I was pretty crazy about couponing when I was in Provo. I still am at heart, but I haven't had the time to keep up on it. I'll get around to it one of these days. It takes quite a few hours to get organized, but then only takes a few hours each week to keep up with the coupons. I'll blog about the whole process at some point in case any of you turn out to be that particular flavor of crazy as well. It's pretty fun, if you're into that sort of thing. Getting away with 70% savings at the grocery store gives me quite the rush. Right. Back to the story.
So back in my couponing heyday of yester-month, I signed up for a whole passel of couponing newsletters. I still get the newsletters and occasionally sort through my un-clipped coupon stash for a specific coupon so I can get a few jars of peanut butter for $0.50. For example.
Anyhoo, a few weeks ago there was a notice saying that there was going to be a market survey in Scottsdale and we were all invited to put in our information (Marital status, number of people in my household, etc...) to see if they needed someone from our demographic to fill up the study. I've done a few of these and they usually pay fairly well for a few hours of work, so I filled it out. A few days later I got a very polite email saying that they were full and didn't need me. Ah well. C'est la vie.
A few days later I got a phone call from them asking if I had received an email. I told them that I had and that It had said that they didn't need me. I had a sudden burst of excitement that maybe someone backed out and they had an opening to fill. Alas, twas not to be. They just hadn't written down who all was coming so some pore sap had to make a bajilion phone calls to find out.
A few days after that I got another phone call saying that they did want me after all. So Monday after work I drove up to Scottsdale. As it turns out, it was a market survey for a brand of bagged salad. Fresh something or another. They took six of us into a room, gave us each a bag of salad. As instructed, we looked carefully at the packaging before we got to eat some. They had my favorite kind of salad dressing (Brianna's Honey Poppyseed) and that made it even better. The salad was actually pretty good. We went around the table and talked about our collages and what we did and didn't like about the salad. Oh yeah, we had homework. We each made a collage about bagged salad. It was pretty great, in a scissors and gluestick kind of way. Then we went into the other room where there were six women who had only heard about the salad. We talked about it with them, and then the people in charge asked them what they thought about what we had told them. And so on and so forth. After a few hours of this they gave us $100 each in cash.
It was pretty great. So I hopped in my little green truck and started to drive home. I had been noticing all day that I had to gas it pretty hard to get going. And even when it could, it sounded like it was revving more than normal. But, what's a girl to do. I just kept going, hoping to make it home.
But fate was not smiling on my truck. I was fairly close to home, but still on the freeway, when there ceased to be going, and was only revving when I put pressure on the gas. Since I knew there were problems a brewing underneath my hood, I was sticking in the righ-hand lanes. I was able to pull over just fine.
I sat in the seat for a bit, putting the truck in and out of gear, revving the engine, hoping it would catch enough to go. Then I popped the hood and checked the oil. It was low. My truck has pretty much reached drinking age, as it were. I remedied this problem, and then tried going again. Not really surprising, but the transmission had little to do with the fact that my oil level was a little low. But it was worth a shot. The transmission fluid wasn't low.
A highway patrolman pulled over to let me know that if my truck stayed on the freeway past 6 AM that it would be towed. I assured him that I would have it gone by then. I then looked up tow-companies nearby on my Android phone. Hooray for smartphones! I was even able to look up reviews on Google to make sure I was calling a reputable place. I found one that I felt comfortable with and they showed up in less than 30 minutes. The nice tow guy jacked Jack onto the back of his flatbed tow-truck and we dropped him off at my mechanic.
The charge for the loading and towing came to $73.50. I didn't have that much in my checking account, seeing as how I had just purchased a couple of tickets to Comic-Con on Saturday. I couldn't transfer money from my savings account right there. But wait! I had $100 dollars cash in my pocket. It's was a February miracle! Ok, perhaps not. It was pretty amazing either way.
I called a friend (my new Comic-Con buddy) and she took me home. The mechanic looked at my transmission. The hydraulics aren't gone, but it still needs quite a bit of TLC. I may fork out the cash to fix it, or I may invest that money in something a little more reliable. Right now, I'm ejoying the joys that are public transportation. Seeing as how my work bought me a bus pas that's good until August, this inconvenience is costing me a little bit of time, but not any additional money.