About a month ago I was enjoying a lovely lunch with a lovely friend. I came out to my lovely 6-month old parked car, only to find a not so lovely gouge out of my rear taillight and left bumper. Lovelily (sp?) there was a note from a Good Samaritan (henceforth to be referred to as GS). I will paraphrase here, but it generally said a van smashed into my car, paused for a nanosecond (long enough for GS to get down the license plate number), the driver then cackled and rubbed his hands fiendishly (ok…that could be my interpretation) and sped off. Rather than elaborating on the minutiae of the steps that I/we had to take to get to this point (one month later) with fixed car, I’ll bullet point here: • Trying to find the right person to talk to find out what to do now – 1 hour • Reporting to the vehicle collision reporting centre – 2 hours • Taking car in for estimate – 1 hour • On phone with insurance company to find out that if they don’t catch the guy, they’ll pay the $3000 in damages, but we’re on the hook for $500 deductible – 1 hour • Taking car in for repair and working out rental car – 2 hours • Time complaining aloud about the rental car we were given (I’ll not brand slag here…not my style…but suffice it to say, we dubbed it the “Crapnica”) – countless • Picking up happy new car – 1 hour
So…that was all the petty, annoying stuff. Here’s the good part. The day that we were to pick up our car, we got a call from the insurance company…they found the guy. I am by no means a punitive person…BUT after having gone through close to 8 hours of time to resolve the issue and the hassles therein, I would have been beside myself if we had to be out of pocket $500 as well.
And here’s the silly part. As NON-punitive as I am, I would have happily worked something out with the guy if he had have left the note himself, owned up to it and done the right thing. Now…hours of police/insurance tracking time have lead them to him and he’ll face some charges, impact his record and insurance AND be out of pocket. Not cool.
The moral for me…be like GS, and always do the right thing. Good guys win, bad guys don’t. And the reality is…if you do something wrong, you’ll likely get busted…and the punishment is always so much worse at that point.
I’m also aware that GS really didn’t need to bother…many wouldn’t have…perhaps even me given the situation. But I will now…so thank you for that lesson, GS. Am trying to pay it forward.
Now if only we could track down the charming originator of the virus that crippled my computer for the last 5 days…