You know that panicky feeling you get when you slam your car door and realize your keys are in there? How about having it when your child is still in there. Nicola Millar, a mother in London, accidentally locked her keys, her purse, and her 17-month-old, Violet, in the car recently. Both she and Violet, who immediately burst into tears, were nervous wrecks.
Millar instantly called AA, an auto service akin to Triple A, thinking it would only be a matter of minutes before she could get her child out of the car. But something funny happened. AA wouldn't help Millar get her baby out of her car, because she had an unpaid fee.
Millar kept explaining to the person who took the call that she'd pay the fee once someone unlocked her car, as her purse was in the vehicle, too. But the person wouldn't budge. They asked her if she could call someone who could make the payment for her, but again, her phone was in the car. Still! The operator didn't care! "At this point, they said they couldn’t help me," Millar said, "I was disgusted by their response, but it’s not as if I was going to knock them, I was desperate."
Eventually, a man driving a van, James King, saw Millar and stopped to help her. He, too, had AA and called to see if someone could come out to help her using his membership, but they were denied again! They were told that in order for Millar to use their services, she had to sign up herself! After 45 minutes of Violet being locked in the car, King broke the window and got her out. AA has issued an apology to Millar, saying that the person who took the call was new and unfamiliar with their protocol, and Millar's since been given a year of their services for free.
This poor woman! I can't imagine what was going through her head during the 45 minutes her helpless kid was locked in the car. It's scary to think what could have happened, were it freezing cold or dangerously hot out. But, on the flip side, it's always reaffirming to hear about a Good Samaritan willing to drop everything and help out a person in need.
You know, I get that when you're new at a job, it's hard to know what to do when things deviate from the norm, but sheesh. Talk about a lack of common sense. There was a baby in the car, for crying out loud!
What would you have done if you were Millar? Have you ever locked your keys in your car?
Image via Arman Zhenikeyev/Corbis