Remind me again, Why do I have a cat?
Better yet, why do I have THIS cat?
Fair warning: This is long, and kind of ranty.
The trip was already going far too slowly: It had taken me 13 hours to get 2.5 hours away. I was behind schedule by an entire day. I was supposed to be in the Texas panhandle by Sunday late afternoon, and working by Monday morning. But the RV needed a couple minor things (air in tires and a new battery – NO THANKS AT ALL TO PROGRESSIVE’S ROADSIDE-LACK-OF-ASSISTANCE PROVIDER, AGERO.) Read the first part of my adventure to get caught up.
So now it’s late Monday morning. I’m in the middle of small town America, somewhere in the Texas panhandle. After the sleepless night at Wal-Mart and a second long day on small, bumpy country roads, I have made it only as far as Crosbyton, Texas.
The day Pye locked me out of the RV
Pye hates the RV when it moves, and is positively stir crazy when we’re not driving down the road. She hates riding in the RV more than Checkers ever did and wants to get out as soon as it stops. Refusing to see the pattern of never being let out in a new place, she yowls at the door, and tries pawing at the door handles. (You see where this is going, don’t you?) After two solid days on the road she is done.
I slept late to make up for the lack of sleep the night before, feeling guilty the entire time because I know I’m already not going to make it to the top of the Texas panhandle by that night, even without the compulsory stop in Amarillo to see my top bucket list item, the Cadillac Ranch.
So, I’m on the phone with my very kind, understanding boss, describing my woes and reworked plan. As we’re talking, I go outside to start unhooking the RV. When I try to go back inside, the door won’t open. It’s locked. I bang on the door, hoping to dislodge the lock. Hey, that could have worked.
My boss, still on the phone, hearing this loud banging noise he stops in mid sentence. He’s a nice, conservative man who doesn’t cuss, and probably doesn’t know about this blog. I had to bite my tongue from letting out a healthy stream of cuss words when I discovered the door was truly locked.
Instead, I explained, with as much measured patience as I could muster, that my cat had locked me out.
There was a moment of silence on the other end of the phone as my new boss likely contemplated a variety of things: ‘Her cat locked her out?’ Hmmm, is my new employee perhaps not actually single and is having a fight with a significant other who just locked her out? (Nope, guess again.) Is my new employee crazy that she thinks her cat locked her out and that banging on the door will get the cat to open the door? (Yes and yes, I am crazy, but hardly for this minor bit of evidence.)
Here comes the ranty part…
We end the call so I can get roadside “lack of assistance” from Progressive and their shitty provider, Agero. Third time is a charm, right? Wrong. Not when you’re dealing with Progressive and Agero. I place a service call, just for the heck of it. We go through all the same stupid questions EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. because Agero thinks I have a FORD PICKUP and not a Winnebago RV. I have to explain what I have insured, and then they have to check with Progressive to get authorization to assist me. We get through that drama again, and I get word it will be an hour until they send someone out. Shitty as the time frame is, that’s about what I expected out of them now.
It turns out, my estimation of Progressive/Agero’s ability was quite generous.
Having learned a great deal from my two previous experiences with them the past couple days, I immediately head out on foot in search of REAL help. Pye, no doubt, watching from the window in the warmth and safety of the RV as I walk away in search of assistance.
Word travels fast in small town America.
Fifteen minutes later, and one overheard conversation with the clerk in the only open shop on a Sunday morning at church time, I have REAL help. A customer overheard me asking the clerk about locksmiths. The clerk couldn’t find one, so I left on foot with a coat hanger. A few minutes later, I haven’t even made it back to my RV and the customer pulls up next to me. Pointing to the pickup behind him, he says, “Fred in the red pickup behind me is going to help you. He has some picking tools.”
Let me pause here and take this moment to express my gratitude and appreciation: I love small town America for all the people who live there.
It turns out Fred didn’t even need his tools…
No, Pye did not have a moment of remorse and open the door while I was gone. I’m sure she was sleeping peacefully, happy that the RV had stopped moving.
Fred said, “Before I get out the tools, let’s try my key ring.”
First key he tried, a popular key which I will not name, OPENED THE LOCK.
My emotions in that moment were a mix of relief – to have the door open, and so quickly, and that I didn’t have to wait for useless Progressive/Agero, but also fear – that a random key could open my door.
I called Progressive to cancel the service call, and wait ON HOLD for fifteen minutes. I only do this because I know there is a tow truck driver coming from far away. I don’t want him to waste a trip.
But Progressive and Agero didn’t seem nearly as concerned because, as it turns out, my fifteen minutes on hold was in vain: they did NOTHING TO CANCEL THE TOW TRUCK DRIVER. I continued to get texts updating after I cancelled the call. One message said the driver was now going to be an additional thirty minutes.
It wasn’t until the tow trick driver called me about an hour later that I realized Progressive and Agero had done NOTHING. I called them again and complained about the three shitty calls. Guess what? Progressive just sends an email to someone at Agero saying a customer was unhappy and they leave it to Agero to sort it out. Agero can’t do anything for me (and I’m not even referring to their lack of roadside assistance) – I don’t pay them for the service, I pay Progressive (well, I used to – I will be soliciting new providers).
The stress of dealing with them has taken years off my life – years I can’t get back. I lost a collective day of work waiting for them to get their act together. They wasted my time “providing a service” that I had to take care of myself in each of the three service calls.
Ok, end of rant.
Back to Pye locking me out. When I got back in, she didn’t even have the good grace to look chagrined. Whatever. Spoiled cat. As I’ve recounted this story, a couple fellow RVers shared similar experiences, both with small dogs.
But I did make it to the Cadillac Ranch! After decades on the bucket list I made it! Yippee!