Sitting in the waiting area of the car repair place the desk man came out to say, “Your car is ready. That will be $750 today.” pause “Let’s set up another appointment for next week, the garage man recommends that you replace the power steering pump.” I ask the cost. He replies,” That will be $650″.
Flabbergasted I have to recover myself to close my mouth. Back in control, I said, ” I am not ready to schedule that today.”
A switch flipped inside me: I did not like the cavalier attitude in which this shop had handled my circumstances. I expected a discussion of the way to handle what would be another significant, expensive job, a review of options. That was the last time I went to that repair shop.
When I got home, I got on the phone calling those knowledgeable about power steering pumps. Was there a less expensive way to handle the need for this car part? For several days I made many calls to mechanics and friends. A woman at the swimming facility recommended a garage at an hour’s distance that her brother valued.
So I had made an appointment at the more distant shop, Garage X, planning to buy an after market power steering pump. On the scheduled day, I drove the hour, waited for the job for three hours. The administrator fetched me then to discuss what had developed. As it unfolded, the assigned mechanic found the acquired part faulty. Here were my options: leave the car with them until tomorrow. Or they will put back the pump with which I drove today. How could I leave the car? I live alone.
Another hour my car was ready. Looking at the bill, this place charged me for the labor to the tune of $160. Wow. I look around at the room full of mechanics, sigh, and pay up.
As I am driving away, I reviewed where I find myself–the same car with which I came and a bit poorer. In my being I start to feel the habit rising up where I would call myself stupid and bad. If I let it run, I would feel upset and feel ashamed. Instead, I found some balance. I held my middle finger with the pad of my thumb around the steering wheel to assist me to find some calm. ( a cool Jin Shin Jyutsu trick)
A few more minutes passed, I said to myself, “Well I incarnated for the contrast. I guess I am right on track.” I softened to the situation and as I went along it started to seem funny. Admit it, doesn’t it make a good story? But keep reading….
The next morning I woke with the thought to call back, Joe, one of the mechanics from the research. In the next little while that dear man was checking out my vehicle and saying he did not think I needed that pump after all. He discovered some other adjustments that would help eliminate some of the noises I had been hearing. Cost: $137.
The original garage was going to charge $650; I spent $160 on the “adventure”, and then another $137. Together I still saved over $300.
Out of this experience I gained a tremendously valuable mechanic. I have now gone to Joe for several years. With his help I am driving a car with 196,000 miles and still going strong, saving me thousands of dollars in unspent car payments.
Sure, driving away from Garage X I felt disappointed, angry and abused. Instead of focusing on that reaction, I cheered myself and kept going. Look what came of it!
Now I thank Forces of Good for the experience that led me to fabulous long term car repair and the saving of more money than I could have imagined. Readers, please notice there are unexpected pay offs for reaching for thoughts that feel better.
( It is ok to take some time to feel stinky as events first unfold. Recover as you can, keep going, cheer yourself and watch what happens.)
Do you have some stories to share of the sun coming out after a storm? Good coming out of events you would not choose? Please share them at email@example.com. Isn’t great to notice we can trust the flow of life!