May
21
2010
Friday at Sybase: Sh!t Happens
By Stephanie Wei under General

Update: Sorry for the confusion. My car didn’t actually blow-up. I just found this picture on the Internet and thought it was funny. At the time, I didn’t realize it’d be taken out of context.

Pardon the psuedo-profanity, but honestly, it’s a euphemism for the words I actually wanted to write. Because I know you’re all wondering the reason behind the lack of posts on the Sybase Match Play Champion today, not to mention disappointed (I hope your day wasn’t entirely ruined like mine), I’m going to rant share. So, you could say I encountered some car troubles. Like a lot of them. I use the ZipCar service and usually I have nothing but nice things to say about it. After nearly two years of hardly any complaints, naturally, something bad/annoying/inconvenient had to come up.

You know when you’re having one of those days where nothing goes your way? Like when something bad happens, you think, “Of course. What’s next?” Or you feel like you might as well get struck by lightning? Right.

Well, shit happens. I’ve calmed down a bit because really, I’m beyond angry and most of it was out of my control. And I always remind myself that it could have been worse.

The start of my car troubles began in the media center parking lot. My ZipCard (the card that unlocks the car) wasn’t working. I called the customer service number and 20 minutes later, they figured out how to unlock it electronically.

If you saw a car in the left lane approximately 150 yards from the toll booth near Newark Airport on the Jersey Turnpike around 9:30 last night, there’s good chance I was behind the wheel. I was heading home from the tournament, cruising along smoothly — I’ll guesstimate I was doing 70 — when suddenly, the car started making weird noises, all sorts of caution lights were flashing on the dashboard and the speed was dropping quickly like it was going to break down. And that’s what it did. Luckily, I realized that pretty quickly, and thankfully, I was near the brightly-lit toll center, so I kept the car going for as long as possible and as close as I could to the left shoulder (technically there wasn’t one), but I was technically stopped in the middle of traffic.

I’ve never been so thankful to see flashing police car lights appear behind me. (Actually, I’ve never been pulled over before, but there are rare occasions where you are actually happy to see a state trooper.) The stern but helpful trooper said he would call someone to help. Before he drove away, he set flares around the car and ordered me to stay in the car. He repeated himself, too. Three times. Yeah, I get it. I wasn’t planning on standing in the middle of the road, anyway. I mean, I had figured if a car were to hit me, it’d be much safer for it to happen in the car. The trooper’s concern for my safety was almost touching, but he probably didn’t want to deal with the pesky consequences had I been hit. All that paperwork, you know.

A service truck eventually showed up. By that time, I figured the gas tank was empty, which was perplexing because I’m pretty sure it was close to full when I picked up the car this morning. Suuuure, you say. No, seriously. Surprisingly, I’m conscientious about always checking and perhaps more surprising, I’m not a stereotypical bad Asian lady behind the wheel. Suuuure, you say. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it (which might not be worth much).

So the service dude filled the car with 10 gallons of gas. When I checked the gas meter, it was still nearly on empty. Call me irrational, but I’m pretty sure 10 gallons translates to at least half-full for a Toyota Matrix. By the time I got home — which was only a 10-15 minute drive, the you-need-more-gas light was ominously glaring at me.

I called the ZipCar customer service line. For the third time. Finally I asked to speak with a supervisor and he kindly gave me a free upgrade to a BMW — the only car still available in the NYC area. The catch was I had to return the faulty, crappy car to its original garage, which was already kinda far, and then find a way to something like 156th street and Malcolm X Avenue in East Harlem to pick up the Beemer. To avoid making a long story even longer, I encountered more technical difficulties on Friday and lots and lots of traffic. Blah, blah, blah.

I should blame ZipCar, but really, I blame Jerry Foltz. He pseudo-jokingly said that morning something like, “If you manage to get your ZipCar going and come to the tourney…” Naturally, I jinxed myself when my response was that it had been taken care of.

Well, shit happens. At least I didn’t get into an accident or get run over. Yet. There is still plenty of time for that. (I apologize for the morbid humor.)

I’m upset I missed the exciting action today, including the Pressel-Gustafson match that I was supposed to follow, and I was supposed to interview a few players. I’m disappointed I missed the Recari-Munoz one, too. If you haven’t already heard, Beatriz Recari, my new favorite player, won 2&1. Hooray.

Eventually, I made it to the tournament. At 6pm when all the matches were long over. Good news is there are two days left, I got a good deal on a hotel in the area so I don’t have to commute, I’m probably riding in the friendly Golf Channel cart to watch most of the matches. And most important, it’s finally time to drink. My God, I’ve needed one since noon. Or actually last night.

/end rant

//driving to watch some minor league baseball game