I have been certified now officially as a ‘Creature of Habit’.
With a background in wedding planning and then being a twin mum I just have to be organised, or at least pretend to be. I have schedules and time tables. I need everything to run like clock-work because there is a lot I would like to do and be. And then there’s reality. There’s Plan B. There’s loss of memory. There are children falling ill. There’s unforeseen circumstances. AND THEN there’s diesel and unleaded!
I was running a very tight schedule this weekend, we had swimming, birthday parties, a dinner guest, a pub lunch, etc. I had it all down and delegated between hubby & nanny while I fit in a run to the supermarket on an almost empty tank of fuel.
Hubby taking boys to the birthday party while I shopped, prepared for dinner then was meant to join him at the birthday party. I get to the shop and realise I have his car which does not have the trolley token. Not a big deal, I buy another one and attach it to his key bunch. Shopping done and loaded, I’m so bang on schedule, and head to the petrol/gas station. I agree to get my 4p off a litre from the Tesco Club points and fill away. I put the nozzle back in the pump and s*!%… I filled Unleaded instead of Diesel! Still calm, I messaged hubby, then proceed to sit in the car and start the engine. I get a panic call from hubby… ‘put the engine off! don’t drive the car! call RAC ASAP!’.
Now I panic. I have potentially damaged his E-Class MB which could be grounds for divorce or a very unhappy few months. RAC reassure me that it should all be okay and they will send a ‘specialist recovery vehicle’ which will ‘drain the incorrect petrol and re-fill the correct one and see if any damage has been done’… BUT after 2 hours!!! So here I am, sitting in my car at the petrol pump with a dying mobile battery and can not charge the phone since I can not turn on the engine. Thank God for the last Evening Standard at the kiosk… which I read from end to end.
RAC shows up an hour and half later thankfully, tells me to go have a cup of coffee while they do what they need to for 1/2 an hour. Unleaded drained, few litres of diesel filled, no immediate damage done but a chance of a future one cropping up. Almost 3 hours later I’m home… missed the birthday party and no time to prepare dinner. BUT a car that works right now.
What I learned:
1. Go slow. The world is not coming to an immediate end.
2. Engage human pilot and put auto-pilot on hold.
3. Always ensure you have a good team – hubby and nanny – in my case – so I did not need to worry about the children.
4. READ the cap on the gas tank. It clearly said ‘diesel‘ but I was so running on a schedule I clearly missed it.
5. If incorrect petrol is filled: DO NOT START THE CAR, DO NOT DRIVE THE CAR. CALL FOR ROAD SIDE ASSISTANCE.
6. Once you have had the tank ‘cleaned off the contamination’, fill the tank up full with the ‘correct’ petrol. When it is half-empty, refill till the top and then run it down empty. This should help ensure that any ‘contamination’ in the tank does not mess up the fuel system.
7. The incorrect petrol can potentially severely damage the fuel system in the car, which would need to be replaced for some mega money.
8. Schedules are schedules. Stay calm, stay safe. READ.
9. Be in the present moment. Be aware. Take it in. Take in that I am not in MY car. READ.
10. When you do something silly… share it with everyone to educate and save them from committing silliness themselves.