All night I hummed and haa'd about going into work in the evening to avoid treacherous road conditions in the early morning. Then, based on The Weather Channel predictions, I decided to simply go into work an hour early.
At 2:25am I slowly backed out of my driveway. The snow was deep and still coming down. I cautiously drove to the highway. Taking it very easy, I drove slowly and safely. A few idiots screamed by me - but I clutched the steering wheel and proceeded on with caution.
At my off ramp, I signaled, moved over a lane and started to take the exit. The snow plow had had zig-zaged at the entrance of the off-ramp, resulting in a wall of snow. Since it was now 3:02am, it was dark, and visibility was impaired due to snow and rain pellets. I slowed down and lined my little car's wheels up with the one and only wheel track cutting through the snow barrier left by the plow. Suddenly, my wheels started to slip and I could not straighten the car out. In slow motion I slid into the high snow bank on the side of the off ramp. My car became wedged sideways in the snow bank.
I sat for a moment, glad to be ok, then mad that I was stuck, then concerned I may not get to work, then I realized it...I was friggin' sideways, blocking 3/4 of the off ramp...and it is 3:04am.
Luckily, I had my phone. I called my hubby...just in case something would happen - I was terrified a car coming off the highway would crash into me. Then I called CAA - Canadian Automobile Association. I spoke to the operator and he informed me that I was a top priority, especially since I was in a dangerous spot. A tow truck would come within the next half hour.
A van came off the highway and stopped. Three young guys got out and tried with all their might to get me out of the snow bank. Nope. I was wedged in. Just as we were trying another car came screaming off the highway - he lost control as he tried to squeeze through and become stuck.
The three guys and I rocked and pushed his car till it was freed.
The two vehicles left me as there was nothing for them to do: I assured them that I had just called CAA and a tow truck was coming.
So, I waited.
Suddenly I saw flashing lights behind me - a big yellow tow truck from Ottawa Towing. Thank you!
I got out of my car and said, "Thank goodness! I was getting a bit scared of getting hit. Conditions are getting worse and visibility is nil, and well, look, I am stuck sideways in the off ramp."
"Have you out in a sec."
"Great! Here is my CAA card. Whew, the operator said I may have to wait for half an hour!"
"Um. I am not with CAA. Did you call it into CAA?"
"Well, I'm here first, you may have to wait a long time - so, if you want, I can pull you out - but you will have to pay me."
"$65.00 and you will be out in a few seconds - or you can wait for CAA"
"Oh, well, I pay by dues to CAA, and I just called them - so, well, I guess I will wait for them."
...and zoom...he was off.
I waited about 5 more minutes, then a big white tow truck from Garvis Towing pulled up beside me. Nice, young guy jumps out and says, "Did you call this in?"
"Yep! Let me get my CAA Card! So glad you are here!"
"I'll have you out in a jiffy! Put it in neutral and I will pull you out."
"OK!...AWESOME! That took 2 seconds! Here is my CAA card!"
"Oh, I am not with CAA. You owe me $95.00... I am not with CAA. I do not accept CAA cards. You will have to pay me."
"WHAT?!?!?!?!? I told you I had called it in and told you was was getting my CAA card - then you just pulled me out! You made me think you were with CAA...I cannot pay you...I will not pay you!"
"Mame, you gotta pay me - I pulled you out...you have to pay."
"Well, then, PUSH ME BACK IN and I will wait for the CAA tow truck. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!"
I got on the phone with CAA and well, long sobbing, angry story later, I had to pay the tow truck driver, and no, he did not push me back in! I felt tricked, scammed and violated. I was furious and out $95.00! And the kicker - the first tow truck driver works for a contractor of CAA - but he wanted to make full fare and not the CAA rate. I have submitted my claim to CAA for reimbursement, but I will probably only get the CAA rate... a miserly $39.00...no wonder the tow truck operators would rather gouge you! So, if you ever need a tow truck, pleaase NEVER use Ottawa Towing or Garvis Towing!