(better = works)
day 1. boston ma. 83°F
at about 10 am with much ceremony dad and i climb up into the giant 22′ truck to begin our journey. antony at the wheel. engine rumbling. shift into gear. step on the accelerator. engine roars.
but no movement.
dad and antony looking at each other with that “whut?” look. maybe since the truck is loaded and we are on a bit of a hill i need to use a lower gear? shift from “drive” to 4th gear. not movin’. 2nd?. barely budges then rolls back. last chance. trying 1st. pedal to the floor. we’re now inching forward. c – r – e – e – p – i – n – g up the drive.
we make it to the top and as we turn on to major hale drive we see all the flanigan girls lined up on the yard waving goodbye. very nice – i’ll remember that image for a long time. we chug along through the neighborhood and onto the pike with the truck struggling to make it up the smallest of hills.
then dad hears me ask the question you never want to hear – “can you look in the manual and see what the ‘engine’ light means?”
no surprise it means the truck is dying, so i get off at the next exit and call penske to tell them that we are heading back. 10:30 and we’re back where we started. 10 minutes later you can see the mechanic talking to the jay the rental agent. not a lot of smiles.
jay the friendly rental agent comes over and says the turbo charger is blown and will take days to repair – so we need to get a new truck. they are trying to locate a new truck and will have the mechanics transfer the contents. “uh – nope” i say. we had professional movers pack our truck to ensure everything made it safely and we’re not going to allow the truck mechanics unload our stuff and reload it all into a new truck. they agree and say they will try to get gentle giant to pickup a new truck and then do the unload / repack. at 1100 they confirm gentle giant is lined up and will be there at 1200. this was much better than i thought possible. i thought there was no chance that gg would have a crew available at a moments notice on a saturday in august. jay says he wants to make everything right so tells me that he has taken 10% off of our $1200 bill. based on his expression i’m guessing me laughing out loud was not the reaction he expected. i explained i could not believe that his truck had been serviced properly given it was so noticeably broken less than 5 miles from their depot, that their broken equipment was trashing our plans, and that i was looking to him to sharping his pencil a bit more and see what he could do. he agreed to 20%. i also got the no-longer-so-friendly jay to agree be liable for any damages that occurred during the unload & repack (he seemed quite offended that i asked him to write it down.)
so i call jackie and ask her to pick us up so both dad and i don’t have to sit around at penske for hours. we sneak back into the neighborhood (way too embarrassing to be coming home so soon after that great send off from the neighbors).
at 1215 i drive back to penske to supervise the unpack and repack but no new truck of movers yet. at 1230 two nice guys from gentle giant arrive in an even larger truck – a 26′ beast. no surprise they want to back up the new truck flush with the old one and just transfer the goods from one to the other. i didn’t want to be a total pain in the ass but quickly veto this since the original gentle giant team has packed the truck very carefully with the most fragile items on first and then well surrounded with lots of protection. no way to repeat that good pack without unloading everything into the parking lot and then repacking. at 12:45 the stuff starts moving.
at 1:30 i realize that jay has not given me a new inspection sheet for the new truck so i head over to the office. now the hours posted on the door said they were open until 2 on saturday. and for some reason i expected jay to hang around until i was on my way again. ah – once again foiled by my childhood innocence. the office is locked up and jay is probably on the 3rd tee by now.
the gg guys are working like dogs and at 2:45 have finished. they did a great job and the load looks tight and secure. i move the truck out of the fenced in lot (i could just see me returning with dad and having the new truck locked in the lot) and go home to have jackie drop off drive dad and me back.
3:00 and we are on our way. new truck drives great.
total time hit – 5 hours.