Friday, April 25, 2014

Tow away

Tow trucks have a bad reputation in Gainesville. They drive around town, getting into little parking lots looking for a next car to take away.Many drivers complain that their car disappeared although they didn't do anything wrong, while the companies look for a pretext to grab a vehicle to meet a quota. Tow service owners make the headlines every few months, recently in connection to a theft of scooters. Famously, some have transferred assets from one spouse to another or changed their structures to avoid problems in the past. Accusations and charges are not a new thing in this business, but given how expensive it is to recover your car here, it's understandable that some tow truck drivers and owners risk crossing the line to get their next meal. I don't have a car, but I have my own reasons for not being ecstatic when   I see the truck pulling in. Their vehicles are huge. They take up significant space when they get into that little street by my apartment that serves as a parking lot. Often I simply can't get by. Yesterday I had to wait twenty minutes as the truck blocked access to the wheelchair ramp to my building. It was just standing there, in the middle of the road, engine on, someone sitting in the passenger seat, no driver in sight. No way I could get around it. It didn't seem  like anybody called him to my complex, he was just checking every single parked car for a reason to tow them. I guess he figured he'd be faster on foot. No luck that day, as he was walking back he felt disappointed. So I waited twenty minutes. You may feel it's nothing. A year or two ago I was almost run over by one. As it was backing out of a space on our narrow road, way to small for a vehicle this size he almost backed into me. I saw the driver's face in his mirror and it was clear he wasn't checking for things behind him I started yelling at him and he wasn't maneuvering fast, so he stopped. I was very nervous and upset so I called his headquarters to complain. I explained that I was in a wheelchair, the driver wasn't paying attention and almost hit me. Their response? Apology? Forget it. It was "You can sue us if you wish". I guess they have so many legal problems one more thing wouldn't make a dent. So yes, I do have an odd sense of satisfaction I see one of those trucks pulling in to base empty handed. Karma. Better luck next time.

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