Monday, September 21, 2015

Trouble at Walmart

I started looking for apartments on line before I even moved to LA. I wanted to see what I was in for. I set a budget in my mind.

I saw a one bedroom, well, two, in the same building; one had parking for extra $100 per month, just imagine! and the other didn't have parking. Apparently there's no street parking in the area.It would have been a hell of a hassle trying to find parking every single day for my entire time there. I called the guy, he told me that the one with parking was still available. I had a nice feeling about the apartment. I asked him to send me pictures and the contract. I was going to take it. He wouldn't let me take it without viewing it. I was like come on! I'm the one who's committing. He told me I would have to have viewed it for him to let me sign the contract. Ugh! I didn't feel like making a drive to LA. I did think about it for a hot second but then was like, meh cos he also told me that he was still showing it, it would depend when I got there if it were still available. I was like, bye!

I knew that I was getting that much closer to finding the apartment of my dreams. I kept looking. Whenever I felt like it wasn't happening, I stopped looking. I wanted to do it only when it didn't feel like a chore to do it, you know what I mean? I didn't have furniture, nothing! I was going to start from scratch and I was excited. I wanted a king size bed and leather bedroom furniture and suede or beige/white furniture in the living room. I could already see what the entire apartment was going to look like.

My plan was that I was going to stay in a hostel in West Hollywood, which is pretty close to Beverly Hills, looking for an apartment for a week or two and boom, move in!

I took my car for oil change before my drive back to LA. I decided to take it to Walmart because it's Walmart, right? They didn't have much of a line, I paid what I had to and went inside to kill time. Before I knew it, my name was announced on the intercom. I rushed to the back, paid and they gave me my car keys. I got to the car, stuck the key in, (I know, I still have to buy a remote), turn it and it turned 360 degrees. I knew there and then something was wrong. I went around the car and noticed that the passenger's door wasn't properly closed. Everyone in the Auto dept was packing up, getting ready to leave. I had to get hold of someone before they disappeared. "excuse me! My car won't open" They told me it was fine when they had it. I was like, that's exactly my point. It was ok when I handed it to you. Now I can't get in. I have so many things I gotta do, please fix this, quick! they tried to brush me off, I was like, please call me the person in charge, I don't have all day.

It's been such a long time since I used that side of my personality, usually, I'm sweet-ish. I used to be much harsher. It was kinda nice to tap into that ;)
They called the supervisor, then the manager, everyone tried to shift the blame. They were saying things like, 'well, if you had a remote, you wouldn't be having this problem!' I was like, uhm, don't break my car and then tell me what I should've done with it! The bottom line is, you broke my car and now I can't drive home. That's the bottom line. I need it fixed because I'm relocating to another state in 2days, I don't have time set aside to fix a car that was broke by someone who was supposed to fix it. I didn't' pay you guys to create problems for me. It was late, seven-ish. I was there until 8pm, and beyond. I was tired. It was my bedtime and I was sitting at Walmart, not knowing if I was coming or going.

The manager told me to ask my insurance to send a locksmith for me. I told them that this was their problem to fix. My concern was, what if the problem was deeper than we all thought? Then they were going to tell me that the people I got to open it messed the car up. I didn't even want to try. Why should I anyway? They called locksmith, they told us they don't work on those cars. They referred us to someone else, who was there in no time. Long story short, he got me into the car. The car didn't even look like it was going to start at that point. Nobody knew what the heck was wrong. We were all staring at each other. I told them I wanted to go to sleep. I didn't have any more energy in me to try anymore. They were kind enough to call me a cab and give me fare.

It was still cold,it was January. I got home, went online, tried to find out on the Land Rover forums what the matter could have been. First thing the following morning, I went to Walmart with a list of solutions. Nobody even came close to my car that day. Well, one guy did. The cashier, she was so sweet! He told me he thought about me the previous night and hoped that they had solved my problem. We both tried to fix the problem, nothing happened. He and another guy from auto, who may or may not have been on drugs, thought it was an alarm issue. I called a couple of people to find out how to reset the alarm. When you turn the key on the driver's door, it disarms the alarm. The door lock was broken, so we were not able to disarm it, so that I could start the car. That's what we all thought was logically the problem. Because I had worked for Netstar, the #1 car tracking/alarm company in South Africa, I called my former supervisor. She asked what the matter was, she told me, sorry, can't help. Didn't even try! Ok, good night! I didn't have time to wallow, time was money, LA Awaited! I messaged an old colleague, he asked what car it was, I told him, he told me to burn it. I replied, ok. Again, no time to wallow, Neeeexxtttt!

The above are some of the reasons I don't generally tell people when I have a problem. Who tells you to burn your car when you are merely trying to get it started? How does that get the car started? Anyway! Before I knew it, it was late! I had to get the car fixed, no matter what. Time was running out! I went home, this was night 2. I told myself that I was not going to be desperate. I was just going to believe that things would work out. I had put in my notice at my place, If I couldn't get the car going when it was time to move out, I was going to have to figure out where I was going to stay while waiting for the car to work.

I didn't even want to deal with all that. I just needed the car to work so I could get going. I scoured through the internet, only I wasn't quite sure what the problem was other than the fact that I was able to get inside and couldn't get it started. I didn't know if it was the battery, because that had also died over the three days of trying to do all kinds of things to the car... or had it? Oi!

Day 3:- I woke up in a great mood! I had a feeling that was the last day my car was going to be parked at Walmart. I arrived at Walmart, went straight to the car, I had my tools with me. I removed the door panels and voila! something fell out! It was some part of the door lock that was broken. I googled the numbers on the part. I then took the name of the part and googled a broken one in a Land Rover, that's when I found out that that was the reason the car wasn't starting. That was somehow connected to the alarm. I rushed to the manager. They told me they had a new manager that day, he seemed nice. He had been told about me. I told them that their guys broke that and I wanted it fixed asap. They quickly called Walmart insurance, I had already called Land Rover, the guy I talked to told me to refer the tow guy to him. Walmart called a tow truck, nice guy. He asked if I wanted a ride. Land Rover dealership was off my street but like a few miles away. I thought I would take the ride and just take one bus home from there.

Our way from Walmart to Dealership went past my house actually but there was nowhere for a gigantic tow truck with a car on top of it to stop. We arrived at Land Rover and I was like a kid in a candy shop. Range Rovers everywhere! I was like, this is gonna be my next ride! They were so nice, they told me to get in, asked if I wanted to test drive it. That would've been nice but I was there for another reason. They let me charge my cellphone in one of the Manager's offices. They offered me water, soda or coffee. I had to take some of that Land Rover bottled water which I reused and reused and reused.

I had to leave the car, it was next in line. The guy was doing everything in his power to take care of me and let me relocate on schedule. I really appreciated their service.


They  called me when I got home and told me that they would have to order the car from Britain as Land Rovers are British cars. I told them I didn't have time, I had to move the following day. Walmart was paying, I didn't care how much the part cost but  time was of the essence. Luckily, they had an old Landy in their lot that they could take the part from and just replace that with a new one. I was like, I'm down, let's go. Turns out, because the part is shaped very much like a large nail, some people just use a nail, $1 for a set of about 8 nails from Home Depot, Bob's your uncle! That was the least of my concerns!

Land Rover told me that my car would be ready the following morning. In all honesty, I had three or so more days before my move. I just wanted to make sure I had the car by then. And I did. I still had an entire day to go shopping before I moved. The car came back in mint condition, it was clean and they replaced the panel perfectly, you wouldn't even suspect that they were removed by an amateur aka ME! lol. I got a number of calls from Walmart confirming that they took care of everything, they apologised. Everyone worked so well together after I found out what the problem was. I must say, I am very proud of myself that I single-handedly diagnosed the problem!

Now that I was feeling better about everything, I had the energy to pack my bags. Good thing I only had clothes to worry about, no furniture or kitchenware etc.