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When Sandy Hits, Buick Kicks!

When Sandy Hits, Buick Kicks!

If you think about it, there is not much to get excited over a 1985 Buick that is in far from mint condition.  That is unless it is days after Hurricane Sandy slammed your home and your life, destroying your car, and creating a gas shortage in its wake.  The 1985 Buick is the best car in the world because it has a full tank of gas, and you are fortunate your neighbor loaned it to you….

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picture of repairs going on – 5 months after the storm

But before you get too excited, there is just one problem…..

 

“Oh crap!” My husband exclaimed as we started to drive from my cousin’s house early one morning after spending the night there trying to escape the Nor’easter.

 

“What is it?”

“Shit! We have a flat, and it is really low.”

 

“What are we going to do?” I asked.   Cell service was still very spotty, and pretty much no gas stations were open due to the gas shortage.  In fact, most were cordoned off, so you couldn’t even enter them.

 

“I don’t know,” Marc answered as he continued to drive very, very slowly.

 

“Look that station isn’t taped up.  I see their air machine!” I screamed.  Marc pulled in. We rummaged through our pockets and neither one of us had a quarter to put in the machine.

 

“I have a dollar. I’ll go into the hotel and get change.”

 

Well, that didn’t work out too well.  The banks were all closed for at least a week and they had no change to give.  I tried to get a room, but they didn’t have any of those either.

 

Tired, frustrated and angry, I returned to the car empty handed.  I found Marc examining the vehicle.  He realized there was a nail in the tire.

 

I felt like we have been living through a bad episode of survivor. “I’ve got an idea.” I said.  “Why don’t we try Anchor Audi. They have your car, they know our situation, they have electric, and we have to pass by anyway.  Maybe we can get lucky.”

 

Marc rolled his eyes at my plan but headed to Audi anyway.

 

As soon as we walked into Audi, the service manager recognized us.  He knew that Marc’s car was in the lot, in the “totaled section”.  He also knew where we lived and the state of our home. Clearly he was confused why we were there.

 

Marc started to explain our situation, but before he could finish the service manager told him, “pull that baby around.  We’ll take care of it for you.”

 

“But it’s a Buick, a 1985 Buick,” Marc clarified.

 

“I don’t care.  We’ll help you out.  That is what we are here for.”

 

Marc and I sat in the comfortable service waiting room, remembering what it was like to live in the modern age – lights were lit, the television was playing, and a coffee machine dispensed hot brew.

“You are all set,” the manager called out to us.  “The Buick is out front.  We plugged the tire.  Only problem is we didn’t have time to wash it for you,” he joked.

 

Marc and I laughed and let out an audible sigh of relief.  “Thanks so much,” Marc replied.  “How much do we owe you?”

 

The manager shook his head and gave us a sad smile.  “Nothing,” he answered.  “It is the least we can do for you with everything you guys are going through.  Just take care of yourselves.  I’ll see you soon.”

 

It is amazing what a difference customer service makes.

 

Have you had a customer service experience that blew you away?

 

 

26 thoughts on “When Sandy Hits, Buick Kicks!

  1. What a great story—-and it made me me think of our weekend experience where a salesman “argued” with Chris about some electronics —seriously was argumentative!!!! Even if Chris was not correct in what he was suggesting the salesman certainly did not abide by the “customer is always right” rule!!! He was really over the top in being a know it all and after further research we knew that he was misinformed about what he was saying. Definitely would not buy from him. Customer service is a must these days and it needs to be GOOD!!!

    1. Beth Ann – oh man… I bet Chris was so angry and came out with quite a few Chrisism’s as a result. I don’t understand people. what was this guy trying to accomplish. Did he think angering a customer would equal a sale?

  2. I haven’t a clue about cars but I do know about kindness and helpfulness and general goodness so yay for that lovely manager and your neighbour for lending you the car too! Take care
    x

    1. Old Kitty – we were really lucky. we were showered with kindness by so many and two of our neighbors actually loaned us cars

    1. Connie – no, it isn’t wrong, because if it is I’d be wrong too… I cried when I wrote this remembering…

  3. It is during the tough times that you really see the true character of a person. What a heartwarming story. I think about you and all you are going through and I am thankful that you are (1) safe, (2) alive and (3) still blogging.
    Love Noodles

    1. Noodles – thank you so much…. we are safe, sound and couldn’t not blog! and you are right, you really do see people’s true colors in a catastrophe!

    1. Abby – you are so right… We felt human after this exchange – a feeling that was becoming foreign to us…

  4. During times like that, you really see people reaching out to help one another. We went through a lot of that during the three hurricanes that hit our area of Florida in six weeks in 2004. It changes your perspective about what is important and shows you the real character of people who will go out of their way to help each other during tough times. Thanks for sharing that story.

    1. Sometimes – I couldn’t agree with you more. I feel like a changed person (for the better) after the storms. I really learned what matters!

  5. Sometimes you still get surprised by how nice people can be. And isn’t it a shame that it happens so little nowadays that when it does happen you are blown away!!! Glad you were able to get the tire fixed.

    1. Susi – I know… It is a shame that these stories are the exception rather than the rule, but I think that is because we usually share the bad experiences more than the good… there are a lot of good people out there

  6. Now that is exceptional customer service that goes above and beyond anything anyone can expect these days. It is generous spirits like that which remind us that many still have a heart of gold.

    1. Darcie – I agree.. I think many people are really amazing. It is too bad that we always seem to talk about the ones who disappoint us, not the ones that blow us away in a good way!

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