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Hit By Katrina Refugee
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I was sent to the J.P. Morgan Chase Bank Building in downtown Houston, Texas to complete a field verification for my job in late August, 2005. I was very excited to leave this one task until close to the end of the day. I live in midtown and wanted to get in, get the job done, and get out so I could go home and start early on the Friday afternoon. I was meeting friends out for drinks and dancing that night and was meeting my first blind date in longer than I care to admit.
Seeing as how it was late in the work day on a Friday, the parking garage was pretty empty and I had ample parking. I decided to take a spot near the elevator between a wall and a concrete pillar. When I finished my verifications and got back in my car to leave, I'm not proud to admit that I was in more than a hurry. My adrinaline and testosterone were in overdrive and I had to beat traffic out of the gargage. The wall was on my right, the pillar was on my left and I popped my pony in reverse, turned the wheel to the right and gunned it! The front end of my car swung out and slammed into the pillar so hard that I cracked the concrete. The side mirror casing flew off the door and went through the side window of a car parked three spaces down. Not only did I cause body damage, but my dash board buckled and my windshield cracked all the way across. The door hinges came unsaudered and the A-frame bent as well.
I was so embarrassed that I had done this, that I just got out, picked up my mirror casing out of a stranger's car, left a note, and drove out of the garage as quickly as I could without causing anymore damage. Three days later I got a call from the owner of the car and sent her a check for a new window. I brought my car to the shop and discovered that I had racked up $4500 in repairs for my own car. And the body shop guy reached into my back seat and pulled out the completely intact reflective glass part of my side mirror. It had somehow flown right past my head and into the backseat without me even noticing.
I did still make my date that night, had a round of shots to my stupidity, and overall a very interesting night. Moral of this story... slow down, take notice of what is around you, and laugh at your own mistakes!
PS. After my car was repaired, the body shop guy told me that I had to wait 30 days before I could wash it. He said it was so the paint could set. On day 29, on my way to work, a Katrina refugee from New Orleans that was unfamiliar with the area ran into my driver's side door. Neither work nor that body shop will ever let me live it down.
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