I had an interesting day yesterday. And by “interesting” I mean I’d like to rip out parts of it, run them through a mulcher, and have the day go completely differently.
It was going okay. I got up, got to work, started to settle into my morning. And then a security officer called and asked if I could please go meet the officer standing by my car in the parking lot. And when I got there, a woman was filing a complaint against me, accusing me of running into her Tahoe.
I didn’t do it, by the way. Let’s get that one straight right there so at least you and I know the truth. I never ran into her car. I have not in my entire driving history done damage to another person’s vehicle. My own car? Yes, I’ve dented my own car a little bit. And I’ve had someone back into me. I did one time run into someone’s bumper, but it was made entirely of rubber so I bounced off with no damage done. I have never damaged anyone else’s car.
So far as I know, the only evidence she has that connects me to the large dent on her bumper is that I have white paint on the passenger-side headlight of my car. White paint that came from my mailbox when I ran into it back in October of 2008.
Yeah. 2008. It was shortly after we’d moved into the townhouse and I was still learning how to park in our spot. I’d had a rough day and was returning home in a bad mood and wasn’t paying much attention and slammed the front of my car into the mailbox pretty hard. It scrapped across the headlight, leaving white paint, and I had to go put the mailbox back in place.
But the woman with the Tahoe made a statement to the security officer, and so I wrote down my statement, too. At the time, I wasn’t even sure which paint spot she was talking about, so I wrote down on my statement that I ran into my mailbox twice, once in 2008 and again in 2010. And then an officer from the county law enforcement showed up and took her statement again. I was told to stay near my car, so I never spoke with the woman. And the police officer came over and looked at my car briefly, but never really spoke with me before he left.
I stood by my car, waiting for someone to come back over and tell me what was going on, but everybody just took off and I stood there crying because I had no idea what was going on. I didn’t run into her car! I didn’t even know what damage had been done to her vehicle until after everybody had left and I very carefully, giving her car a wide berth, went around to look at what she was accusing me of having done.
I can see why she’s upset. Someone left a basketball-sized dent in her back bumper. But it wasn’t me.
I sat in my car and cried for a while before calling Justin back to let him know what had happened. I’d called him while we were waiting for the police to show up and wanted to let him know what was going on. He found the two dates here in my blog when I mentioned running into the mailbox, and told me to give that information to the officers. So I made my way back into the building and snuck into a bathroom where I worked on trying to make my face less red and splotchy. I am never going to be one of those girls who can cry and look fantastic doing it. A lovely woman in the bathroom asked if I would be okay and I told her I was having a rough morning, but I’d be fine.
I got back to my desk and sent a message to security with the information from my website and asked if they could please add it to my statement about what happened to put white paint on my car. And I asked them to please tell me more information about what it was that I’m being accused of having done to the woman’s Tahoe – what day and time she says it happened and what proof she’s offering that it was me other than the paint on my headlight.
So far, I haven’t heard anything back.
I have no idea what’s going on with the situation. I assume it’s a good sign that I didn’t receive a ticket or anything from the officer. But I’m not counting out the possibility that I’ll get a traffic court summons in the mail. It’s extremely frustrating to me to not know what exactly to be expecting. Did the police officer agree with the woman with the Tahoe about me hitting her car? Would I know if he didn’t?
And do I have any pictures of my car that I can use to prove that the paint was pre-existing? It’s been 19 months. Do I have any pictures of the headlights of my car?
Is there any way at all that I can feel less powerless in this situation?
Around 1:30, I got a call back from the security officer who I emailed with my website evidence. He was a little confused about my email and wanted to make sure that I understood that the security office wasn’t accusing me of anything. The woman wanted to file a complaint, so they were letting her do that. He wasn’t sure why she had involved the police—if she wanted to address insurance payments, then she could have worked with security to work out the situation. And he was surprised that the police officer hadn’t spoken with me very much. I assured him that the security officer who took my statement was pleasant and agreeable and that I just wanted to understand what was going on. Was there more information I should know? What was going to happen next?
To his knowledge, there is nothing else going to happen with this situation that would involve me. Security isn’t interested in me because there’s no proof that I ran into the woman. I said I didn’t do it. That’s as far as they’re taking it.
The woman might file it with her insurance, but, again, since there’s no proof that I hit her vehicle, there’s no reason to expect that the situation will come back to me.
He also told me that the woman said that she was hit on the 6th. That was last Thursday. As in a week ago. If she was going to involve the police, why did she wait until almost a week after the incident to call? Does that confuse anyone other than me?
I was much less stressed out after talking with the gentleman from security. At least I understood a little more about what was going on.
And then I was angry, something that I hadn’t been before, because I feel like the woman is looking for a scapegoat and grabbing the first one she can find. She doesn’t care if she’s wrong about me or not, she’s just looking for someone to point to. And it ticks me off that she can just point at me and accuse me of having done something and I had to get all worked up about how to defend myself and completely ruin my morning with worry and stress and frustration, instead of trying to think about how she was going to prove that I’d done what she was saying I had done. She has nothing except paint and I bet it’s not even the same type of paint. I bet the paint on my mailbox is a latex and car paint is definitely something else.
I’m not completely relaxed about it, though, because part of me still expects that I might get something in the mail, either regarding her insurance or going to traffic court or something. Because that’s the way I am. It’s not pessimism – it’s worst case scenario preparedness. Right? But I’m much less worried about this than I was yesterday. And tomorrow I’ll probably be even less worried than I am today. But yesterday, I was freaking out about it.
So, yeah. That was my morning yesterday. And most of my afternoon. By the time I got off work, I’d had enough of dealing with people so I went home, put on work clothes, and completely took over the back yard. I mowed the lawn. I pulled out the weed whack and reclaimed the back tree-line. I put down more mulch. I moved everything that I could lift off the porch and swept it down. I put everything away that was out of place and wiped down the table. And when I was done, 2 hours later, the whole back yard looked amazing and I felt much better. Justin came home halfway through and helped by working on tidying inside the house, so the inside looks great right now, too. We had dinner on the back porch, enjoyed some time together, I watched an NCIS Los Angeles episode that made me cry, and I had some ice cream.
My evening turned out nice. But my morning was awful. And I’d really like to not have to do that again.