June 30, 2011

Bad Brakes

If anyone has worked in retail you may have been given the compliment sandwich. Not just retail, really if you’ve ever had a boss who read way to many “how to be a boss” books you’ll have heard it. This is when a boss needs to tell you to get your act together but, instead of just saying that, they sandwich the bad “stop being an idiot” statement between two “you’re doing great” statements. As a sometime manager I always thought it was more trouble than it was worth (I'm sure my ex-employees wished it had been valued more), but my day was a compliment sandwich.

“I love your energy!”

After work yesterday I drove 45 minutes to visit an old friend/roommate I hadn’t seen in years. She’s this tiny Asian chick from Jersey with a fashion degree and a ton of energy. When she talks to her mom on the phone they switch back and forth between English and... whatever dialect they speak (I wish I was better with languages). Over the past year or so the stresses of money and relationships have been wearing on her to the point she has now ended up in a hospital for some much needed R&R. I brought the gummy bears (whiskey being forbidden) and we chatted about potential next steps. It was great to see her again and a total highlight of my week.

“You need to stop rolling your eyes at customers”

I noticed it on the way down there but it just kept getting worse and, by the time I headed back to school, the sound made me cringe. It can’t be the brake pads, it just passed inspection! But the grinding! Maybe it’s the brake plate coming loose again… God I hope it’s the brake plate. Anyway, it’s metal on metal every time I brake and that is never a good sign.

“You’ve been very helpful this week”

This morning I woke up and was immediately struck by something I haven’t felt in a month. Nothing! My knee didn’t ache, there was no cramp, I actually lay in bed disoriented by the lack of pain. Looks like those new and super cheap sandals are paying off.

So that's a compliment sandwich. Now I'm sitting in my old Mass town because the mechanic here is the only one I trust. Option #1 was bring the car to someone closer to work and keep my days pay. Option #2 was bring it to my dude (who I trust) and know that whatever he charges I'll be missing a full day of work. I hate that but he'll probably still be cheaper. Fingers crossed!.


  1. You would be amazed at how easy changing brakes really is. I studied online step by step what need to be done, and when I attempted it, It took me a whole 45 minutes to do. After that, the next time I replaced brakes took me like 20 minutes.

    Mechanics charge stupid amounts of money for something that requires no special tools, and anybody could really do. It's the over complicated talk that scares everyone into not doing it.

  2. Arathi, I've heard changing brakes is relatively simple but, then again, from what I've seen you doing with your van, I'm not sure our ideas of "simple" are the same:) It's the crashing and dying part that keeps me from attempting a little DIY mechanical work... Some day I'll have larger area to practice in.

  3. Haha, I'm loving the cartoon! So true.


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