Sunday, December 06, 2009

Paying It Forward

Apparently, this week's postings will be all about automotive issues, traffic, cars, silly people in my hometown. The usual.

I got up this morning and was heading to church. I started my car so it would warm up, because it was like 28 degrees or so, and I wanted a nice and toasty warm car in which to travel.

The problem was, I had very little gas. Very little. The needle was just barely above the empty line.

But, no problem. I had plenty of time to stop and get gas before getting to church. So, I bopped on over to the gas station and filled my happy little car right up. Then, I put the key back in the car aannnnnddd... nothing.

It wouldn't start.

It wouldn't even try very hard.

Uh-oh. This can't be good. PLUS... I am stuck at the gas pump.

About this time, I was reminded that approximately eight months ago the dealership that did my oil changes told me I needed a new battery. I didn't believe him. Mostly because they always liked to get me to give them more money than I wanted to every time I came in... and also because I never had any problem starting my car.

About a month ago, I took my car to the Valvoline Instant Oil Change in Smyrna on Sam Ridley Parkway. I did this because I didn't want to drive all the way to the Boro... and since my car was past the warranty, I was going to have to pay for the oil change any way.

The guys at the Valvoline place were really nice. I needed new wiper blades and they took care of that for me. They chatted with me and my time there went by very well. I asked them to check my battery... just to validate my opinion that the dealership was trying to get my money. They told me that it was a little low, but that it should last me for a good while longer. So... I drove my happy self on away and thought that this would be a place I would have no problem taking my car back to for general maintenance sort of things.

Nice, competent people/businesses will get my business every time.

The good thing for me was that I was just a building away from the Valvoline Oil Change place. I told the attendant what had happened and that I was going to walk across the parking lot to see if someone could help me.

When I got there, I realized they were not open yet. However, the guy that helped me before was sitting in his car in the parking lot. He was waiting on the manager to come and open the store at 11. (It was about 10:35). I told him what the problem was and that he had helped me before. I asked if he had any jumper cables and he did. So, he drove his car over and jumped my car off.

He was so nice. I told him I didn't have any cash with me, but I was going to run by the bank and bring him something for going to the trouble of helping me. He refused and said that he was happy to do it and maybe sometime I could bring a box of doughnuts or something. That would be sufficient.

I called my brother who told me to take the car to AutoZone and they would change out the battery for me. They did and my car is running really nicely right now.

But I wanted to do something for the guys who had been so nice. I thought doughnuts were a little puny for a bunch of big mechanic kind of guys... so I went to Bar B Cutie and told them how many people I needed to feed. Then I drove my happy car that now smelled of BBQ back to the Valvoline place and got out of my car.

My helper (who I am embarassed to say, I did not get his name) came out of the bay with another fellow and I said, "I decided against doughnuts, I hope you don't mind".

He was like... what have you got?


You really didn't have to do that.

Yes, I did. Merry Christmas.

The look on his face was priceless.

I don't have a lot of money this Christmas... and I have less now that I have a new car battery. But some things are worth more than the money. Paying a kindness with a blessing works for me.

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!!

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