Back in 2008, when I was working for Lehman Brothers (Aurora Loan Services, their mortgage subsidiary), I was traveling from Scottsbluff, NE to Denver, CO for our monthly business review.
Instead of renting a car (which I could easily have done), I decided to take my own car (a new Honda Accord) in order to save the company a few bucks.
Boy, was that a bad decision.
Lemme tell ya…
I set out around 9:30 in the morning for a 1:00 meeting. I figured that at this time of the day, I’d face very little traffic on Route 25 once I entered Colorado.
Everything was progressing well as I made my way down south through Nebraska, then across the southern border of Wyoming.
I then got on 25 & headed south, an almost straight shot to the office (Aurora’s HQ).
It was a beautiful clear day.
It started to get a little cloudy & then, actually began getting dark.
In the middle of the day!
And then it started raining…and soon, the rain turned to hail!
It was like Hell opened up & decided to swallow up Colorado!
With the hail pounding on my car, I finally made it to a highway overpass, under which I sought shelter, along with the other few cars on the highway.
Everything was howling & you could actually hear this low rumbling sound not too far off.
Apparently, a tornado was blowing by…not very far away!
After a few minutes, everything cleared up as quickly as it started.
With the wife-open area surrounding the highway on both sides, I couldn’t see any visible damage to anything.
But there was about 6” of hail sitting on the roadway.
I made my way into Denver with about 10 minutes to spare.
While I felt that I narrowly escaped a Wizard of Oz re-enactment, nobody else at HQ seemed aware of what had just occurred.
(Listening to the news on the way back, I learned that 4 people died who were in the path of this tornado!)
After the meeting, I inspected my car for possible damage & lo and behold, I had hundreds of tiny pock marks all over my car.
And now the worst part.
The business refused to cover any of the damage! I was astounded…and pretty pissed!
“I took my own vehicle to save this place a few bucks & now you won’t reimburse me for damage incurred when I clearly was on the road for business purposes??? Really?
“I’m sorry, but the teleport machine was out for repairs!”
I couldn’t believe that!
I hadda pay for all repairs out of my own pocket as I carried a high deductible & didn’t want my rates skyrocketing for something I couldn’t have avoided.
I should’ve pursued the matter even further, but suing your employer, even in Small Claims Court, is probably not the best course of action, especially when you’re “stranded” out in a pretty remote area of Nebraska.
Hell, the town was so small that I would go to Walmart regularly…for socialization purposes! If I needed 14 items, I would only purchase 10, so I had another excuse to return in another day or so!
On Sunday evenings, I’d often drive 40 minutes to Torrington, Wyoming…to get Burger King! (I had just recently learned that Wyoming was actually a state!)
Many a time I would drive down to Denver with a couple of friends to watch a game (the Rockies baseball team at Coors Field or a Nuggets basketball game at the Pepsi arena) or go to a concert somewhere in the city.
I had lived my entire life in NY & San Antonio so I really wasn’t used to not having many choices in life regarding entertainment.
I just couldn’t believe it that Aurora wouldn’t reimburse me for damages incurred.
Yeah, should’ve rented a car had I known.
Thanks for listening to me rant!