Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Have Often Relied On The Kindness Of Strange Men Who Fix Cars

Monday was one of those days. First of all, it was Monday, second of all it was the first day of Spring Break, and while I am looking forward to seeing more of my kids, it also means my schedule was way out of whack, third I lost my keys and had to go scrambling to find my spare to get Max to school on time (his spring break started Tuesday), and fourth, when I got into my car a message came on that said (in very bright red) "BRAKE FLUID LOW, SERVICE NEEDED URGENTLY." Not the greatest way to start out the day. And as much as I love Steve, he's hopeless at this kind of stuff. If you need a chamber orchestra piece written, he's your man, but if you have car issues, not so much.

Well, since I have a Volvo, and the nearest dealership is an hour away, after dropping Max off at school I went to my nearest Jiffy Lube to see if they could check my break fluid levels and found out they don't do brake fluid because, according to the monosyllabic tech, of "liability issues." Great. So I got on my iPhone and looked up foriegn auto service in my area and came up with one pretty close by. Like I found out recently that owning a Volvo means you're most likely going to be hit with the Swedish Car Upcharge, so when I called and talked to the mechanic I expected a run around. He told me he could get me right in and it would only take a few minutes. I just knew I was in for it.

We arrived at the shop and the guy took my key, drove my car around to the garage, and then disappeard. That's when I noticed that they had a sign saying that their hourly charge was $80.00. I figured I wasn't going to get out of there for less than a hundred bucks. I tried not to think about it. About five minutes later the guy walked up and handed me the key and said he had topped of the fluid and it was getting low, but it wasn't down to the minimum yet, so I should be fine. Whew. Then I asked him what I owed him and something miraculous happened. He said "Don't worry about it." I was shocked. I said "Are you sure?" and he just shooed me off with my key in hand. Amazing.

There's nothing like a Random Act of Car Mechanic Kindness to renew your faith in the world.