A 'great day' doesn't always turn out so great

By BARB LUMLEY Columnist Published:

How often does someone say to you, "have a great day"! You say, "thank you" and off you go, hoping you will. But not every day is a great day and I had one of those "not so great" days recently. Perhaps it had something to do with being Monday. The day started out as it normally does, a cup of coffee, some toast, medication, getting dressed, making beds, feeding dogs and cats, washing up a few dishes, etc. With all that accomplished, we headed off for an appointment with the doctor, an hour's drive away.

Our first encounter was with stalled traffic due to a fender-bender. Fortunately no one was hurt and we were soon once again on our way. Arriving on time, we signed in and sat down to wait. The waiting room was overflowing. After a period of time, Lum was called in for the basics, blood pressure, temperature, weight and questions. But they didn't take blood, which they should have done, and when questioned about it, informed us they had no "order." Back to the waiting room. An hour and a half went by, patients came and went. Finally we heard our name called and we were ushered into a room. More waiting. Finally the doctor arrived only to discover that previous test results had been lost, no blood had been taken when we arrived so that he would have results from that, so he really couldn't do much except order that the blood test they didn't do before now be taken, and we would have to wait for the results. So after a three-hour wait, the only thing we accomplished was to schedule more tests and make another appointment!

Then it was on to the dealer who just recently sold us a new car. After having it only a month it was recalled due to possibly catching on fire. We hadn't even had time to figure out what all those buttons with those funny little pictures on them were for! I was under the impression that in order to get a driver's license you had to take a written test, which meant you had to be able to read. So why do all car manufacturers put buttons in cars with weird little pictures on them? Why can't they just put a word on them so they aren't so hard to figure out? Arriving there and handing over the keys to our new car, we were told that the company didn't know what was causing the problem, they didn't know how to fix the problem, and they had no idea when we would get our car back!! However, we would be getting a rental car to drive. Sure enough, true to their advertising on TV, Enterprise was there to pick us up. They immediately whisked us off to their office, which was in another part of town that we weren't familiar with. So we knew we were going to have to ask directions in order to find our way back to the Interstate.

After signing some papers, we were introduced to our rental car ­-- a 2011 Signature Limited Lincoln with twice as many of those buttons with funny little pictures on them as we had in our new car! They showed us where to find the lights, the turn signals, and the windshield wipers (by this time it was getting dark and raining) and sent us on our way. We had found the switch and the gearshift! As we headed south on Interstate 77 in rush hour traffic, Lum mentioned that his seat was getting hot. Evidently he had pushed a wrong button, but he would have to stay on the "hot seat" until we could stop somewhere and figure out which button to push.

Of course, being a rental car, there wasn't much gas in it, so our first stop was the gas station. But we couldn't open the gas tank, there was a button for that. So after searching and pressing buttons, we finally found it (there was no picture on it)! As Lum was running the gas in, I heard the gentleman next to him ask, "How's the weather in Minnesota"? To which Lum replied, "Cold, very cold!" I sat there wondering why in the world someone would be asking us about the weather in Minnesota! It was only later at another stop that I realized our rental car had Minnesota license plates on it!

One of the things we learned at our first stop was to hang on when you turned the car off because the driver's seat was going to take you for a ride -- backwards! And when you started the car you were going to get a ride forwards! So you had to make sure the seat was properly adjusted or you might wind up with the steering wheel right in your chest!

I was sure as we left our little town and headed down our country road that we would hit one of the many deer that are always crossing the road. After all, the day had gone so well, I couldn't help but wonder what was going to happen next! However, we made it home safe and sound and here I am writing about our day, so maybe it really was a great day after all. But until we get our car back, I still have a lot of buttons with funny little pictures on them to figure out!

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