>I had a 1pm appointment with a new group health client today. Four employee account in Nolanville, Texas. Scott and White Health Insurance just had a massive ‘across the board’ rate hike… it is hitting hardest with my smaller employers. Humana is the best choice for employers and employees looking to take control of their health treatment and premium costs. I was excited to meet with them because… any chance to take another Scott and White group and show them the light… I’m on it.

My wife and I decided to grab a quick bite at Jack in the Box… we had about 35 minutes to kill. I had the new sirloin burgers… about the size of a baby fist. But you get three. Mine with ketchup only. Surprisingly tasty. My wife had the Teriyaki Bowl combo (egg roll instead of fries???). She was happy, too.

Looked at my watch. 10 til. We must leave now in order to walk in at 1pm. Let me wash up first (remember my OCD thing). Bathroom occupied and locked. Crap. First stress notch. Got out to the CHRYSLER Town and Country van… feeling frisky, so I opened up the passenger side door for my wife. A rare treat after 10 years of ‘togetherness’.

Got in, put the key in the ignition. Dead. What? Only 40K miles on it? My wife starts to panic. “What did you do?” Eagerly trying over and over to start the dead van, “Nothing, be quiet, the battery is dead… nothing’s happening… no clicks”. Yelling faster, “What do you mean no clicks, it’s a new van, it’s not the battery.” Not looking up from the dark dashboard, “I got this.”

“No you don’t, stop trying to start the van, you may blow up the engine!” I looked at her this time, “If I don’t have a spark, can you tell me how the engine is going to blow up, start calling Jane (the client), I’ll call Mike (our Humana rep).”

“And tell them ‘what’ exactly?”

“… that we’re going to be late until I can get a jump from Freedom Chrysler!”

I couldn’t reach Mike, on his way down here from an appointment in Waco, so I left a voicemail. Called Chad at Freedom Chrysler. He’s at lunch. “Yes, let me speak to someone else…. hey, it’s Crash, my two year old van with 40K miles on it won’t start… all dark, battery is extinct I think…… yeah…… no……. ok… we’re at Jack in the Box, next to Ryan’s Steakhouse….. cool……hurry, I’m already late to an appointment that will pay for these repairs.”

“What happened?, asked my nervous spouse.

“They’re sending over a driver to give us a jump. We’ll take it over to Freedom, get a new battery and be on our way”.

“How do you know it’s the battery?”

Dirty look, “It’s a good place to start”.

“What do you think happened?”, my wife thought I could answer. “I opened the car door for you awhile ago. I think the van went into cardiac arrest from shock!”

I called the client and explained that my Humana rep will be at the meeting and to get started without us, that we’d be there as soon as possible. She didn’t sound happy, but I didn’t kill the van battery on purpose.

The guy showed up with a jump starter kit. Hooked it up, and the van instantly started. “Great, thanks… I’ll meet you over at the dealership, thanks again”. Cool, we’re on our way again. It’s 1:10pm. Just as were pulling out on the eastbound service road, I turned on the air conditioner. Bad mistake. Van died immediately. My wife shouted, “PULL OVER, PULL OVER, before someone hits us!” Didn’t have to, the van never made it out of the Jack in the Box parking lot. A jumped out of the van and waved down the service guy just behind us.

He got out, “Van die again?”. I’m annoyed, “No, it’s still running, wanted to see if you wanted a Jumbo Jack – YES, IT’S DEAD AGAIN!… Can you jump us again, this time I won’t turn on the air.” He said, “Nice… no turn off everything. If it starts, I’ll follow you to Freedom (about 1 or 2 miles east). If it dies again, pull over, we’ll send over a wrecker.” It started instantly. Windows down, everything off, we made it all the way to the dealership.

Chad was back from lunch. He saw us pull in. He shouted, “What did you mess up now?” I gave him my one finger response.

Chad is great. I stayed with the van, while my wife went into my cousin Mitch’s office. Mitch sold us the van with only 35 miles on it January, 2 years ago. She went in to install his third a–hole! Obviously, it was his fault the car battery is dead. I wasn’t going to dispute that with my wife.

If I had a dollar for everytime a repair person told me this: “Odd, I never seen anything like this. Never a battery THIS DEAD before. Usually, there’s a little charge left. I can’t even test it. Want a new battery?”

“No. But I don’t want to push this thing around either. Yes. Get me a good one this time. One that can jump start a space shuttle.”

Chad said, “This was a two year battery”. I shouted, “You think?… I’m so lucky. It lasted me 2 years and four bonus months.”

“Um… I’ll get you a five year battery, a Mopac, that all right?”

“I don’t care, just get me back on the road, so I can try and save this account in Nolanville.”
Chad installed it himself, tolerated my cousin Mitch slams, and had us back on the road and in Nolanville by 1:40pm THAT SAME DAY. Mike was in the middle of his overview with our client and we arrived in time for the Q&A. I’m betting they’ll be switching to….. oh, better not say… there is no doubt some Scott and White legal spies checking us out here.

Total cost of my exceptionally dead battery? $90.66 and 45 minutes loss.

Funny thing… when Katelynn walked into Mitch’s office shouting at him, “Why don’t you admit it to me right now, you sold us another piece of sh-t Chrysler again!

Mitch picked up his office TV remote and said, “Funny you should say that, Obama is talking about Chrysler right now…..”

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