I hate that saying! But, unfortunately it’s oh so true. My last post was all rainbows and unicorns. Reflections on a delightful moment that filled my heart with joy. This post however will not be so joyful. Because like the title of this post S#$T happened last night. Here’s what happened… We drove into town to meet friends for dinner and then we were going to stroll through the Flower & Coffee Fair, well our evening out went terribly wrong at a police checkpoint. What we thought would be ‘no big deal’ because we had every piece of paperwork we needed to assure a random checkpoint goes smoothly ended with us standing on the side of the road with a hefty fine and waiting for our car to be towed away!
For those of you who don’t live here let me explain the random police checkpoints we often see here. They are ‘random’ and the police often ask to see your registration, insurance and drivers license. All of which we had, but… there was one little problem. Our car insurance paperwork, which was a recently renewed policy,( just updated in November), had an expiration date of the day I renewed the policy! So, it was invalid in the eyes of the friendly Police officer. Ugh! As I go on with my rant I must say, I’m extremely disappointed in our Insurance Agent. But, here in Panama one must tread gently when saying negative or possibly ‘slanderous’ things about people in public, so I won’t be mentioning any names or businesses. If any of my friends here want more specific information feel free to contact me privately.
So, The insurance agent is one who was highly recommend when we first moved to Boquete. And I remember feeling like we were in such good hands when we got our first policy with this person. The Agent walked us to our car as we left the office and shook our hands, smiling and telling us not to EVER hesitate to call if we needed anything at all, day or night. Wow! I thought, “Never before had an insurance agent said that to me”. We drove away feeling like this person would have our backs in an emergency and we felt good. Well fast forward to now, when we actually needed help, the agent most certainly did NOT have our backs! Just the opposite, the agent actually turned on us as though we were the enemy. In our minds we would call the agent, explain the error on our paperwork and all would be well. Nope! The agent actually yelled at me on the phone, bringing me to tears as I tried to explain what was clearly a typo on the paperwork the agents assistant had given me. It was horrible. To be standing on the side of the road, knowing we had done nothing wrong , and we were about to receive a hefty fine and have our car towed away!
I should not have been so shocked. We had been warned by others who have been in emergency situations with this same agent and had gotten less than professional service when they needed help the most. But, until your faced with this type of careless, unprofessional, uncaring even mean treatment by someone you trust, it just does not seem possible. To be yelled at by a professional who promised to care and to be there for you if you needed any help is shocking to say the least. As I began to crumble in tears while this person berated me and accused me of having the wrong paperwork, Scott took the phone from me and in his very calm, patient manner, after arguing about what was the agents responsibility he was finally able to get the agent to agree that IF the agent got into the office the next day to find it was indeed the assistant who made an error, then the agent will pay for the fine and the towing. Sheesh! IF??? IF??? Ridiculous! Can anyone please tell me how a brand new policy with a brand new insurance company that I just got in November could actually have expired the very month that I paid for it? And, how is that not the agents responsibility?
So, s!$t happens. And there’s lessons to be learned here. First, I’ll always check dates on paperwork from now on! Second, I’ll listen to friends who have bad experiences with professionals. Also, once again we have great friends here. Our friends who we were having dinner with were so supportive and kind when we finally made it to the restaurant. They cheered us up and it was great to spend the evening talking and enjoying the company of the healing energy of people who care about us. After dinner our plan had been to walk over to the fair and enjoy an evening exploring but we were really just not in the mood after all the drama. Since there was not a taxi to be found we called our neighbors Kat & Alan, they didn’t even bat an eye when I texted and said, “Can you come get us?”…They simply got in their car at 8:30 at night and drove down the hill to bring us home. We felt like two sad little kids who had had a bad day. hah! By this time I had enjoyed some wine with dinner and had thoroughly talked through our S#@tty experience with our friends so I was on my way to feeling much better about what had happened. The Agent is dead to me, but aside from that, all would be well.
In the end we’ll chalk this up to yet another new experience on this adventure! So many worse things could have happened, aside from me shedding a few tears (which, lets face it… isnt too hard to get me to do, I’m such a cry baby!) no permanent damage has been done. We learned that its time to search for a new insurance agent, good to know before we actually needed the agent for something that was an even worse emergency, only to be treated like the enemy. And, I forgot to say, the police office who pulled us over was so nice and before we walked away with our little bag of the few valuables from the car he was about to have towed away, we shook his hand. He was very nice and was only doing his job. The paperwork was wrong, and he had no choice but to do what was his job to do. We shook hands and he smiled and seemed kinda sad for us, and not a little surprised by our understanding. He even said he was sorry, and we said, “your just doing your job”. It’s too bad our insurance agent was not so professional. Isnt it amazing that the police officer offered us more kindness and consideration than someone who had professed that they would be there to help if ever we needed it?
On to the next part of this new adventure, trying to get our car out of impound. First we have to go to the agents office to try to get the correct paperwork. Then to the office in David to pay the ticket. Then to find the impound lot! Ugh! In case your wondering, my hummers are still delighting me and looking out my window Its an incredibly beautiful day, blue skies and wait….I think I see a unicorn…right over there…next to the rainbow….Life is still good, some people kinda suck but all in all most don’t!