An Expensive Lesson In Putting Things Off Until Tomorrow
Me, Frank and the most expensive piece of cardboard I’ve ever bought.
On Friday night I pulled into a parking spot in front of my apartment building and noticed there was a bright orange and white temporary no parking sign staring me in the face. It was telling me that I would need to move from the parking space I was in before 7am the next morning or I would be towed. Since I’m now an early riser I didn’t think it was a big deal so I parked, got out of my car and didn’t worry too much about it.
That night I stayed up a little later than I usually do (I blame Breaking Bad on Netflix) and thought about going out to move my car before crashing but I didn’t feel like doing it. I was well aware of the consequences but after a long week of work and a few episodes of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman doing their thing I didn’t want to go back outside.
Even though I decided not to change parking spots before I went to sleep I was sure to set my alarm for 6:45am so I didn’t miss out on moving my car in the morning. I’m used to waking up a lot earlier than 6:45am so I figured it would be easy to get up, move it and carry on with the rest of my day.
Before I knew it the alarm was going off and since I don’t use the snooze anymore I shut it off and didn’t even think about why I had set it for the time I did. For some reason I didn’t remember my car that was sitting outside in a parking spot that was pretty much guaranteeing me a trip to the San Francisco tow lot. I completely forgot that I had fifteen minutes to get up and move my car before it would be pulled up on a flatbed and rolled away to a very, very bad place. A very bad and expensive place. I fell back asleep and didn’t even think about it. Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done.
Who knows how long later I woke up and with a feeling of panic I reached over to my phone and with one eye squinted open I took a look at what time it was. It was a little past eight o’clock and with the realization of what was going on a feeling of sickness shot all the way down to my stomach.
I hopped out of bed and while I was throwing on my clothes I could have swore I heard the beeping noise that commercial trucks make when backing up. This was probably also the very same noise that tow trucks make when they’re backing up to take away a car. The noise that a tow truck makes when it’s towing away my car. Not good.
As I was jetting down the hall and running down the stairs to get out of my apartment building I started thinking about what I would do if the tow truck was just about to tow my car or if it was already up on the back of the truck. Would I try to talk the driver out of taking it away? Would I hop in the car and refuse to move? Maybe I would have just enough time to move my car before they towed it away. Maybe there was a chance, just maybe?
Once I was outside all of those thoughts disappeared as I saw a car that wasn’t mine already up on the back of the tow truck. My car was nowhere to be found and even though I knew it was gone I kept staring at the spot where I last left it like there was no possible way it could have just disappeared. Cars just don’t move on their own, right? It was clear my car was towed and that there was nothing I could do about it at this point except go pick it up.
I wanted to get mad about it but how could I? It was completely my fault and there was no one else to blame. I felt like an idiot for not moving it the night before when I had plenty of time to do so and it made me wonder why I put it off. I had traded a few minutes of inconvenience for a much larger problem and it didn’t feel very good. Not my finest moment.
An hour or so later I paid to get my car out of the tow lot and it wasn’t cheap. Even though it cost me a lot of money to get it out there were some bright spots around this situation that I’ll hopefully get to tell you about some other day but the one thing I learned (even though I knew better already) was to never put off something until tomorrow if I can do it today. I know I sound like I’m reciting a page from a quote-of-the-day calendar but it’s true. If you can do something now, even if you don’t feel like it, do it and save the potential downside of letting it drag on longer than it should. You’ll be happy that you did.