Sunday, December 2, 2012
"We need tires. Now."
Those were the words that greeted me when I answered the phone in the middle of rocking Annabelle to sleep on Friday evening.
Of course, the call was from Mrs. LIAYF who was with Lukas on their way to meet me at the hospital. The rain was coming down in sheets and she had just been stopped on a hill where, when she started back up the wheels has spun for a long count before finally catching and allowing her to proceed.
We had both known this for a while, but in the rush to get everything ready for our daughters arrival home, that was one of the tasks that had fallen to 'sometime soon' status. It shouldn't have. And now we were faced with the reality that our daughter was coming home in a few days, the weather was suspect, and our vehicle was dangerous.
We decided to visit Costco after leaving the hospital. Once there, I spoke with the Tire Center manager about stopping in on Saturday to get the full on rubber replacement deal. He just looked at me and sort of shook his head. "We are making appointments for next week." he let me know. "Well, that won't do for me" I lamented. "I have a baby coming home from the hospital in a couple of days. Do you take walk ins tomorrow?"
"Yeah, but you may have to wait up to 4 hours". I cringed at that, listing off in my head all the things we had to get done that same day in our lone car. And with a baby on the way, I knew it HAD to get done Saturday. "What if I showed up right when you open?" I offered. "Not a good idea at all. About 20 other guys will have the same idea. But you could give it a try. We open at 9:30."
So with that I formulated a plan along with Mrs. LIAYF that I would arrive when they open, get the tires done right away, then we would be off to visit Annabelle to be there for her mid morning feeding. I decided to arrive around 9:00 just to be safe.
I hadn't expected it to be like 12:00 AM on Black Friday at Walmart.
When I arrived I spied several other folks parked in the Tire Center lot and decided it would be a good idea to go stand by the door. As soon as I did, that seemed to open the floodgates as all those other people followed suit. Then, for the next half an hour, we all jockeyed for position by the very large door all the while trying not to be too obvious that we were there for the same reason. To be 1st in line to get tires.
It didn't look good.
I started out right in the middle of the door, but the employees had to open it up a couple of times forcing me to move to let them out as a buch of people mingled around me. Plus a couple of guys crowded in on my right side (the way I would have to turn to get to the Tire Center) so I moved closer to them so that no one else could squeeze in there as well. One of the guys then got called by his wife and had to go back to see what she wanted. I wasted no time in shuffling right to take his spot.
That left myself and the other guy staring awkwardly at each other as we waited. "What about this weather?" he offered. "Pretty nasty" I agreed. You here for the tire center too?" "Yeah, my wife got a flat. I need it fixed". But just then the door opened and the woman working said "You can enter now".
Without hesitation I immediately cut the guy off and made for the tire center like a shot. When I arrived I let the tire guy know what I needed and then glanced back. About 25 people already waited in line behind me. "How long will it be?" I inquired. "About 45 minutes" he responded.
Finally, after an hour had passed and I gathered my paperwork I passed the foul weather guy still waiting. He was with his 19 month old boy. He was a really cute kid and was siting on a Quad pretending to ride. "Is he your only one?" I asked. "Yeah, so far" he responded. "My boy is 5 now, and it just keeps getting better." I let him know. "Plus, we just adopted a baby girl. She is coming home from the hospital in a couple of days."
"Oh, so you really NEEDED to get those tires. Well congratulations!" He seemed genuine.
I knew I needed to be first in line that morning, and In the end I have no qualms fighting for what's best for my kids.
But I'm glad he understood. Oddly that made me feel a bit better.
Posted by James (SeattleDad) at 9:28 PM