The plan for Tuesday morning was simple: at 8:00, Mom and I would drive to Budget and pick up a 10-foot truck. Mom would pay for the truck. I would drive the truck home, and Mom would continue on to work. James, whatever friends of mine showed up, and I would load the truck with my stuff, and we would leave Virginia at around 10:00 in the morning, probably.
Although the sign on the Budget office said OPEN, the doors were all locked. There was a guy working, but he looked and acted more like a mechanic. He didn’t speak English very well and said that someone would help us soon.
At 8:30 the office worker finally showed up. He looked about 20 and sounded tired. I told him that I had made a reservation a few weeks ago for a 10-foot truck. He said they didn’t have any 10-foot trucks, but we could get a 16-foot truck for the same price. I told him that I wanted a 10-foot truck. He began to call local Budget offices, trying to locate a 10-foot truck. Mom and I conferred. I didn’t need a 16-foot truck. I doubted James nor I could handle a 16-foot truck. I hadn’t had breakfast, and Mom wanted to go to work. We told him we would be right back.
Mom drove us to McDonald’s while I got on the phone with U-Haul. They said no problem. There wasn’t a 10-foot truck at the nearest U-Haul, but there was one nearby that we could get. I got a sausage McMuffin and waited for the confirmation email.
“So where’s the U-Haul?” Mom asked.
“Alameyada,” I said. I creeping sensation went down my spine.
I looked it up. “Orlando, Florida.”
Mom pulled off to the side of the road and I got on the phone with U-Haul again. A man answered.
“I’m moving today and I just ordered a 10-foot truck, but the reservation is wrong,” I said.
“What’s your last name?” he asked.
“Where are you moving to?”
“Morrisville, North Carolina.”
“That looks right here,” he said.
“No it’s not,” I said. “It says I have to pick it up from Orlando, Florida!”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“I’m in Virginia!”
“Oh,” he said. “Well I can transfer you to someone in Orlando.”
“What? How is that going to help? I don’t want to talk to someone in Orlando!”
“What do you want then?” he asked.
“I WANT A TEN-FOOT TRUCK IN STERLING, VIRGINIA.”
He gave me an 800-number to call. A woman answered.
“What’s the problem?”
I gave her my information and my reason for calling.
“Well I don’t see any reservation in Orlando,” she said. “And I don’t see any 10-foot trucks in Sterling, Virginia. The closest one I can find is in Fairfax, Virginia. How’s that?”
“It’s in Northern Virginia,” I said heavily. “That’s fantastic. I’ll take it.”
“It’s going to be, let’s see, $667.”
I told Mom. “That’s ridiculous,” she said. “We could get the 16-foot truck at Budget for $550.”
I negotiated with U-Haul and ended up with the truck for $380. Mom ended up getting insurance added onto it, so the total was somewhere around $440.
I drove up to the Sterling house at 10:30 in the morning, already exhausted from the phone calls. James, Katie, and Josh were waiting. We got the truck loaded up in half an hour, but we didn’t leave until 2:00.
Something weird about it, though: while waiting at random times to get off hold with U-Haul, I kept glancing over at Mom, who was supposed to be at work but was instead waiting for me to get off the phone so we could do the next step. I felt bad. I felt like I should be guilty and sorry, but why should I? I said, “I keep feeling like I should apologize to you for holding you up, but this is the opposite of my fault.”
And when I was finished yelling at the guy because I wanted a truck <i>in Sterling</i>, I wondered how I should have handled that. But I couldn’t think of a way I could have. I told him exactly what I wanted and then he gave me what I wanted. It had all gone rather smoothly, even if I had lost my patience a bit. Shouldn’t I feel bad about losing my temper?
I confessed to Mom that I felt conflicted.
She explained that women seemed to think that they had to be liked by everybody, and other such things that Sheryl Sandberg says a lot better than I can. And that I should never feel bad for standing up for what I really wanted.