29 July 2006

Trip Prep

She handed my membership card back after punching my number into the computer. "I see you have a list," she said, picking it up off the counter and heading to the file cabinets. She returned with a stack of maps and placed them on the counter with a sense of finality.

"I'd like tour books for them too."

"All of them?" she asked incredulously.


Why is it that people who work at AAA are so baffled when you want tour books for all of the states you want maps for? I may not spend a lot of time in most, but I'm still gonna need places to stay. It's becoming my increasingly informed opinion that people who work at AAA don't actually take road trips, at least none that involve more than a day's drive.

"Looks like you're taking 70," she stated authoritatively. Actually, I hadn't decided on 70 or 80 and that's why I was getting all the books: to see what there is to do or see along the possible routes.

She turned a corner of the L-shaped counter and beckoned me to follow. "I'm not lugging them all over there." In my early life of professional filmmaking, much emphasis was placed on completing tasks with minimal effort to conserve energy; this was something I could appreciate, so I stepped over.

"And you're packing them up," she continued, dumping a stack of little plastic AAA bags on the counter. OK. No need to get snotty, I see your wrist brace. I didn't mind even though I believed her attitude had less to do with the brace and more to do with what she considered an absurd request.

I started putting them in bags but stopped so I could check them against my list, so I wouldn't have to come back. She had missed three or four states, and I sent her back to get some maps she'd missed as well. The missing maps were a little surprising to me since she'd had the list in hand when she got those but whatever.

"Is that it?" she asked wearily.

I finished going through my list. "Yes, thanks."


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  1. if you're going through Utah, take 70.

  2. Ah, the joys of preparation, huh?

  3. Dan: Thanks. Strictly speaking,this trip already occurred, but I think it reads better as the present... my tenses may shift as I get to writing new stuff... we'll see.

    btw, I like your new pic.

    Claire: Indeed. It's always something. :)

  4. Ah, you gotta love that "can do" attitude in today's customer service reps, eh?