November 5, 2010

Tips for Drivers

It was inevitable. I mean, it happens to everyone at least once, right?

On my way home from work today I decided to stop and get gas. It wasn't so much my decision as it was the decision of the "low fuel" light that came on just before the turn off to the gas station. I go to the new Ultramar gas station usually. It's less expensive and closest to where I work/live. So I pulled in, masterfully choosing the right side that my fuel door was located on, made sure to turn off my headlights, pulled the keys out of the ignition, grabbed my debit card and hopped out of the car. Gas was 99.2 (for the cheap stuff, I'm too poor being a former-university student to afford anything supreme or ultra-fantastic for my fuel tank) and I filled her up! Almost got it exactly on too, you know, when you are filling the top and trying to make it right on the dollar... I was only one cent over. But that was okay. I still felt cool. And I was ready to head home.

I pulled the handle twice as the realization that my door was locked sunk in. Locked with the stupid keys sitting on the seat inside of the locked car. So I went inside and asked to use the gas station phone, I had locked my keys in my car. I felt like an idiot! And I'm pretty sure all the people working there realized I was an idiot too. So I called my mom and had to wait 10 minutes for her to show up with my spare keys so I could escape this embarrassing scene.

To avoid being stranded outside of your locked car, and needing to ask someone to borrow their phone so you can call your mommy to bring you your spare keys, I recommend the following, gleaned from my own personal experience...

1. Own a spare key - If you don't have a spare key then you are going to have to either break in, or get a locksmith. Which can end up being pricey, and generally more embarrassing

2. Get one of those magnetic key holding boxes and attach it to you car - It saves a lot of time and trouble if you just need to reach under your car and "ta-da! spare key!"

3. Know your car - If your car is a newer model (let's face it, fellow grads, with my empty-wallet "newer" just means a car just too young that if it was a boy I wouldn't date him, but if you are one of those lucky, spoiled grads whose parents supply you with a free, newer model car in an attempt to fulfill your need for parental love and attention with meaningless gifts...) then you may be able to unlock it using your OnStar. If your car is old enough to be able to use a wire coat hanger, then maybe you should plan on leaving a back door window always open just a tad.

4. Keep your cool, stay positive - Yes, it's embarrassing. Yes, you look like a fool. But it's not the end of the world. Laugh about it. And don't turn into some sobbing blob of frustration. And don't be the person who tries to open the door handle like 10million times... Once you realize it's locked, it's locked. Pulling the door handle isn't going to solve the problem, so quit standing around and fix it!

Hopefully, with these tips you will be prepared before the day actually arrives when you lock your keys in the car, but probably not. That's ok, just laugh it off and "ta-da! magnetic key holder thingy that contains your spare key!"

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