Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I’m glad I live in a small town, like the song says. I get good customer service, people are gracious and nice.  Yesterday, I drove my truck to Angels Camp,  nine miles from my house. My major errand to have the truck washed and get my hair cut.  Then, my truck had the outrageous temerity to stop and refuse to start. The temp was 97  but in a hot asphalt parking lot, you can up that several degrees. I called my roadside emergency service and explained that I needed a tow to Nash’s Chevron, just 1/2 mile up the road. I told the dispatcher, who asked what state I was in, that the  nearest tow service was Sam Berry in Douglas Flat, which is seven miles away. I was told rather crisply that he was “out of district”.  “Calaveras County only has two tow services and he is closest.” I explained to her.
She then told me they don’t have a contract with him and if they use him I would have to pay the tow. Three hours later, while they dinked around trying to find some tow service from  other counties, Tuolumne, Amador and Stanislaus,  Sam Berry picked me up and towed  me the half mile to Nash’s Chevron. What that tells me is they are quite willing to take your money, but not willing to contract with someone in my entire county and not willing to pay the freight without the contract until they had NO other alternative cost wise. Oh, yeah, the dispatcher apologized for the long wait.   Our insurance covers the motor home and all vehicles, and is good until 2013. I won’t be renewing after that hot, frustrating episode. The business people in the center offered me a cool air-conditioned place to sit; coffee, to drive me somewhere, and to make phone calls for me. Like I say, I’m glad I live in a small town.
After my partner’s rant on horrible customer service, I had to add this one.  The other great part of living in my rural area is my wonderful neighbors and my morning walk:

This squirrel has attacked a cone half his body size.

He spotted me. You can see the detritus of chewed cone remnants on the ground. He has obviously gathered them and brought them to his dining room, because the tree is not a pine.

He decided I might be a threat and sprinted up the oak about five feet and flashed his tail in warning!  I left him to his breakfast and went on my merry way. Kind of puts Good Sam in perspective.  Life is good.

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