At 12.45 I rang the RAC. Time to revive the Jaguar. First of all I wanted to find a local garage that could take it. They’re reasonably local these guys, jaguar specialists, seem very personable, have the space for it and – crucially – are “too busy to look at it immediately so it may be some time.” Perfect. I can try to put some money aside before they start giving me numbers.
The battery has run out, and I need to get the sound system from Christmas Carol out of the boot. It’s been in there since the show as I was transporting it back from Sheffield when the car all but died. I limped it here to Sussex where I realised it had no more distance in it. The battery died in my friend’s driveway. This causes a problem. There is literally no way of opening the boot other than by pushing an electric button. No mechanical means. No battery means no boot access. I’m hoping the RAC triage guy will be able to jump it when/if he eventually shows up so I can get it open. But it’s gone half five and there’s no sign of him yet. It took 3 and a half hours from my initial call before they even had the courtesy to ring and tell me I’m on the list. The RAC is clearly in no hurry whatsover. The people I’ve spoken to on the phone so far when trying to persuade them to take me off the bottom of the list – they give literally 0 fucks. It’s like the NHS. You have to go in screaming, even if it’s just minor. Or someone else will go in screaming for something minor and you’ll get bumped. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.
I call the garage I’m planning on towing it to after 4 hours of waiting. Maybe there’s a trick to opening the boot.”Oh yeah, I remember that about the X-Type,” says the guy at the garage. “Sometimes the electrics lose connection from front to back on that model. I had a guy, taxi driver, had a passenger’s case in the boot when that happened. The boot’s enclosed as well. Had to take the back seats off and cut a hole into it. Then had to make the hole bigger to get the bloody case out. It’s a design flaw.”
Shit. My train to Cornwall is at 4 tomorrow. No more planes in this shitty weather. I need to drop this sound system off at 3. Am I going to have to take an arc welder to the car?
Miraculously, as the shifts change from day to night, someone who actually isn’t a complete bastard takes over on the RAC line. He is acting upset that I’ve had to wait so long just like the previous person appeared to be trying to make me wait as long as possible out of spite. He gets someone sent out to me almost immediately. But the person is just the person whose job it is to say “Nothing we can do here mate.” It’s a two stage process, getting the RAC to move a breakdown. Brian says “Nothing we can do here mate,” but thankfully gives me enough power to open the boot. Sound system: achieved. But the garage is closed now until tomorrow. He books me in. “Sorry you’ve had to wait so long,” he volunteers even though I haven’t mentioned it to him. It’s in his system. “That’s ridiculous. I’ve just come on shift. This is going to be a busy night.”
Thankfully I can stay another night here. Phew. Tomorrow I can rush home carrying a massive sound system on my shoulder, pack a bag, rush to Kings Cross, with said bag and system, drop off the system and then get on a long train to Cornwall with bag. So long as the RAC don’t decide to screw me over again now that the tow truck is booked…
Grr. That’s one day I’ll never get back. I’m hoping not to lose a second to being actively deprioritised. Time to join the AA.
Still, nice to be here again. I sang my godson to sleep, poor sod.