There comes a day of reckoning, when Karma presents itself in all its hindsight beauty to the recipient, when all who have screwed you over, or cheated you, or have taken advantage of you, manifests and brings justice to all the wrongs perpetrated.
May Karma at some point reveal itself to Geno’s.
My wife called me at work the other day. She had been in an accident. All the airbags went off and, as she sat there, bewildered and in a daze, some kind Samaritan yanked open her passenger side door and said, “Jesus, Lady! You have to get out! You can’t breathe in that dust!”
Luckily my wife was able to exit the crumpled car. The police soon came, and her car was towed to Geno’s. And this is where one hopes Karma will eventually pay a visit to Chicopee.
I immediately left work, took the Pike to the Chicopee exit, picked up my wife where she worked, and traveled back to our house. She complained of chest pains, from the full frontal assault of the airbag, and she applied an ice pack to alleviate the pain. I was relieved to know that that was the only pain she had suffered in the accident.
I then called Triple A (if you do not have the premium service, I recommend it. It is well worth the money) and told them of the situation. Unfortunately, they could not transport her vehicle to the auto shop we chose until we drove back out to Chicopee, signed a few release papers, and paid a preposterous some of money for said privileges.
$276.21 to be exact. I was flabbergasted.
“How can it cost so much to have our car taken out of your business?” I inquired, immediately perturbed and flummoxed by such a sum.
“Well, for towing it was $90. And then there’s the $1.70 per mile charge. We also have a clean-up fee of such-and-such, and then to release the car from our yard for Triple A is another $75.00,” the woman said on the phone. (They do not allow AAA to take the car from the yard; for the $75, they have a driver take it out onto the street, where AAA can then deal with it.)
I responded, “How can you possibly justify such expenses? It’s absolutely ludicrous! How about I just pay you the towing fee of $90 and call it even?”
“I’m sorry, sir. You’ll have to come here and sign the papers and pay the full amount.”
Two hundred and seventy-six dollars and twenty-one cents. Ridiculous! For what? So the police could get a cut of the money, for hiring Geno’s to tow the car to their garage? For $35 a day for storage…for sitting in their lot and, if we didn’t arrive before 2:30pm, they would tack on another $35!
Needless to say, I was irate. No, I was livid. It was nothing more than sheer thievery; towing, storage, clean-up fees (What is that, anyway? My wife told me the Good Samaritan cleaned up the debris from the accident), fluid disposal…and the ridiculous list went on.
We drove down there, paid the extortion, and waited for AAA. In the meantime, my wife asked if I could see the car, to witness the damage. The woman behind the plexiglass informed us that we would have to wait for Triple A, that it was in the yard. She basically treated my wife as though she were a criminal. There were no comments of “Geez, I hope you’re okay,” or “Are you all right? That must have been a bad accident!” No, nothing of that ilk. Strictly business. Pay up, or no release of your car.
Triple A arrived and Walter, the driver, was exceedingly polite and concerned. He bid us safe travels and wished my wife good health, comments far removed from the employees of Geno’s. There only concern was that our credit card went through.
My wife took the day off to recuperate. Her chest still hurts, and her doctor told her to rest, that she probably had a bruised sternum. I sit here composing this post, as my wife fitfully slumbers, and ponder the nature of such people, such businesses that feel the need to wring wallets dry of citizens, tacking on unfathomable fees, all to pad the almighty goddamn bottom line.
I try, on a daily basis, to embrace the wisdom and beauty of Buddhism. Yet when something like this enters your life, when your Beloved is hurt and is shaken from such an ordeal, when you actually witness the devastation of such an accident, you have to wonder about the callousness of such business entities.
It was the epitome of insult to injury—quite literally.
May Karma, in all its infinite guises, pay a quiet yet profound visit to Geno’s.
Perhaps in the grand scheme of things, this is nothing more than a mere triviality. But no one—no one— should have to suffer such injustices.
©Paul Grignon, 2016, All Rights Reserved.