Don's World - 200617- Nice People Are Out There
DON's WORLD - 200617 - Nice People Are Out There
I Am A JADED Soul!
I know I do it. As I have grown older, I will see something happening in my day to day life and I often make assumptions on the people I am watching that are rather harsh.
And if I’m going to blame anyone for this change in my attitude, I would probably say it was because I see so much negativity on the web and in the news that I now tend to think this way.
People say everyone can be affected by their environment.
In our world today, the web and what is presented to us on our home TV sets and computers are becoming more and more just intentionally crafted half-truths and even pure lies.
So, rather than take on any blame for my constant disbelief of things I see in this world of ours, I am what people call a sceptic.
A Car Problem Occurs
Well Folks, I had my attitude changed today. Let me tell you what happened to my Wife and I.
It was a great Summer morning, so my Wife and i decided I would drive her to work and when I picked her up, we would find a nice restaurant down near where she works in Sarasota, and just sit outside and relax as we waited for a nice Florid sunset to impress us.
So, we carried our morning coffees with us and into her car we went, ready to enjoy the suicidal part of her daily drive; 18 miles on I-75.
Oh, and by the way, her car is a 2017 lease car, so I had made an appointment to take it to the dealer for its last scheduled maintenance before the lease ran out in a few months.
So there we were driving along, sipping on our coffee and discussing what her next car was going to be.
Then, POP! RUMBLE! RUMBLE! RUMBLE! We heard these awful sounds being us, and the whole car started to vibrate.
If you’re as old as I am, then you most likely already know what had happened to us; it was a Blowout!
The left-rear tire had essentially exploded! Or so it sounded, anyway.
I was heading South in US-41 and when this happened, I was lucky enough that I was able to pull off of US-41 and onto a cross-over that was right in front of the Manatee Port entrance.
I sat there for a moment as my wife interrogated me on what might have happened, then I told her as calmly as I could; We just had a Blowout, Baby!
Before she could say anything else, I got out of the car and walked around to the rear. A quick glance, and Yep! I had a flat tire. Well, it wasn’t just flat, it was now an expensive rim sitting on a ring of eaten up rubber.
I shook my head, wondering how there could be so much damage to a tire in the relatively short distance, maybe 500-feet, that I had driven after the blowout?
Anyway, I crawled back into the car and my wife started discussing what we were going to do; as I did a little double-tasking and dialed the roadside service number that was on the driver’s door window.
I should explain my husbandly double-tasking phrase.
I have this skill that husbands develop over their 50+ years of marriage like we do. I can actually listen to two different people talking to me in each ear and understand what each is saying. It’s a special married man skill, developed over decades of necessity because your wife doesn’t care what you are doing, she is going to take to you when she wants to, regardless of what you’re doing.
So when my phone rang, I talked to the roadside service person while continuing to answer questions from my wife at the same time, losing confident with every word from this woman’s mouth.
It’s not exactly a super-power, but it is a handy skill.
Roadside Assistance Chaos!
Back to my story, as I talked to the person on the phone, I continued to confirm in my mind that she had no idea what she was doing.
And of course my confidence in a service truck showing up any time soon was fast disappearing. You know the kind of person I’m talking about; They were given the power to make decisions but not the mental skills to do their job.
I repeated my directions, highway number, street crossing number and such, as she kept repeating them back to me wrong,.
But after several tries, she told me that she had everything she needed and I would receive a text in a minute or so with the ETA and phone number of the automobile’s roadside service people.
Smiling to myself, I sat back shaking my head and resigning myself to a long wait, maybe hours, before I was going to see anyone who would change my tire.
Bad Directions Problem #1
After a minute or so of fighting off this growing doubt, a text popped up onto my cell phone. I checked it and there it was, a contact phone number for the actual roadside service guy.
But as I read over the text, there was a bit of a problem; the message included a map, and I and my wife were not sitting where the map said I would be. In fact, I was over a mile away.
This fact brought doom to my mind and I could picture mine and my wife’s bodies being found, years from now in some ditch, covered with old semi-truck tire rubber from their blowouts.
I quickly called the roadside service guy and this very bored sounding man answered and told me he was on his way.
Thinking about what I had just seen on the map on my phone, I interrogated him, asking him precisely where he was heading.
As I have said, I was sitting in front of one of the two entrances to the Manatee Port on a US-Highway. To help him, I described the entrance where I was sitting when he stopped me with the statement; I can’t go there man, that entrance is out of my zone.
My brain almost exploded! ZONE? What damned ZONE?
Well, it turns out that all of these thousands of roadside assistance technicians have split the whole USA up into Zones; and each of these guys has his zone and he doesn’t work in anyone else’s Zone.
Before I could get any more from this guy, he interrupted me by telling me that he was heading back to his shop and he was calling the roadside service company, to fix things for me for me.
He even used that scary phrase no one wants to hear; Trust Me, Someone will call you back in a few minutes.
And he hung up.
I stopped myself before my anger drove me to throw my Cell Phone through the driver’s door window. You see, it was closed so I might have broken something, like my hand.
A Calming Session
I screamed a little, not too loud really, probably somewhere in the 70-decibel range. I looked over and for some reason my wife was calmer now; and after inhaling a few times so was I.
There we were sitting in our car with the AC running and being rocked from side to side by the passing semi-trucks discussing just how long we thought we would be sitting there, on the side of the road.
There are Good Samaritans!
I heard something outside the car and when I looked up there was a young man (thirties, maybe?) standing beside my lame car and tapping on the window.
Immediately I did one of those Red Foxx “This is it, Elizabeth” things, but after my heart had slowed down, i got out of the car and the young man asked me if I needed an help.
I was shocked. Here I was, with my wife and I sitting for over an hour by then, trying to get these corporate roadside service companies to help me when out of nowhere I had a young man just show up and willing to change the tire for me?
He was definitely a working man. He was wearing some old worn clothes and boots, and he had pulled up in a beat up old Propane truck.
I talked to him for a minute or so, after I told him that I had Roadside Assistance on the car, so he understood and he left as he was on his way to a job. And I repeated how thankful I was that he had dropped by when he did.
I looked one more time at the "temporary spare", and I had a flashback to a time when I was a young man and did these tire changes for myself. It all came back to me just what a big pain in the butt the jack in most cars are to operate, for anyone.
Finally, Some Good Karma!
I got back in the car because the temperature outside was pushing 80 by then and we just sat there listening the Garth channel on the radio.
Then there it was, another of those Cell phone “You Have A Text” beeps.
I checked and Hooray; there it was, yet another text which also included still another ETA and phone number.
My wife looked at her watch and rolled her eyes, so I figured i had to do something quickly and I called the number in the text.
This time the man on the other end did two things that immediately impressed me; 1- he was polite and friendly over the phone, and 2- he could hold a coherent conversation over the phone with me.
Still being a man with a mind full of doubts, when I finally hung up my phone, but now I had a small budding hope that we would eventually get our tire changed; maybe not right away, but eventually.
Within like five minutes though, I get yet another phone call, and this one was from some lady at the actual KIA roadside service company.
This new person? She had her stuff together. She had all of the data from my previous phone conversations over the past hour, and she actually had the right destination that we were sitting at.
She told me she had just checked on the guy I was waiting for and he would arrive where I was, shortly. She went on to apologize for the problems I had and after another minute or so of apologies, we hung up.
Honestly, it took only maybe another five minutes after that before a black SUV pulled up behind my car. The guy in the SUV jumped out smiling and ready to change my tire.
I shook his hand and then I just stood there, watching and smiling like an idiot while this guy had my tire changed in maybe five minutes, at the most.
Then it was another handshake, the service guy left and my wife and I were on the road again.
As I finished our trip to where my wife worked, we discussed what had just happened to us.
We agreed that although we were happy to have the flat tire changed, eventually; we felt that this national roadside service company with all of their technology and all of their thousands of service people located around the country had screwed up several times.
And we agreed that if I had actually trusted what I was told, we would most likely still be sitting there on US-41, waiting for someone to change our tire.
Or maybe, if we didn’t have roadside service, maybe we would have still met the nice guy that had stopped by just to help out a couple of strangers and we would still have gotten on the road.
Who knows, but I now have to admit that there are nice people out there who will help others without pause, and maybe I should trust more people to be honest and sincere?
Hmmmmmm! NAW! It’s in my Bones to be Wary!
Read my previous article, DONs WORLD-200612-TANSTAAFL
- Don's World - 200612 - Tanstaafl
Some People say, There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch because everything has a cost and usually in the real world, the person offering a way around the concept of paying for what you get in life, is not doing you a favor. To this end, we American
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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