This actually happened a few days ago, I think it was 16th, but I’m not certain. Anyways, it was about 15 minutes after I got to work that a guy walks into the lobby and asks me if our maintenance man is here because he needs someone to jump start his car. I was the only one here, so I told him I would take care of it.
I go out to my car after asking where he is parked so that I can move next to him. When he realizes that I’m walking to my car, he asked me if I had jumper cables. I thought he was just making sure that I knew he didn’t have any, so I said in a joking voice, “Well, of course. My mom would freak out if she thought that I was driving around without them!”
“But, you’re a girl?”
“And you’re white.”
“Um, okay. Are you seriously going to complain that a white girl has jumper cables and is willing to help you?”
He looked at me funny, and I just hopped in my car and moved next to his truck. After I parked, I popped my hood, jumped out, grabbed the jumper cables, and started hooking them up to my car. He’s still looking at me a little strange when I had him the other end of the cables. I would have hooked them up myself, but I always feel weird having some stranger touch things in my car and I assume that others feel the same way.
Now, a teeny bit about my car. It’s nothing fancy; just a little Chevy HHR. It’s a standard, which I love, and it gets pretty good gas mileage. One of my favorite things about my car, though, is something that I never would have thought to like. The battery is in the back next to the spare tire instead of under the hood with the engine. Apparently, this helps keep it clean and from getting corroded and stuff. I do, however, have a jump off point under the hood. This is both to jump off other cars and get my car jumped off if necessary. They have the little red connection spot, and then the black connector thing gets attached to the frame of my car to ground it. I’ve jumped off enough people to know where to attach everything.
Does the phrase “jumped off” sound weird to anyone else?!
So, back to the story, I handed him the other end to connect to his truck and he attaches them. I start my car and he reaches through his window to start his truck. It makes the necessary sounds like it’s trying to start but isn’t quite there. Normally, when you’re getting jumped off, you hear this sound a few times before you actually get the vehicle started. At least, that’s how it is in my experience.
He apparently thought that the truck should have started immediately on the first try and comes to the front of my car and starts moving the black grounded connector. When I asked him what he was doing, he says something about it not being grounded properly. I told him that I’ve done this before and do know how to hook it up correctly. He looks at me funny again and then checks the connections on his truck. He finally tries his truck again and it starts right up this time. I turn my car off and hop out to unhook everything and put my cables away.
He offered me money, which I turned down until I heard him muttering under his breath. I won’t pretend that I was able to understand everything that he was saying, but I heard bits and pieces. It really doesn’t make sense because, like I said, I only caught bits and pieces. Oh, in case I forgot to mention it, I’m completely deaf in my right ear. Cool, huh? Anyways, what I did hear (said in a very disbelieving and kind of derogatory voice) was this:
Girls jumping off cars.
Yeah, so, after I heard that, I decided to just take the money. It wasn’t much. Now, I could actually understand that if it was an older man. I mean really, this was a young man, maybe two or three years older than me who apparently couldn’t understand that a girl kept jumper cables in her car and knew how to use them. Or maybe it’s the fact that I was white that shocked him. I really don’t know, but really, is this where we are in the world? I’m practically the anti-feminist, but it’s just common sense that a girl know how to change her tires and have jumper cables just in case. In fact, one of those little boxes that lets you jump start your own car without an other vehicle would be the best, but just the cables are good enough for me. And for that matter, being the anti-feminist that I am, I have no problem when people think, “Oh, she can’t do that because she’s a girl,” or even better, “she shouldn’t do that because she’s a girl,” but really – there’s the whole gift horse thing going here. You’ve got someone willing to help you and you’re going to practically insult her! That’s where I get annoyed.
Eh, whatever, his truck started, I got five dollars, and he went bye-bye. All’s well that ends well. :-p