July 6, 2009
July 6, 2009 – Sonny of a Bitch
About a week ago I had a minor fender bender in front of the main hotel. There were a few taxi drivers parked in the vicinity but none of them seemed to notice – likely because years of driving a taxi have turned them into mindless drones.
I was tired as I had worked through the previous night and the sun had come up. It was about 10 a.m. When you are attempting to work a double shift the fatigue often doesn’t hit you until the sun rises the next morning. Perhaps the transition from night to day, or the transition to the morning drivers. They’re absolutely awful. Never in my life have I seen such a sad group of undignified, undomesticated, misfits. Shameful.
So back to the case at hand. I was probably on my 16th hour or so and I glanced against this guy’s car as I was pulling to the curb. Once I scraped against him he slammed on his horn. Did he think that I didn’t realize that my car had collided with his? The horn would have been best applied proactively. More often than not the wailing of a car horn is doled out as more of a punitive measure than a preventative one.
So we get out and he’s pissed. Sonny was his name. I wish that I could provide his full name, but alas, I cannot. He really was a little bitch about the whole thing but I think after a few he came to realize that these things do happen and that it would just be best to exchange insurance information and keep in touch. We agreed that this was a matter that could be best dealt with off of the books. Out of sight, out of mind – no need to let Catherine know about things.
There was only minor damage, just a little scuffed paint and a small scratch on the bumper. I called him a few days later to follow up and try to arrange a time to get things fixed. He did not return my call, but rather left me a call several days later demanding, more or less, to know when I would take care of his damages. I addressed him politely, albeit sharply, and explained how I had attempted to resolve this earlier. Then he tried to show me some $1,100.00 estimate that a mechanic had written up. I explained that the figure was much too high and that I would not be willing to pay out such an outrageous sum for a bumper - a figure that a friend of his had likely come up with.
Sure enough I was able to get an estimate for $240.00. Then he complained that he had trouble getting rides to work and had to get a rental car and all. I explained to Sonny that if we had decided to take the insurance company route that would have been possible. In an attempt at appeasement I offered additional compensation to help him out.
So today I went met up with Sonny at the scene and handed him an envelope with $300.00 and a contract stating that this would be the end of our discussions and that we had agreed that no further action would be taken. He agreed but turned his nose up at the $300.00 and stated that he thought, “he would be compensated” for his troubles. I explained that he had and I had paid out $60.00 above and beyond what his repairs had come to.
Sonny was disappointed and in a desperation move he stated that his son was sick and in the hospital. I explained that I was sorry to hear that and went on my way. Really? Trying to capitalize on your sick son (if this was in fact true). How much more did he want? Would an extra $50 dollars have been enough to carry him through his financial difficulties? I think that I was pretty fucking nice about the whole thing. After all, I could have just told him to get lost since there had been no police report, and that it was pretty much my word against his. By now, chances are that I know the traffic court much better than him and I have days off. If Sonny had decided to go that route there would be grey skies ahead.