I was going to pick up a car in Jersey.
What happened was this:
I was in Florida, reaching out to Riff my boss because I had a free one way plane ticket to anywhere in the USA that Southwest flies. My cousin is an exec with SW, and he gave me a free Buddy Pass for my birthday. But it was gonna expire Saturday.
Riff said there was a car in New Jersey, and it was going to Miami. So I made absolutely sure it was a certainty, then flew to NJ on Thursday. Took two planes, ended up in Long Island. Then took a shuttle van, then a train, then a cab, then a long bus ride. Total cost $40 (out of my pocket) Total time elapsed from Long Island airport to way out in NJ-- 4 1/2 hours.
I called again and again to give them updates on my travel, and Riff laughed and said not to worry. The car was getting detailed at the car shop, and would be waiting for me at a parking lot at the end of the bus line. Which was way, way out in the sticks. When I got to the parking lot, the bus left and I hunted for the car. Whoops. It wasn't there.
So I called and called, and finally Riff answered and said the order was canceled. The fact is that they had called and left a message for the lady the car was going to in Miami, but she had not called back.
She finally called 30 minutes before I arrived at the parking lot, and said she had been fired the day before (it was a company car) So my office called her company, and they confirmed she was fired and
canceled the order. All of which SHOULD have been done before I got on a plane.
My boss broke the rules, didn't follow procedure. I asked what to do, and Riff said Good Luck and hung up. I was stuck out in the middle of nowhere, 10 miles from the nearest small town. No transportation, no cabs, no motels, nothing. Plus, I had $40 cash left on me, and was counting on the check that was to be left for me in the car.
So I picked up my bags and began to walk. And walk. And walk. It soon got dark, and I found a park and went way back into it, then found a nice soft spot and slept on the ground. Made a little bed with my bags. It actually got chilly overnight.
At 6am, Riff called to say he had another car nearby headed to Chicago. I walked five miles to a little Diner, and a nice man there offered to drive me to pick up the car.
So now I am on my way to Chicago. Once there, I will drop off the car and fly back to Florida. As angry and frustrated as I was, I am grateful that I got out of it safely. I definitely have a Guardian Angel on my shoulder, and I like to believe its my deceased Father. The Driving Fool rides again!!