Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Don't feed the federales!

Poor Spooky took a good hit today.
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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It should have been a walk away case. Each person paying for their own damage and going on from there, but it wasn't to be. I wasn't in the car. This whole happening is my fault because I allowed a sixteen year old to drive my car, up the street, to a friends house. As to who was at fault, we may never know fully. Just the other driver and Meghin, both say they didn't see the other. The other driver had the right of way. Initially, the other driver wanted to just walk away, each paying for his own damage.

Thats when well intentioned parent of one of my other students made things more complicated. She insisted the accident was the other drivers fault. By the time I arrived on the scene, the man was no longer willing to walk away, he was wanting us to pay him more than $2,000 pesos in damages to his vehicle (My car got the worst of the hit)

Great. I don't have that kind of money. Meanwhile, the municiple police show up, but the stretch of road was out of town limits thus out of their jurisdiction. The state police show up and its the same story, this is federal highway. The other driver tells the police to call the federales.

By this time I am near tears. The first thing you learn as a gringo in Mexico, is don't mess with the federales under any circumstances. You will lose. I could just see my car disapearing under a mound of Mexican Tapa Rojo. Glad as I was that this parent was there for my student when she needed someone, she had just made our situation so much worse and didn't even realize it. She kept going on about what was fair and right, where I was more concerned with a reasonable outcome wherein I got to keep my car!

I was desperate to make a deal with this guy and get out of there before the federal police showed up. Meanwhile, the young girl who was driving was understandably unnerved by the inicident and highly emotional. She kept alternating between breaking down into tears and shouting insults at the other driver. Unable to get her to calm down, I sent her home. With her gone, I was able to get my boss on the phone, to talk to the other driver to make a deal.

Pato will fix his car. I will pay for it. He agreed. I just had to take him over to talk to Celia about the details. This whole situation was killing me on a number of levels. First, that I was going to have to come up with money to fix not just one but two cars, and that it was Celia and Pato that were saving my ass on this one.

Unfortunatly, I've been at odds with Celia and Pato since I had to suspend their daughter from school last semester for cheating, excessive tardiness, and disrespect. Suposedly, I was to treat her like I would any other student, and not give her preferential treatment because she was the daughter of my co-workers. That was the idea in theory. In practice, it didn't go over well. They felt I was un-duly harsh on their daughter. (Despite the fact that another student was suspended that day for the same offense) They felt I didn't help her enough. The fact of the matter is, Fani doesn't want to go to school. If she wanted to, she would. I had lifted her suspension and invited her back as a proverbial white flag some months ago. She returned for two weeks then dropped out again. Since the initial suspension, I had no contact with Fani. Her classes those two weeks were taught by completely impartial third parties, who all came to the same independent conclusion about Fani, she skips school, comes late, leaves early, is disrespectful, and isn't serious about studying. Be that as it may, I am still very much the bad guy in the eyes of Celia and Pato. Try as I might, things are still very tense between us. To their credit, they do all their namecalling behind my back, to other people. Sides have been taken, mostly theirs. Feelings have been hurt, mostly mine. But I'm still nice. I help Celia where I can, I am cordial with Pato and their family. But you can feel it, like a hurricane beneath the surface. Its all fake.

Meanwhile, My young student who wrecked the car has similar feelings towards Celia. I sent her home to stay. I was at the school with the other driver and Celia when she walked in with her friends. Celia made a remark about her driving and I had to physically pull the student off of Celia. She exploded like any hotheaded teenager already under pressure would have. I appologized to Celia and the other driver multiple times. Yet another situation where my kids embarrassed the hell out of me. (I still haven't found out which of the kids decided to throw their poopy toilet paper on the ground in the downstairs bathroom when they found there was no trashcan in there, intead of finding a trashcan and disposing of it properly. My boss walked in on that one and I could have died from embarrassment!) I sent my students home again, made my appologies and sealed the deal about the cars.

It has not been a good day. This situation with Celia and Pato has got to be resolved at some point. We can't continue to work in a pressure cooker like this.

Meanwhile, I have to come up with the money to fix this guys car.(My own car will probably be getting the plastic bag treatment at least for now) Roughly two hundred U.S. Dollars is the estimate. Might as well be two thousand. I have no one to borrow from and no reserves. I already owe more people more money than I think I will be able to make in my lifetime (at this rate anyway). I will be in the States two months over the summer. I need to get a good paying job during that time. I'm looking at boarding kennels that may need seasonal help. Anyone else have any ideas, I'm all ears.

1 comment:

JJ said...

Seriously Rach - Woofgang is always hiring, especially seasonal help, and they pay well. I'd give it a shot anyway! I'd lend you the money for sure if I had it. :-(