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May 04 2015

HAVE YOU HAD A FANTASTIC DAY?

Have you had a fantastic day?

Image courtesy of Paul Brennan

“Have you had a fantastic day?” The question came from the lady at Enterprise Car Rental. She was professional, beautiful and positively upbeat. However, I was there at the end of a particularly harrowing day. I woke up with expectations for a “fantastic” day that included several appointments with clients, closing a big sale, and meeting with my manager. But that’s not how the day went.

Not even close.

I was driving an hour out of town to get to my appointments, and while I was on the interstate, I ran over something. I didn’t see what it was, but I definitely heard it. I expected that I would have a flat tire almost instantly, but I didn’t. I kept listening for something to rattle, but nothing did. The car continued to drive fine, so I kept on going. I was running a few minutes ahead of schedule, so I pulled into a gas station to get some gas, and this is where the excitement picked up.

“Whoa! Hey! Hey!” yelled a guy coming out of the convenience store. I ignored him at first because, honestly, I thought it was just some guy who likes to yell at the ladies. Nope. Turns out that the gas I was pumping was pouring straight out of the gas tank onto the ground beneath my car. I was beginning to flood the area because my gas tank had a hole in it. Fabulous. Or should I say, fantastic? “Do you have AAA?” he asked. I had literally had a conversation a few days prior where I stated that I needed to get AAA… but of course, I hadn’t gotten around to that yet.

I was going to drive to the hotel next door to make arrangements, but the kind stranger warned me to not even crank the car. So, I alerted the attendant and crossed the busy road. In my heels. Loaded down with my laptop case. And everything else I knew I’d need (Garmin, iPad, notebook, etc.). I only had so much phone juice, and the big sale I was going to close would be by phone that afternoon. I could at least keep that one appointment if I saved enough battery, so I rationed and made only the necessary calls: The three face-to-face appointments I had booked. My manager. My boyfriend. A mechanic. Insurance.

Then the insurance company said they couldn’t have it towed until it had been cleared by the fire department since it was leaking gas. So the police department showed up–I don’t know why–and told me they couldn’t clear it because they don’t have any expertise in that area. Then the fire department came and cleared it. Then it took over an hour for the tow truck to get there. Then I found out it’s over $2700 worth of damage (much more going on besides the gas tank). Then I found out it’s race weekend (Talladega) which means there probably won’t be any rentals available, and the mechanic was out of loaners. Then, then, then.

Fortunately, there was one car left at Enterprise, albeit less than desirable, and at 3:00pm (having had NO lunch and a big sale that did NOT, in fact, close), the nice lady asked me, “Have you had a fantastic day?” I could not hold in the laughter. It was one of those laugh or cry moments, and I managed to laugh.

I got in the car which was in no way shape or form designed for someone 5’0″. When I asked the employee to show me how to adjust the seat, he adjusted it down (did I mention my height?), and that’s when the lever broke. It wouldn’t adjust back up. Oh well. It’s the only car available, so what choice did I have? Besides, I quickly discovered that it wouldn’t matter anyway. Based on the car’s design, there was no adjustment that would work well for me. The height of the seat was actually too high for me to comfortably reach the pedals. I could reach them with my toes, but the side mirror was in such a strange place that I could barely see over it. So I drove home with my leg stretched forward and my back stretched up and literally made my stomach muscles sore–not kidding–from driving that way.

I kept hearing the question in my head, “Have you had a fantastic day?” Craptastic was more like it, but the question still made me chuckle. It was so far removed from fantastic. I turned on the radio and hit the first pre-set button and found it was the local Christian station. I figured that was probably the best thing I could listen to, given my frustrated attitude, so I left it there. And as I shifted my focus to the goodness of God, I realized what an amazingly fantastic day it had actually been.

Have you had a fantastic day?

I hit a piece of metal that tore up the bottom of my car… but it didn’t leave me on the side of the road, and it didn’t cause me to wreck. The car behind me swerved way off the road to avoid the object as it flew up into the air… and they successfully dodged it. Absolutely no one was hurt. That alone made it a fantastic day.

I was about to start my engine on top of a pool of gas with a hole in the bottom of my car… Would it have resulted in an explosion? I have no earthly idea. But the gentleman at the gas station ran out just in time to ensure I was safe and didn’t do anything that would put myself or others at risk. I think kindness from strangers makes for a fantastic day.

I had to cancel three appointments… but all of them agreed to reschedule, so nothing was really lost. Having been in sales for years, I’ve learned that when the sales person has to cancel an appointment, they are usually hard to get rescheduled. In light of the circumstances, that contributed to a fantastic day.

I had tons of arrangements to make… but the insurance company handled most everything so that I didn’t have to. They called to get the clearance to tow, they arranged the tow truck, and they secured a rental for me. All of this saved me not only hassle but precious cell phone battery. Although I have to pay a deductible, and I hate that, it’s way the heck better than paying $2700. Thank you, Hartford. You put some fantastic in my day.

And yes, that Kia Soul may not have been meant for someone of my stature, and yes, it was so ill-fitted that it wore out my stomach muscles just to drive it an hour to get back home… but thank God there was a car left to get me home in the first place. Safe and sound. And thank God its first preset radio button was on WDJC where I would hear music that shifted my focus to the Lord’s presence in the midst of my day’s troubles.

So, to the kind lady at Enterprise, please forgive me for laughing at your question. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized, the Lord had been watching out for me all day long at every turn… and I’d call that a pretty fantastic day.

From the heart of Dixie Mama… always say grace.

Do you know anyone who might benefit from this reminder while enjoying a chuckle at my expense? Give it a share on your favorite social media!

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