June 25, 2015

Peace of mind, sense of well being

Here is the story that inspired the last two posts.

One hot afternoon in August a man and his wife pulled off the interstate with an engine that was miss-firing.

"I hate these new cars", he told me.  "I pop the hood and it just looks like a maze of spaghetti.  I don't know where anything is, and if I did a pair of pliers wouldn't fix it cause I'd need some special tool or something.  My wife found you on her smart phone so here we are.  Can you help us?"

I told him most likely it was a bad ignition coil with the model car he had, and I should be able to have one in an hour from the next town.

As he and his wife were leaving to cool off in the local ice cream store, he said to me, "If this was 40 years ago I could have gotten a nail from my wife's purse, popped the distributor cap off, filed the points, and she and the car would be happy."

I understood his grief.  Sometimes I feel the same way even when my own vehicles break down on the road. I don't have the special equipment and it ends up my wife is getting the vehicle fixed via the internet on her phone.  Not much of a manly thing not to be able to fix the vehicle yourself.

I replaced the coil and looked over the vehicle for them.  I noticed the front brake pads were getting low.  So when they returned, and as they were paying the bill, I informed them of the brake pads getting low.  Whoops, mistake.  She looked up at her husband and said, "Maybe we should get those replaced while we are here." I knew instantly I had taken away her peace of mind just by mentioning the brake pads.  So did he.

He looked strait at me and said, "Could we look at the brake pads."

"Of course", I said, "The vehicle is still in the bay."

He invited his wife to come with us.  I put the vehicle back on the lift and explained to them they could wait to replace them because the pads were not at minimum measurement yet.  He had his wife specifically eyeball the brake pads and he explained to her how they worked and how they wore normally.  I agreed with him and assured her they could wait till their trip was over to have them repaired with their hometown mechanic.

She was satisfied and her peace of mind was restored.  His sense of well being as a man returned to him because he understood brakes, if nothing else on the vehicle.  And his wife listened to him.

As they were getting back in their car, and as I was walking back into the office I heard, "Thanks for explaining the brake pads to me."  : )

Now glean out of that story the wisdom of my last two posts.  You don't have to be married to have the basic ideas of these last three posts work for you.  Whether you are man or woman, if you find a mechanic that is willing to explain things to you, keep him on your radar.

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