I went for a car appointment last week on my day off (Friday), and the problem needed a part that wouldn’t be acquired until Wednesday, so I made an appointment for today to get it fixed. I showed up a bit early, ate a lovely sandwich and got some coffee, and when my appointment time arrived, popped inside.
They worked on things for a bit until the guy (who knows me by sight at this point) came in and said, “We’re actually out of this other thing that the tool we need to remove your old part needs, and we can’t get it until tomorrow.”
So I go back in another eight days when they will have my parts, the fuel for the tools to remove and replace the parts, and actually get the work done.
While I was there, a gentleman came in at opening time (I like making my appointments there early, especially when I have to wait). He needed a bunch of things, and could they see him today? The guy behind the desk apologized and explained that he had two guys call off, so maybe it would be a few hours.
Well, the gentleman was upset. He’d canceled his whole day for this (but hadn’t made an appointment). The guy from the shop said he’d get the guy’s car in as soon as he could, but no promises. The gentleman couldn’t wait, so he made an appointment for another day, and left.
Then a lady came in. She needed an oil change and her tire looked at but also didn’t have an appointment. Another guy from the shop had to explain the same thing. Two guys called off, they couldn’t guarantee they could get it worked on today. Well, maybe if someone canceled or something they’d have time, but it would be some hours.
The lady was disappointed. She could do without the oil change but really needed her tire looked at. Since it couldn’t happen immediately, she left.
So two things. One, if you’re going to clear your weekend, make an appointment. It only took me one attempt to get a same-day appointment to realize I really need at least three days of lead time, or at the very least, be willing to drop it off and wait for its repair. I doubt that this gentleman, considering his age and knowledge of his car, was on his first visit to an automobile repair shop.
Two, patience is amazing. Had the woman waited even twenty minutes, or maybe asked if any of the jobs going on looked like they would be finished soon, she might have gotten the tip that my job wasn’t going as planned. Her tire could have been looked at in the three-hour appointment that my car had but couldn’t use.
Three (bonus for you!), getting upset solves absolutely nothing. I can imagine very clearly a time in my past that my day would have been completely ruined by this. I would have been out of sorts. Grumpy, indignant, and somewhat enraged. Why couldn’t they be prepared? How hard is it to make sure you have oxygen, of all things, available for the acetylene torch?
But shit happens, and it happens at inconvenient times. My car still runs, and it’s safe to drive. I unexpectedly received a gift of a free morning that had previously been reserved, and thus would be able to get some errands done earlier in the day, allowing me more time at home with my family.
So the shit that happened? Not bad shit. I have another appointment in a week, and I fully expect after two “failed” appointments, there will be much hustle and a general attitude of, “Let’s get this taken care of quickly for all the inconvenience we’ve already managed.” I’m grateful for that. And I’m grateful for my own ability right now to calmly see that the day has not been ruined, but is actually enjoying an unexpected reprieve.
And that’s my day, and what I’ve learned today! I hope you’re having a fabulous Sunday.