Monday, February 22, 2010

What a day!


I've been fighting and worrying with my Jeep. You know how much it means to me. A couple of months ago having to get it towed back to Omaha was NOT my idea of fun. Well, as it turns out, I seem to have run into some other issues stemming from that little radiator problem. The head gaskets are in trouble. A couple of weeks ago, I dropped it off because the 'check engine' light came on and I knew things didn't sound right. The guys at the shop caught a quick code, but had trouble getting it to be consistent. Looking at the spark plugs, they needed to be replaced and we hoped that was it. No ... it wasn't.

I think the most entertaining point of my day was trying to explain to the owner of the garage what I was hearing when the car idled too long. Humming, sighing and whining just didn't seem like appropriate terms, but he let me do my best and then told me they would look at it.

Two hours later, the news came in - the head gaskets are a problem and it's going to take a full week to get this thing fixed. Oh and I wasn't really going to like the cost either.

Sigh. Alright. I get it.

Then, I had a brainstorm (I'm a little slow on the uptake). Ummm ... I have one of those ... you know ... those things you pay for when you buy the car ... you know, oh! an Extended Warranty. All of the paperwork is in the ummm ... you know ... that thing in the passenger side of the car ... the ... yah - the glove compartment.

I guess I was so overwhelmed by having to come up with descriptive terms to talk about the sounds my car was making, I couldn't even think of terms that I know and understand!

They called me back. Yes, the warranty was going to cover this. Oh, hallelujah, hot dog! Now it was time to rent a car. Called Avis, got one on hold and headed there this afternoon. The manager made conversation with me and asked what was wrong with my car - I told him. Then he asked what car I drove. I told him and then said, "Yah, I'm going to feel really short in this Hyundai." He offered an SUV to me and then as he was giving me the information, he saw my face fall. There was no way I wanted to pay an extra $28/day for that. "I'll tell you what, Diane. The car is pretty dirty, it just came back in. What if I give it to you for an extra $8/day."

Wow! Yes, I'm driving a 2010 Ford Explorer and I'm one happy camper. The best part- the paperwork was printing out and he had forgotten the additional cost. He told me it was just going to be a wash. All I could do was stare at him and remember to blubber 'thank you!'

Both of these guys didn't expend much energy today, they didn't expect a tip or anything extra from me, yet their customer care showed all over the place. They didn't do it for any special reason, just wanted to take care of me as they would anyone else. It made what could have been an extremely stressful day - an amazing day for me.

I keep thinking about how we spend so much time fighting for 'me' and we struggle for power within companies, families, churches, friendships. It shouldn't be so difficult to set ourselves and our needs aside to build relationships.

I've spent time reading about Peter today. What an amazing man. But, you know ... once he became a follower of Jesus, he set everything aside to care for the people that they encountered and for his fellow disciples. A bold, action-oriented, impetuous man who was so humble that he became a servant to the church. He was the leader of the Twelve, but when it came to leadership for the Jerusalem church, Peter knew that his calling was to step away from that and left the task to Jesus' brother James.

Setting ourselves aside for each other ... for Jesus. It seems like such a great idea, but so very few of us can actually put it into action.

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