Monday, November 16, 2015

In The Shop

I wish I could decide when a vehicle will break down. I know, everyone wishes that!

It wasn’t that many weeks ago that I wrote about changing the alternator on my wife’s car. You’d think I’d get a longer reprieve than that but, sadly, no. Last weekend, I had a battery light come on, on my pickup. Not a big deal, I checked the battery and it was old and slightly bulged, so I bought a new one. It took only a few minutes to put in. But, the light did not go off.

So, before spending money on an alternator—again—I drove down to the auto parts store to have the system checked. They hooked it up and after a few seconds told me everything was working as it should. Apparently, my truck was just confused.

Getting the clean bill of health for the pickup, I took off for work. It’s about an hour’s drive to work and I’d made it about halfway when I discovered the system was definitely NOT working. By the time I made it to my job, I didn’t even have enough power to roll up my window.

Lucky for me, the route I drive in my semi takes me right through the town where I live. So, my wife met me at K-Mart, took me to the auto parts store to purchase an alternator, and then home to get some tools. I finished my run and at four in the morning was psyching myself up for another vehicle repair, which I hate, and this time the weather was not nearly so cooperative as when I did my wife’s vehicle. The temperature was 29 degrees with a slight wind blowing. And, I would be working in a gravel parking lot.


The mechanic at my job, who doesn’t allow anyone in his shop (even the other mechanics do a lot of repairs outside so the shop doesn’t get messed up), and who never lets anyone use any of his tools (probably for good reason) offered, yes, offered, to let me pull into the well-lit, nice warm building with a clean concrete floor. Then, he pointed out the brand new floor jack and said I could be the first to use it. He set up a work light and told me if I needed any of his tools to help myself!

As the morning guys arrived, a few of them seemed quite shocked that I was working on my own pickup inside the forbidden shop! They also thought I had taken it upon myself to use the shop and were worried that I was going to get caught. The mechanic had other things to do so he was not there the whole time but he did show up now and then throughout the three hours it took—and helped. Another shock.

Now, here’s the neat part. I have never worked on a vehicle in a shop in my life! Sure, I’ve worked inside my garage, when I had one, but a shop is a far different experience. Tools, the right tools, power tools, were at my disposal, and the smooth concrete floor made dropped nuts and bolts so much easier to find. The lighted climate-controlled setting was a lot more comfortable than working outside. All in all, working in a shop made the job seem like not so much of a chore. In fact, it was almost fun. Wait! That might be pushing it a little. It was still three hours of work—after I’d driven eleven hours in a semi. Really though, it wasn’t that bad. Aside from the two hundred dollars spent on the alternator, this was the best break down I’ve ever had.

That’s why I’ve decided from now on when I break down, I’m going to do it at my job! Yeah, right. If only it was that simple! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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