Monday, July 6, 2009

I Am A Rat

Validate me! Here's what went down:

I was in the grocery store parking lot cruising to my spot when the lady in front of me begins to pull in to her parking spot. Loud CRRRUNCH as she hits the bumper of the car next to her. I look over as she backs up to correct herself and pull into the space correctly.

When I'm not busy jet setting and doing fabulously cool things, I work as an insurance agent. And let me tell you, gone are the days when people bump your parked car and leave a note on your windshield. No, nowadays it's all about getting out of Dodge and leaving some poor sucker to wonder what the hell happened to their car while they were in shopping at the Walmart. I can't tell you how many claim reports I've taken from folks who have had this happen to them. Or how unhappy they are when they learn that they have to shell out their deductible and, even though it isn't considered their fault, how it still goes on their claim history.

So bearing that in mind, how could I not wait and watch to see if she did the right thing and take responsibility for what she had very obviously done?

She knew I was watching her, too. I kind of played it cool, looked through my purse, called Mark to pass the time. It seemed like she might have been writing something down, perhaps a note to leave on the windshield?

Time passed slowly. I was starting to second guess my decision. Should I just stay out of it? I mean, who am I? Deputy Dog? I know somebody else had to have seen and heard it. Where the heck were they?

Still sitting in her car, not doing anything. I can see her looking at me sideways every once in a while. I act like I'm just putzing around in my purse. Starting to feel really stupid.

Finally! The owner of the crunched vehicle comes out and starts loading groceries in to the back of her vehicle. Of course she doesn't notice anything wrong with her bumper because it's hidden by the road grime from all the rain we'd been having. I wait for the cruncher to let this lady know what had happened, but suddenly she starts backing out of her parking space to leave!

And then the most embarrassing part: I hop out of my car (ala' Cops :bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do...,) hold up my hand like a traffic cop (my face is red thinking about it,) and say "Stop! Stop!" at her closed window.
My interpretation of her expression was Irritated Caught Red Handed, but maybe I'm wrong? She started waving a little piece of paper at me, as in "I was going to tell her!" but why would she start driving away?
The lady with the crunched vehicle had no idea what was happening and I blurted out "She hit your car" as an explanation. At first she seemed mad and I think she said "Ya, right" when the cruncher said she was going to tell her, but it all calmed down very quickly. And I got the hell out of Dodge. Fairly mortified and shaking with delayed adrenaline. I felt like an ass.
In the grocery store, standing in line at the bank, I answered a phone call from Mark and gave him a brief run down of my parking lot sting. As I perused the deodorant aisle a few minutes later I was approached by a man who'd stood in front of me in the bank line.
He asked me if I'd been talking about the same lady he'd seen in the parking lot and I apologized to him. I'm an insurance agent, I couldn't help it!
But he congratulated me and thanked me. He told me about another woman in the same parking lot who'd pushed her cart out into the lot in the direction of someone's Lexus. He said he stopped the cart, marched it back over to the woman, and ordered her to put the cart away properly as it had almost hit someone's vehicle. (He also cussed at her a little.) He said he was a little embarrassed for having done it. Didn't really make me feel any better about my incident.
What say you? I am thinking of going in to the witness protection program for fear The Cruncher will recognize me. She sped away very angrily (and unsafely, nearing hitting some other vehicles) after she gave the lady her information. After I ratted her out.


Jen said...

I don't know if this is going to make you feel any better but...I would've done the same thing, no question. If you hadn't stopped 'The Cruncher' she would've driven away and left 'The Crunchee' to wonder what the heck happened. It's called doing the right thing! And unfortunately not many people do the right thing anymore. I commend you. And, by the way, you are not a rat. Believe me I've known some pretty lousy 'rats'. Chin up! You did the right thing.

Michelle Johnson said...

BY ALL MEANS you did the RIGHT thing. I admire people who can be honest. Your honesty saved the crunchee a lot of money no doubt. And hopefully taught the cruncher that she needed to do the right thing next time. Well done. Have a great night.

Michele Renee said...

Yes, that was the right thing to do. How lame of her!!! Doesn't anyone think of Karma??? Glad that the shopper came back out fairly soon to her car.
Once after football practice I was in crowded parking lot at night and another parent backed into another truck and then drove off.(not much damage to truck). It was very crowded so the vehicle was not going anywhere fast but it did get to other end of lot and then was in a long line. I had one of my sons walk over and write down the license plate number. Luckily the owner came back from jogging soon and I told him what happened. He went to go look for truck but it was gone. I gave him my number and the license info and he was very glad.

David said...

Good on you, dude!

Annette said...

You go, girl. You are NOT a rat. I'm speaking as an alumni of the Pittsburgh Citizen's Police Academy.

I hate parking lots. It's like traffic laws and manners don't count there. One of my favorite movie scenes of all time is the one in Fried Green Tomatoes, which is also one of my all time favorite movies in general. But the scene with Kathy Bates in the parking lot...LOVE it. She's my hero.

And, Sara, you're now one of my heroes, too.

Amy said...

You are AWESOME. Love this post. The audacity of people just amazes me, though. (Not you, her!) She knew you saw it and was still trying to pretend like nothing happened.

You go girl! (So are you Deputy Dog or a Honey-eating bear?)

Sara said...

Thanks you guys! I really did feel weird about it for some reason. I feared the Karma of the Tattletale I guess, or that maybe she really *was* going to fess up and I made a scene for this poor lady before she could admit what she'd done. (As she peeled out of the parking lot! ya right!)
I think what threw me off was how much the Crunchee was almost irritated *at me!* I was just trying to help!

Amy--How did you know that those two little questions haunted me? (or rather, the fact that I asked two similarly absurd questions in two consecutive posts!) Truly what cartoon am I?! lol

honeypiehorse said...

A community means we look out for each other. You did the right thing. THey both sound a bit jerky, though, so less fun to do the right thing.

OsageBluffquilter said...

You go girl!
Wish I would have done that the time I saw a high school kid hit a car in the school parking lot and take off.

Emily said...

lmao. First of all, I am the tattletale around here. Second, put yourself in my shoes in that situation. How's that? See. Did you get a call from your insured the next saying she was hit in the parking lot? Yeah, more work for you. Well played. You win again, mlady.

Becky said...

Nth-ing the "you are awesome" sentiment, and you know, when I read this, I felt such a thrill of satisfaction when you put your hand up and said, "Stop!" Like, how great that must have felt!

Keep it up, Vigilante Girl.

Wendy said...

You did great! One time I called the police about a lady who was driving around town really unsafely. I followed her around town to see if it was an isolated incident or if she was consistently dangerous. At least three times I saw her nearly cause an accident or at least scare the crap out of people. So, sometimes you have to do it, for better or for worse!

Anonymous said...

Yep, I'm all about the tattling. Which makes me ask: are ALL bloggers rats at heart? Interesting question... :) Seriously, I say if people need to be reminded to do the right thing, well, someone needs to care enough to remind them. That someone may or may not wear a uniform or a big "S" on their chest... sometimes that someone is just Us.