycheck came through. It had, thank God, but so had a charge for a skid steer rental.
I rolled up my figurative sleeves, took a deep breath, and called and defended my position. I even threatened to file fraud claims. We went round and round for ten minutes or so, where I recited the whole story, even down to the fact that they delivered the machine to us eight hours late with several more hours (think miles) on it than stated on the paper and the guy was so late for getting to the NASCAR race, he didn't care to give us a chance to explain that to him.
The guy yelled at me, told me it was my husband's fault for knocking the track off, blah blah blah. I reminded him about the damage waiver we paid extra for. He told me that's not covered. I reminded him of his voicemail stating NO BIG DEAL, WE'LL TAKE CARE OF IT, and his idiotic employee's attempt to move the thing during the Biblical floods.
Finally, he asked, "Are you finished?"
I said, "NO. I will not stop yelling at you until you take off this charge. You're stealing money from me by charging my card without my permission, all because you have some really stupid professionals working for you that my 7 year old is smarter than."
Or something like that. ;-)
He sighed, removed the charges, and I moved on with my life. You know, by writing blog posts about it.
But the point of the matter is this: DON'T LET PEOPLE STEAL FROM YOU. DON'T LET PEOPLE SAY ONE THING (NO BIG DEAL, HAPPENS ALL THE TIME, WE'LL TAKE CARE OF IT) AND THEN TURN AROUND AND BLAME YOU FOR THEIR MISTAKES.
This world is sticky and complicated, and your paycheck and hard-earned dollars are IMPORTANT. Do not get robbed. Stand up for yourself!
Rant (read: whine) over.