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Day 2 of the job: dead car battery

AlmostGone83's picture

Day 2 of the job at the greasy spoon: Little Idiot leaves the lights on in her car in the morning and kills the battery. She calls us in a panic, having a full meltdown, and freaking out after after she gets out of work. The first thing we hear is "her key is stuck in the ignition". We tell her to jiggle the wheel a bit and see if it will come out. No luck. Hmm very strange, Then, "well I think I left the lights on and the battery is dead" Ok, well that's your problem then - the truth comes out. Mind you, this is all being shouted at us over speaker phone and BI is having trouble understanding LI because he has hearing problems and she is babble-screaming with her lisp. I try to leave this all to BI but he is saying "I can't understand her!! What is she saying??" And I'm sitting there telling her loudly to speak up. He still can't understand her so I have to translate for them. Ugh. I should have just walked away and left them to it but he would have gotten mad at me. BI and I can't come to her rescue because of work. So she has to call a towing service. She is all upset because she will have to go back into work and wait for the tow, and she thinks she will look like an idiot. Yep, that's too bad. 3.5 hours and $45 later, she is finally able to start her car and drive home. 

She texts me later that night apologizing for flipping out and says she is going to work on being more respectful. I told her that I didn't really think she said anything out of line THIS TIME, and she was stressed out and we all have killed a car battery at least once in our lives. These things happen and it's part of being an adult. You just have to deal with them (hope you are enjoying it!). But this DOES teach you the importance of saving emergency money, LI and not blowing it on shoes and makeup when you work at a greasy spoon and have nothing to your name.

Meanwhile The Skunk Ape is down in FL posting "I wuv you soooo much LI!s" on Facebook all day now that she doesn't have to deal with her and LI is liking the posts like her mom never stole her Christmas presents or made her pay all her bills. It's so easy to be a mom in a different state. I told BIthat if LI decides she wants to go back to FL, I'm done. We tell her no coming back. She deals with whatever happens down there. I'm done with the flip-flopping and again I reminded him after her associates degree, it's me or her. He agreed.

Also of note: The Skunk Ape and Ex step-dad have been cheating with each other behind the back of his new girlfriend. The Skunk Ape told LI this the other night. Apparently, they talked for an hour and it's been going on for months now. Ex step-dad, according to The Skunk Ape, needs to watch porn in order to perform with his new gf and says he only divorced The Skunk Ape because "he was mad at her" Not sure how much of this I believe as apparently the new gf found all this out (The Skunk Ape told her) and she still is with ex step-dad? Trash, trash, trash. 


Harry's picture

That hold family is a circus,  don't be one of the clowns in that circus. 

hereiam's picture

There was nobody who could give LI's car a jump start? Does she have jumper cables in her car? Instead of buying shoes, she should by a battery jumper, no other car needed to give herself a jump start. Either way, one should always carry cables.

She should buy a membership to AAA roadside service. Every driver should really have one for emergencies. I think some insurance plans even have it included (not sure, I have always had AAA).

These are just things one learns as one goes into adulthood, along with the fact that she can no longer buy shoes at her leisure, as she has other responsibilities.

At least, she recognized that she flipped out and apologized, that's a good sign.

I definitely agree that if she goes back to Florida one more time, she needs to stay there, or if she comes back, she better have a different plan, other than moving back in with you. This back and forth crap WILL stop. But, I do hope that she realizes that her mother has nothing to offer her as far as guidance.


AlmostGone83's picture

I agree and no she doesn't have any jumper cables/roadside assistance. She thought it was on her insurance policy but apparently she found out she didn't have it when she called them. She will definitely have to add it, as the company offers it. 

thinkthrice's picture

1.  gets hearing aids, STAT

2.  sends her a youtube vid on how to jump start a car

3. demands she get RA

I'm finding it hard to believe that no one at the greasy spoon noticed the lights on and didn't tell her.  I think Li is just trying to get out of work/ Fanny in seat College and purposely left the lights on to drain the battery.

AlmostGone83's picture

No she worked the whole day before realizing the battery was dead and she worked the next day

thinkthrice's picture

in the game and she's on her "best" behaviour...for now.

again, not sure how NO one at the greasy spoon noticed that LI's lights were on.  Usually in those places the workers take frequent cigarette breaks and are out in the parking lot many times.

susanm's picture

Or a customer comes in and says that there is a car with the lights on.  Greasy spoons normally have small parking lots and the customers tend to be regulars and the chatty type.

thinkthrice's picture

co worker or patron:  "Is that your car LI?  Your lights are on and it will drain the battery."

LI: " yeah I know."

co worker or patron: ( walks away with look of confusion)


tog redux's picture

Why oh Why doesn't BI make skunk ape pay child support? Then maybe she'd shut her gob.

thinkthrice's picture

ny is a until 21 CS state!

Exjuliemccoy's picture

OP, if you want to give LI the benefit of the doubt, then guide her to solutions that will make her just that little bit more self sufficient. It does mean stepping up a bit, but you don't sound all that disengaged anyway, and it will save you aggravation in the long run if you teach LI to save herself.

Crap/diluted parenting means that there's a lot of young adults out there who lack basic problem solving/life skills we probably learned at an early age. If you invest a little time in teaching her how to deal with common car issues with an emphasis on how cool it is that strong, independent women take care of themselves, you'll plant a seed that will save you future headaches.

Either you or BI should show LI how to jump a battery, change a tire, check fluids and air pressure, etc. Maybe buy her an emergency car kit and a battery charger? (NOCO makes an inexpensive battery jumper that's compact, easy to use, and means she won't have to approach strangers for a jump). Make her less of an "Idiot" by teaching her a life skill, and you'll also make it unecessary for her to bother you with this stuff.

thinkthrice's picture

We would all like to think that you could teach these unparented ferrals.  however the precedent has been set of learned helplessness.   It's a hell of a lot easier to whine, complain, act stupid and have somebody else do things for you than it is to do for yourself.  Especially when surrounded by enabling bio parents that can't stop infantalising their now grown children.  Remember this is the kiddult that almost set the house on fire using the stove.


Exjuliemccoy's picture

You make a fair point, TT. But my thinking is that if BI takes a different tact occasionally, she'll 1) be planting a seed that might actually grow, and 2) eliminate LI being able to make the excuse that "she doesn't knoooow hoooow!"

I'm as jaded as the next SM on here; you know that. But since the OP is committed to staying in her marriage, and LI seems to be trying to do better, she might as well try a few different ways of dealing with the skid. Sometimes when both bio parents are useless, it's either engage briefly and fix an issue, or have to deal with it over and over and over.

I'm the one who taught my own semi feral YSD to drive and how to do basic vehicle maintenence; I even put her in a short summer automotive course where she got to be the only girl in a class full of boys and was proud to be able to hold her own. It got her out of my hair, gave her a sense of accomplishment she sorely needed, and a useful life skill.

thinkthrice's picture

a smidgeon of potential at the onset that you can work with.  Chef's ferals are hopeless and I fear LI is in that category.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

It always comes down to do something, do nothing, or disengage. I'd rather do something, and know that at minimum it means the skid will no longer be able to claim ignorance, than keep facilitating the same circle jerk.

thinkthrice's picture

i tried with Chef's brats but when mom and dad don't think reading, school, manners, independence, respect for adults is important its game over.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I know you did, hon. You're a paragon, and Chef's trophy wife. There was just no way to fix your sich other than finding a TARDIS and neutering Chef at fourteen.

thinkthrice's picture