Yesterday, as I was leaving a busy Mexican restaurant in south Nashville after lunch, I had a little fender bender. My car is mostly fine and the damage is mostly cosmetic, as far as I can tell. No one was hurt.
All in all, the situation should have been a simple trade insurance information and go on kind of deal. But instead, I learned some important lessons.
1. Showing people grace is hard. The short story of the accident is that there’s no way the two cars could have hit like they did if both of us weren’t backing out—but the older woman involved used her nicest voice to basically tell me again and again and again (and wouldn’t let me talk) that “I don’t want to be mean, but it was your fault.” In a situation where someone is not being forthcoming with insurance information and is spending all her time throwing the blame on you when you’re fairly sure it’s just an accident, it’s hard to stay focused on grace, kindness, and trying to extend it to someone part of you doesn’t think deserves it. I tried yesterday, and I think I failed.
2. Don’t be that person. I hope that someday when I’m older and something like this happens to me, I remember this experience and don’t treat someone the way the woman treated me. Using her nicest voice and seemingly good manners, she belittled me over and over. It doesn’t matter what voice you use or how nice you seem, but when the intention is to stick it to someone or make them feel worthless, it’s not a good thing. Ever.
3. Take pictures. So, apparently, police don’t come to the scene of personal property damage incidents in parking lots in Davidson County. You’re expected to get all the info and fill out an online report if you need to. Don’t get flustered and neglect to get the info you need.
4. A good insurance agent is worth the premium. My insurance agent is a good guy. I called yesterday afternoon planning to leave a message about what had happened, but he answered. He’d already talked to the lady I’d had a run-in with and was able to talk through the situation with me and make me feel better. It’s good when you can trust someone to take care of things. 🙂