So I got back from a trip on Sunday night and my wife was kind enough to pick me up at the station. As I got into the car I realised the fuel gauge was on red and the stick almost touching the last bar.
I asked her how come she didn't fill up that's it's dangerous driving on empty . She said she was meaning to but just didn't get the time and chance to do so and even as she came out to pick me up she thought about it but then thought she could do it later. I said okay, but she should try harder next time....typical husband right?! We chatted away about my trip, got home, and went to bed.
So, it's Monday morning. It's raining 'cats and dogs'. I get my son ready, strap him in his car seat and I proceeded to drop my wife off at work. We get to her work place, said our good byes, not before the kiss good bye and 'have a lovely day'. It was still raining heavily, so much so that visibility was reduced significantly; I thought this day wasn't any different except for the torrential rain and extremely cold weather. How wrong was I?
As I left my wife's work place I thought to myself, I better put some fuel in this car, the fuel gauge 's light was piercing and constantly distracted me from having a pleasant drive.
So, I proceeded on to nearest fuelling station about 3km away. I took a few turns, went around a couple of round-about and got on the dual carriage way; this was where it all happened.
As I got on the dual carriage way, I drove for about a minute, the car began to jitter and it seemed to be stalling. With my quick thinking I managed to manoeuvre the car from the outer into the inner lane where the car finally came to a complete stop.
Alas! The fuel tank was now and truly empty. This wasn't funny at all, I had my son in the back seat and it was freezing cold; I had on only bathroom slippers with socks of course like a true English man. This was a wrong move I know but it was only supposed to be a quick drop off at my wife's work place then back home before I got ready and carried on with my business for the day.
I put on the hazard lights, by the way it's still pouring heavily, cars, bikes, trucks are moving past me at speed, the heater is off and the car won't start. I picked up my mobile phone to call the 4th emergency service 'AA'. After giving the operator my details, she said to me 'sorry Mr Makanjuola, your policy expired earlier this month on the 3rd'. She said I will need to be passed on to another team if I want to discuss this; to be honest I wasn't in a chatty mood by this point. My legs, fingers and everything else was freezing up gradually and my son in the back was getting restless, with good reason as you can imagine; we are parked in the middle of nowhere with heavy rainfall, no heating and nothing to keep him entertained.
The operator passed me on to another department and the gentle man there passed me on to yet another department to get my policy renewed if I want to enjoy their breakdown services. So I'm on to the third department and the lady there says in order to authorise a call out to me, I need to make a payment of £153.85. I asked why? She said because I'm already in a break down situation, I asked, can I pay later or even pay by monthly instalments? She said 'sorry you can't. When I asked why, she said normally you would be able to but as you are already in a breakdown/emergency situation, you need to pay in full before a call out can be authorised.
Yes, you guessed right! Arrgh! Holy anger and frustration all mixed Into one was beginning to rise. I had to pay out and unplanned amount of money simply because we were running on empty.
I gave my wife a call, and thankfully, she took a taxi from work, she went to the fuelling station, bought a Jerrycan for £7.50, filled it up for £6.50 and brought fuel to meet me where I was broken down - superwoman to the rescue right?
Oh was I happy to see petrol, I mean happy to see my wife. As at this time the cold was travelling up my legs to to my special place so, it was just in time. She paid the taxi driver £13.40 and I quickly emptied the Jerrycan into the car and voila, the car started immediately.
So to summarise my wife could have topped up much earlier for as little as £10 when the fuel warning light came on but she didn't, it costed her 1 x Jerrycan - £7.50, fuel - £6.50, taxi fare - £13.40, totalling £27.40; not to mention 2 hours off work (unpaid by the way), our son catching a cold, and my Crown Jewels almost becoming frozen assets.
Many of us we are running on empty, not resting or overworking ourselves even when we see the warning signs. You tell yourself, I'll do it soon or tomorrow but tomorrow never comes.
Morale of the story don't run on empty, it costs more to get you running when you have broken down.