Zen And Patience From Car Troubles

zenI have a degree in psychology. I read a lot about mindfulness. I try to practice patience and control over my emotions but these last two weeks I realized I wasn’t nearly as in control as I thought.

To keep this short I will give the briefest of details.

  • Dropped my car off at the mechanic for engine and brake repairs
  • Returned to pick it up four days later (weekend)
  • Realized my emergency brake didn’t work
  • One guy said they knew but couldn’t figure it out, but they’ll give it another shot.
  • Returned the next day and the brake still didn’t work
  • Frustrated, I left
  • Car is running weak. Almost home it runs horrible and lurches, feels like an earthquake.
  • Pull over, two spark plug wires are detached
  • Next day coolant is leaking out of both ends of a hose they worked on
  • They overfilled my brake fluid and my oil. Oily footprints on my car mats.
  • Finally call because I was mad and asked what their deal was and why this was happening.
  • They talk me into bringing it back in and will check everything.
  • Kitchen pipe under the basment slab breaks, pushes water up from the floor. Another bill
  • Find out the calipers were wrong, wait two days to get right ones from Seattle.
  • Get the car back, has it’s old power back (though they didn’t find any problems to fix they said) but there is an engine whine that won’t go away
  • Two days later I hear a rattle  around the trunk, go to check my trunk, it won’t open. (Don’t know who to blame)
  • Following day, the rattle becomes a caliper detaching and locking up my brake while driving down a slow street.
  • Caliper has dinged the inside of my wheel.
  • Wait 90 minutes for a tow truck, shop throws a bolt in and I leave
  • Girlfriend not interested in riding in my car

If someone else told me this story I’m sure I would have had a bunch of advice about yelling, threatening, getting money back, etc.  The whole process took almost two weeks, possibly longer as it all seems surreal.  I think my real annoyance started with them letting me leave without the brake working: obviously that was much worse when they let me leave the second time without the brake working.

I let everything rattle around in my brain. I let it get me angry wondering how they “did me wrong” and conjured up how they were conspiring to get me.  How could so much go wrong? I got madder and madder as I thought about it which is a lesson itself; dwelling doesn’t help.  I got annoyed that I let this happen.  I got annoyed that I was letting this stop me from being productive while I was trying to figure out what I “should” do.

When the caliper came off I started to get mad but let it go pretty quick, quicker than anything of this other stuff yet.  There was some annoyance when I called that shop and said, “What the hell are you guys doing to me?”  I wasn’t mad though.  I was kind of calm after the call really.  I reminded myself that there were things a lot worse than this and this situation itself could have been worse.  I would have been on the freeway in 10 minutes; had actually drove on the freeway the day before showing a home.

Before the caliper came off I remembered something I had recently read.  Eli Roth had made Cabin in the Woods which was moderately successful.  When his check came in it was much lower than he or his investors expected.  They wanted to do an audit and sue.  He decided to skip that and move on to his next project to make money instead of letting old business slow him down.

I’ve spent too much time thinking and dealing with that shop.  I’m only writing this blog post because I said I would write about more interesting life stuff to keep this real estate blog from being boring.  As much as I started to believe that they had it out for me, I don’t believe they want to work on my car or take my calls any more than I want to call them.

My hope is that this got me back to where I thought I was. More level-headed, in control of my thoughts and not letting myself spin out on should’s, could’s, and would’s.  I guess I won’t really know until the next time something this comical happens.

Oh, and to top it all off, this was a referral from a friend.  They feeeeeeeel really bad.  It’s all good, I learned a huge lesson for myself and grew.

PS I apologize for any typos but that is the way it’s going to be on this post. Good night.