When I used to teach leadership to high school students, a lot of people said to me, “I wish I could just be in your head for a day.” I think they meant that they wondered what it was like to be me. Many of the more absurd posts were written with them in mind. This is not for them. It is for everyone who wonders what it is like to be young and blonde and single.
A day or two ago, I took my car in because it was making a not-so-healthy crunching noise when I turned sharply left. What follows are the conversations I have since had with the owner of the auto repair shop I took it to.
Me: Hi, I got my car fixed here a while ago—
Car Guy: I know, I remember you.
Me: Really? (thinking: that was over a year ago) …well, now it’s making a funny noise. I was wondering if it could be related. (Much polite conversation while he looks up my old repair and I describe the noise)
Car Guy: Why don’t you leave it here. I can have my mechanic take a look at it.
Me: Will I have it back by the end of the day?
Car Guy: Tell you what, give me a phone number and I’ll call you to let you know.
Me: Okay (thinking, if it’s not ready, I’ll take the train home and get a rental). (give number) I need to be back at work soon, do you think someone could give me a ride? I just work across the freeway.
Car Guy: Sure. I’ll drive you. We can take the Jaguar—the convertible, not my other Jag.
Later that day, Car Guy leaves me a message that one of my tires is bald and I shouldn’t drive it home, but leaves no information about the strange noise. So I go back after work.
Car Guy: Hi. I ordered some parts for your car. (insert sketchy explanation of crunching sound here, entirely attributed to a loose bolt) If Volkswagen gets the parts here tomorrow, I may be able to get my mechanic to put them in and get it back to you by the end of the day.
Me: Okay. Do you have a recommendation for a rental company?
Car Guy: Hertz, Enterprise?
Me: You don’t have arrangements with any?
Car Guy: arrangement?
Me: Okay, so if the Volkswagen people are slow with the part, how long will you need the car?
Car Guy: I don’t know. We need to get the alignment checked and that could take awhile.
Me: I need to drive to work on Wednesday, so could you let me know Tuesday afternoon so I can get a rental car?
Car Guy: Why don’t you just ride with me? You live in San Francisco, right? In the Castro? I live in Daly City.
Me: Daly City? Isn’t that a ways away?
Car Guy: No, I’m just across the border, it’s like eight minutes from my house to yours.
Me: That’s okay. I’ll just take the train. Thanks for offering. I’d still need a car for Wednesday morning. I have to be here before the trains start.
Car Guy: What time do you start work?
Car Guy: I have to be in at 8:00. I could pick you up.
Me: That’s ridiculous. I’ll just take the train today and get a rental car.
Car Guy: Why would you want to do that? I could just give you a ride. Here, I’m off now, I’ll give you a ride home.
Me: That’s okay, I like the train.
Car Guy: That’ll take you forever and I’m going that way anyway. C’mon, it’s already 6:00 and it’ll be way faster.
Me: um… I don’t know
Car Guy: I’m going that way anyway. You’re like 5 minutes farther.
Me: I guess… okay.
Car Guy: Great, we’ll take the other Jag.
Conversation in the car ranged over the following topics:
- the 100 cars he has owned
- the five he currently owns
- his two graduate degrees in Business and Graphic Design
- how he owns his own repair shop
- his friend who started many of the restaurants in the Castro, whom he visits often
- the Cliff House and other fine restaurants in the city and whether or not I’ve been to them
- how he likes to cook and clean—he cooks dinner every night just for himself
- what time he would come Wednesday morning to pick me up (before 7:00 am)
- giving me his cell phone number so I could call him the next day for a ride home
The next day, on a call placed in the afternoon:
Me: Is the car going to be ready?
Car Guy: The Volkswagen people haven’t gotten me the part yet.
Me: Alright. Well, I don’t need a ride. My friend loaned me an old beater I can use. (outright lie. I rented a Jetta)
Car Guy: Did you drive it to work.
Car Guy: Well, if you need a ride tomorrow in the morning, you could ride with me or I could give you a ride home or if you need a ride the next day… I could give you one.
Me: Thanks, I think I have the car as long as I want it.
Car Guy: Alright, well if you need a ride tomorrow, or the next day, or whenever…
Me: Okay, thanks.
I have yet to hear anything on the readiness of my car.