Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Few Updates

So, to wrap up an ongoing story and update some others...

First off, the saga of the rental car. Yes, the sad story about the R$240 that the guy responsible for the wreck damage didn't want to pay. We had last talked to the guy on Monday last week. Eric told him that we were turning in the rental car on Friday and everything needed to be resolved before then. Well, 4:00 Friday afternoon rolls around and still not a word. I was picking Eric up at 5:00 so we could get the new car and then return the rental. So, Eric decided to give the fella a call and had a native speaker beside him in case he needed backup.

The guy asked Eric if he would bring the car over to a body shop for another estimate and Eric told him, in no uncertain terms, "no". The wreck happened on March 15 and he had already had over a month to handle this. We had to return the car within the next 3 hours and there was no time for another estimate now. I guess the guy wanted to argue that it didn't seem fair to him that Eric was involved in this wreck too and he wasn't going to pay a dime on this. Eric told him that he didn't think it was too fair that when this guy's wife rear-ended us at a stoplight that we had to spend over three hours of our Saturday afternoon at the police station. The guy got quiet for a second and then tried to argue some more and Eric pulled my favorite line: "I'm sorry, my Portuguese isn't perfect and I don't understand everything you are, please talk to my friend."

After a lengthy conversation on speaker phone with Eric's co-worker, the guy finally said that he was going to call his body shop and talk to them about the damages and see if they could give him a ballpark figure on what would be a reasonable estimate. He called Eric back about 10 minutes later with not a whole lot to say other than, "I'll leave a check with my secretary. If you come by my office before 6:00 you can pick it up from her." Eric was about to argue, since he didn't have time to go by the office - he had a new car to pick up and a rental car to turn in. But our friend offered to go pick up the check for us, so it all worked out.

I figure the body shop told him the estimate sounded pretty accurate and he didn't have an argument anymore. It was still annoying that after an entire month to handle this he waited until 2 hours before we needed to have the car turned back in to actually do anything...but, I suppose all's well that ends well, right?

In English teaching news, I waited all week for the school to let me know if they wanted me to start teaching any classes. About Wednesday last week, I shot an email to the coordinator reminding her that I had done the specified class observing and was ready to teach if they needed me. About 7:30 Friday evening I got a call from the lady who does the scheduling. She said that right now they needed me to take over a class that meets on Tuesday mornings at 7:30 at the location here close to our apartment. That worked out well, except that it was Friday night and Monday was a holiday and I wouldn't be able to get into the school to pick-up the materials and prepare for class. It turned out that this is "test week", so I ended up only having to administer a test yesterday...not actually teach a lesson. That worked out well, since I hate being unprepared and wasn't looking forward to winging it on an hour long class! So for now, I just have one class, but that's fine with me for the time being.

I've committed to 2 days per week volunteering at the American school here in town. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I will take the bus over there and help out wherever they need me until early afternoon. It should help my weekdays pass a little faster.

And for those itching for some more travel blogging, well, good news may lie on the horizon! We have a couple holidays coming up in May and we are trying to get some plans firmed up soon. And, if everything works out, there may even be some international travel in our near future...I'll tell more once things are more certain. But I'm getting excited to start my packing extravaganzas again!

1 comment:

Elaine said...

I am glad you guys got that figured out. As a Brazilian myself, I know exactly how they try to negociate a cheaper price. But my guess is that the estimate the Body Shop gave him was much much more than what Eric had told him. That's why he agreed to pay you guys so quickly! I am glad he did!