Saturday, May 5, 2012

Being a "real" commuter

My car has been having intermittent troubles for about 3, almost 4 weeks now. I've had it back and forth to CT to my dad, who is my usual "car guy," and to three different shops up near him. The first was our usual townie shop; they couldn't access the transmission with their computer to look for trouble codes. The second was the Dodge dealership; they were scheming thieves who ended up charging me $300 for a transmission fluid change that was not necessary, on top of $100 for needing to rent a car during that time. The third was Aamco of Danbury; they were phenomenal and honest. Rather, phenomenal because they were honest. They went above and beyond checking the car at multiple time points on multiple days to try to replicate the problem before recommending any work. After 3 days of attempts with the car behaving perfectly (I was starting to fear the car was haunting me), they told me to take it home and bring it back when the problem was more consistent without charging me a penny. Rationale: they didn't want to take the car apart without a plan. Too bad Dodge wasn't interested in that kind of logical service....

So I took the car home. Much to my dismay, the problem wasn't fixed and there were no known solutions. It continued to act out at first start up each morning, but then would be fine. However, Thursday the car was misbehaving ALL day. It was the worst behavior I've ever experience and included coasting backwards down a hill even though it was in "drive" facing up the hill. I took it to my local Aamco (hoping they would be as great as the guys in Danbury). Fortunately, they were able to replicate the problem to get a sense of what was happening. Unfortunately they had to keep it overnight to run tests on Friday to rule out an internal transmission issue. I would have to commute by public transportation. Initially planned for my boys sake, we live along one of the metro north train lines and I would only have to get to the second town away. I mapquested and measured the distance from the train stop to my office: 1.2 miles. Do-able.

Friday morning I got my stuff together, packed on bag with my stethoscope, lab coat, wallet, ballet flats (I planned to wear sneaks for my walk), and my water bottle. Weather report stated the current temperature was 61 degrees. I wore my khaki pants, a sleeveless blouse and a sweater. Given the recent cold rainy weather, it never crossed my mind to check the humidity. I got out side and felt instantly dewy. Likewise, I did not realize the ticket booths were only on the one side of the track... the opposite side of the track. I rushed down, across, and up the stairs, raced through the prompts on the screen, and raced back across as my train was pulling in to the station. Photo finish. I arrived to my destination in 2 stops, 15 minutes. The walk turned out to be very pleasant through a typical Westchester neighborhood. It took me a half an hour to get to my destination at a leisurely pace (I could have taken the later train, but miscalculated my timing). By the time I got to the office my skin felt like water, my bangs were curly, and the rest of my hair a frizzy mess. It was humid. I promptly twisted it all into a bun and clipped back my bangs before getting down to business.
At the end of the day I was frazzled. I had only noted 3 return train times and the clock was ticking by. I was concerned I would miss the last one, which would get me home to late for a previous commitment I had to attend to. As I rushed down the sidewalks, no longer wearing my sweater, I began to notice the graceful hills as my calves started complaining about my speed walking. I hadn't noticed any inclines on my pokey walk into this office this morning. I knew it took me a half hour at a slow pace to walk the first direction. I knew I had a bit less than a half hour to get back to the train. I knew I was putting much more effort into walking than I had earlier. But still, I was nervous. Unlike my car, the train won't wait for me. So I rushed... C'est la vie.  

1 comment:

  1. at least it didn't rain... all day yesterday we had dark clouds and like 95% or higher humidity. finally it started down pouring around 730PM