Why it’s difficult being inside my head

Today I learned that the insurance you get from UHaul when you rent a truck does not cover wrong fuel or overhead damage.

Guess why? Guess, guess, guess. Did you guess?

But let’s back up.

I moved a friend this morning, and she asked me to rent/drive the van. So I arranged that with UHaul, picked it up, and went to her place…no problem. I backed up to the service entrance, only to find out that the superintendent for her apartment building wasn’t there. So we had to go around to the front.

So I pulled around to the entrance, thinking about how close I had to get to the building to allow cars to still go through the lane.

And smacked the top corner of the cargo box into the bottom of a second-floor balcony.

The balcony is fine…it’s concrete, so it’s tough. The van…not so much. I tagged it right on the corner and crumpled it. I wasn’t going very fast…there was just enough momentum to push the sheet metal in.

Great start to the day, huh? Well, it gets better.

As I got out of the van, a middle-aged woman who had watched this happen says to me, “what kind of driver are you?” And not in a joking or sentimental manner, but in a, “you’re pretty stupid, aren’t you?” way. Which, of course, was exactly what I needed to hear.

Now me, I go out of my way to be sympathetic and soothing when I’m in her position. But no, given the choice to help me feel better or berate me, she chose to berate me. And me being the nice guy that I am, I decided not to lash out at her. I just thanked her for her concerns in a slightly sarcastic tone of voice. Then I punched the doorframe.

Merry freakin’ Christmas, lady.

As we were going up the elevator to my friend’s apartment, I commented how I wish I had told the woman off, because I would have felt better. Certainly, a whole bunch of things I could have said have run through my head over the past few hours. But it was pointed out to me by my friend that I wouldn’t have felt better. I just would have felt bad for taking out my anger on her, even though she was pretty much inviting it.

And my friend is right. I would have felt momentary satisfaction at telling the lady off, and then would have spent the rest of the day feeling guilty for doing it.

Which is why, sometimes, it’s difficult being inside my head.

The rest of the move went smoothly, and then I went to return the truck. Which is when I learned about the insurance not covering overhead damage. I think that’s fair…it stands to reason that if the overhead is damaged, that’s driver error and the company shouldn’t be responsible. So I’ll gladly pay for my mistake. And the UHaul staff was very friendly about the entire thing.

Oh yeah, in an odd turn of events, the very truck I was driving had just come back from repairs…to the very corner of the cargo box I just crumpled. I was wondering why the paint and decals seemed so new…

If you’ve never been on Scatterthought, you might wonder why I would write about something that’s so personally embarrassing. Quite simply, I’ve commented on other people’s driving in this space (and did so just the other day), so I have to be equally damning about my own mistakes.

If I were in that lady’s shoes, I would be similarly surprised that the driver of the big UHaul truck wasn’t paying attention to how tall the vehicle was.

The difference is that I would have tried to make the driver feel better about it.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m actually more upset about that woman than about the truck. Sure, I’m annoyed with myself, but this is merely a footnote in my life. I’ll pay the $400 of damage that I caused to the truck, learn an important lesson for the future, and move on.

Whereas she learned nothing, and will likely continue to display such poor behaviour to others around her. And if this is how she acts toward strangers, I shudder to think how she is toward her own family.

And that’s all I have to say about that.



  1. Whenever I pay exorbitant amounts for what seems like little damage to vehicles I always wonder if I should have gone to school for auto mechanics.

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