my element is in austin (i hope), but i'm not

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okay, so back to the weekend, and the story with the element...

i got up in the morning (friday) and called the honda dealer (howdy honda) in austin i'd left the element near (on the side street near the service entrance). i spoke to a lady (whose name i immediately forgot) and i told her my element was parked nearby because i had it towed there yesterday (thanksgiving) but no one was open. oh yeah, and i left my keys at the valero nearby because y'all don't have a night dropbox for keys. this seemed to confuse her, but she said "i guess we can have the van driver go by and get them or something." i explained the valero assistant manager said honda people come in there all the time. still sounded confused. i explained about hitting an exotic animal, then she said "oh, you have body damage? you'll need to take it to a body shop and get an estimate and such for insurance work. we don't have a body shop." okay, so that's a complication. i explained why i wanted to take it to a honda dealer (to get the 60k maintenance done, and replace the windshield under the class action lawsuit settlement) and asked which honda dealer(s) in austin had a body shop. she said she didn't know. i also had to explain i wasn't in austin. i'm from houston. no, i'm not in houston either. i can't get to my vehicle. i'm 2.5 hours away. i asked about honda dealers with body shops again, and suddenly she remembered something...she has a brother who works at a body shop at a honda dealership up in round rock named classic honda. how did she forget this the first couple of times i was asking? i don't know. anyway, she said she'd contact him and let him know i was going to call, and he'd take care of everything.

i decided at this point to call my insurance company to let them know i was going to have to get my vehicle towed from where it was up to classic honda in round rock. once again there was much confusion about the car being in austin, me being from houston, but currently being in brady. (why? i had an incident number and most of this information had already been provided.) they eventually decided it was okay, but then they couldn't find a classic honda listed for austin. huh. the lady at howdy honda had told me the classic honda place deals with state farm all the time. nope, no listing. the state farm guy suggested i could use one of their premier partners, which meant i could then take it to any other premier partner if i wasn't satisfied with the work. otherwise i'd have to deal with the shop directly myself over any issues. i didn't know any shops in austin, but classic wasn't coming up so i just picked a place the state farm guy said was near where my car was. i then had to explain about not knowing if my keys were still at the valero or if howdy honda had picked them up. he said he'd contact the body shop and let them know my vehicle was coming, but to find out where the keys were and call him back so the tow truck driver could get them.

i hung up and called howdy honda back. this is where it gets important that i recall the name of the woman i talked to. which i couldn't. so they transferred me to some guy. i explained to him that my car was parked on the side street by them and i needed to know if they got my keys from the valero. he seemed confused by the whole thing, but when i explained i had talked to someone but couldn't remember her name, he put on a big huff-n-puff production about how he was going to have to find out who i talked to and find out what was going on. he said he'd do that and call me back.

i waited about ten minutes, then decided he probably wasn't really going to try very hard to take care of anything. i called howdy honda back and explained that i had talked to a woman in service but couldn't remember her name, but i didn't know how many women worked back there so maybe it could be figured out. turns out there is just one evidently. (it makes that guy's whiny response about having to figure things out seem pretty lame.) the receptionist transferred me to her phone, but it bounced back unanswered. tried again, same thing. she said i could leave a voicemail, or she could let her know i was looking for her. i said i'd just try back later.

so i decided to call the valero and find out if the keys were still there or not. i called and a woman answered. i asked if marie was there. no, she'd left about an hour ago. was steven there? no, he didn't come in until tomorrow. i explained about my keys being there near/in a register. no, no one told her about any keys and she hadn't seen any. she didn't know anything about any honda people coming in to pick any keys up. but she had a line at the register, so could i call back in about 10 minutes? great. i surmised from this the keys were probably still at the valero. hopefully.

a few minutes passed and jennifer called me. she asked if i'd gotten in touch with her brother. i said i'd called state farm and they couldn't find classic honda, so i'd ended up letting them pair me up with some premier partner or something. i was also trying to figure out if they'd picked up my keys from the valero. she acted confused as to why i'd think they were going to pick up my keys from the valero. (which would mean they're still at the valero... somewhere ...hopefully.) she explained then that the place is called classic and they sell toyota, honda, and hyundai. so state farm might have it listed under any of those. (and i remembered they mentioned classic toyota.) but she said she'd call her brother and tell him to call me and he'd take care of everything.

very soon after hanging up, ralph from classic toyota honda called me. i explained what was going on, and he said he'd send a tow truck down and get my element. i told him the keys were at the valero and he said he'd send the tow truck driver by there, just let them know someone from rr towing would be by to pick up the keys. he then told me he'd fax me a release form to approve the work. he also said he'd call state farm and get everything squared away with them. i also gave him a fax number to send the form to for me.

i called the valero back and talked with the lady there again. i told her the keys should be under, or by, or in a register, and be wrapped in some paper. she started looking around and found a key with a fob. mine? but they're not wrapped in paper or anything. okay, well, they're still probably mine. okay, so there is going to be a towing guy from rr towing coming by to pick up the key. how long was this going to be, because she wasn't going to be there all day. (guessing) hopefully the next 20 to 30 minutes. thanks!

i then called state farm and let them know i was going to be going with classic toyota honda instead of caliber. i had talked to a guy named ralph and he should be letting them know what's going on. they told me they weren't a premier partner so i couldn't take my car to any other premier partner if i wasn't happy. i said that was fine.

hoping everything was finally resolved, i left with my dad to head down to our land in mason county and take care of a few different things. mission accomplished, we headed back to brady.

a few hours had gone by and there had been no fax. i'd also not heard anything about the status of my car or keys. i called ralph and he told me my element had just arrived, and the fax should have been sent but he'd check into it and send it if necessary. he said they should be able to get the state farm inspector out on monday to look at it. the fax arrived, so i signed it and faxed back it and an explanation of what other work i wanted done while it was in the shop. (which i'd also explained over the phone.)

a little later, i got a call from someone from caliber trying to figure out how i needed to set up this appointment and schedule a tow truck. *sigh* i explained that i had chosen to use a honda dealer and state farm was supposed to have called them to let them know. they thanked me and hung up.

this all happened friday morning and afternoon.

on tuesday i got a call from my state farm agent's office asking where my car was. in austin? i explained it should be at classic toyota honda and i'd been talking with a guy named ralph. they said they'd figure it out from there.

other than that one call asking for some info, i've heard nothing about anything from anyone. is my car being repaired? is it at a honda dealership with a body shop in round rock? is the other work i wanted being done?

i hope so. but i have no idea.

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