Funeral Fun - Crashing the car

The car, repaired and happy after the accident.
    We all make mistakes and have accidents, some are silly and some are serious.  This one was a little of both as it resulted in me ripping the front bumper almost off a brand new car while trying to get out of a tight driveway.  And it all happened infront of a few hundred people!

   The day started like any other day, I was set to assist on one funeral as it was going to be quite big and in a small church.  After that I was to drive to another funeral to drive around the family of the deceased.  Nothing out of the ordinary so far, just another warm summer day on the job.

    We all arrived at the first funeral, the church was a small one in the Eastern Suburbs.  Quite a nice little brick church actually, built in the 50s or 60s.  Unfortunately there was little to no parking on the street and what street parking there was would be taken up by the hearse and mourning cars.  So I decided to park my car in a small car park on the church grounds, it was out of the way and yet very close and in the shade, a perfect spot if there ever was one.

    The car park was quite tight to get into as the gates were low and narrow, but I managed without any real trouble.  Proud of my little parking spot I headed into the church to help out.  As predicted there were a few hundred people at the funeral, unfortunately the church was quite small and filled up fairly fast.  So I had to run about and set up chairs outside for the extra people.  While many sat down most chose not to, quite common at funerals as people do not want to stand out (so to speak) and so they stand about.

    When the funeral was coming to an end I was told to move my car and head off to my next job.  So I hopped in my little black car and proceded to attempt to get out of the car park.  As I entered I had intended to pull forward, swing left and then reverse out.  This way I could see the low gates in my wing mirrors.  However due to the now large crowd of people I could not pull forward or swing left.  People were standing in front of the car and a large group of older people were sitting to the left.

    This meant I would just have to turn right and drive out, tricky but possible, or so I thought.  As I drove forward slowly people moved out of the way, they knew what I was doing and were happy to move.  However the gate was very close to the car, so I had to move forward and back in little steps constantly, edging my way around to face the gate.  It was actually really difficult, I couldn't see the gates as they were too low and there were people everywhere.  Some people came over to help guide me, saying when to stop going forward or back.

    While someone was guiding me forward slowly the car suddenly hit the gate.  I felt it just before the people guiding me said stop.  The impact wasn't hard at all as I was going slowly, I thought at worst the car might have a scrape and not even a dent.  They said to reverse and turn as I did so.  I tried to turn the wheels but I could feel them blocked by the wall.

    This is where it got ugly, as I reversed back I felt the bumper had been caught on the gate and was being pulled off slowly.  There was nothing I or anyone could do about it, to get off the gate I would have to ripp up the front bumper.  It was quite stressful because this was a brand new fancy car.  Yep, this was a three week old Holden Caprice and worth about $60,000 or more that I was pulling appart.  After reversing bit by bit for what seemed like forever the car was finally free.  As a small consolation it was at least now facing the way out.

     With some relief I drove out and parked in a no stopping zone on the other side of the street to inspect the damage.  I hopped out and want around to the front, the bumper was still attached (thankfully) but not by a lot.  From the passenger side to the middle of the car every clip was broken or pulled out leaving the bumper hanging loosely about 2 inches from the ground.

    To say this was a serious issue was a bit of an understatement.  Not only had I broken the car but I was meant to drive a family in not very long and I could hardly drive them in this car.  To make matters worse the boss was conducting on the second job and I knew she wanted me there asap.  I immediately informed the conductor then phoned the boss and told her the situation.  She said some fairly understanding and kind things but I could hear how annoyed and upset she was, which did not help my situation.  We decided I would drive the damaged car all the way back to Newtown, collect the remaining family car and  head over to the second job.  There would be time if I hurried.

    Well, driving over to Newtown in the damaged car was perhaps the most stressful and worrying drive of my life.  With every bump I felt the bumper hit the ground and hoped that it wouldn't fall off.  But thankfully I made it in one pice, more or less.  I jumped in the other car and raced over to the second job, making it there in plenty of time.  Entering the church I spot the boss sitting down watching the service, so I went over and sat next to her.  After a brief talk she said that now wasn't the time to talk about it, that we would discuss it at the end of the day.

    The rest of the day went like normal, except it dragged on.  I had to work like normal while knowing what had happened, and that I was yet to discuss it with the boss who was obviously very unimpressed.  When I finally made it back to garage the damaged car had already been taken to a mechanic.  So I made my way up to the bosses office for our 'talk'.

    We actually had a fairly nice talk, I admitted I was driving and as such was completely at fault.  As the driver I was responsible for the car and the accident.  She was understanding and sympathetic for my situation.  However I could tell that behind her words she was very unhappy and upset with the accident yet as it was an accident she could hardly tell me off.  So instead she took the kind and sympathetic approach.

    The damages cost almost $2,000 and took a little over three weeks to fix.  All in all it was quite a stressful day and the worst accident I've ever had.  And in a brand new company car!


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