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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Thursday: How A Mechanic Made My Day

Here's a post from last year. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thought for the Day: On Thanksgiving we come together with family and friends & give thanks for all the wonderful things we have in life. Many of the people we are thankful for are obvious. It is good not to simply take them for granted. Today, however, I want to give a special thanks to someone who often would not be on people's Thanksgiving list, their auto mechanics. Many people feel ripped off and doubt the service of mechanics. The less you know about the workings of a car, the easier it is for them to take them for an "expensive ride." I am one of those people who doesn't know too much about cars. I have learned over the years, but leave most of the decisions to my partner, Jerry, who loves cars and is knowledgeable. Because of jerry I even listen to Car Talk and sometimes watch Motor Week which Jerry watches religiously on Public Television. First, let me say, we buy older cars, usually Toyotas, which we literally run into the ground. It's one of the ways we save the environment from scrap metal car cemeteries! We also were lucky to have discovered Tommy at Fort Point Phoenix Auto Repair in Norwalk when we first moved to CT in 2000. My trusty red Toyota (198? the only car I ever bought brand new) was having trouble passing the emissions test since the requirements were stricter in CT than in Massachusetts. Tommy helped us do what was needed without spending an arm and a leg to pass the test.

Yesterday, was a very busy day for me. In addition to seeing clients, doing billing, writing a blog in my Thanksgivica series (SaturdayMonday, Tuesday, Wednesday), preparing for rapidly approaching December events for The Blind Judo Foundation, packing clothes and the car, so that I could leave before the worst traffic, I had to do some last minute shopping. I got up early and was excited that the car was packed, my writing and billing work was done by 11 AM. I could do some shopping before seeing a client at 1 PM. I was in and out of the store in about 20 minutes which meant I had time to go to Foot Heaven Spa, another great find in Norwalk CT. I was going to indulge for the 1st time since my knee operation in an amazing 1/2 hour foot massage. However, when I got back into my car my good planing came to a screeching halt. My car would not start!

I almost called AAA, but first, I called Jerry. We decided I should call Tommy. When Tommy's number was busy, I feared that what seemed like a well organized day was going rapidly downhill. I was stranded in parking lot with a car packed for travel on the busiest travel day of the year! When I got through, Tommy listened, asked a couple of questions and diagnosed the problem over the phone. He told me what to do to start the car and that i should come to him, if I was able to start it. I'm embarrassed to report that I had to call Jerry to help me find the lever that releases the hood (I knew where it was, but usually just watch him do it and couldn't identify the latch under the hood.) Once the hood was open,  I followed Tommy's instructions, jiggled the connections to the battery and started my car.

Once I reached the garage, Tommy came right out, tightened the connection to the battery and sent me on my way, no charge. When I asked him if he had a website or e-mail, he said he has an e-mail, but doesn't read it much & that a client had put something up for him on the internet. I told him I would be writing about his shop,  thanked him and wished him a Happy Thanksgiving.

This is not the 1st time he has helped us diagnose a problem over the phone or fix something without any charge. When something needs repair, we know he is honest. He tries to save us money whenever he can. Within minutes, I was on my way. I even had time to get the foot massage and be back home by 1PM. The only thing that did not go as planned was that Jerry got stuck in the city when one of his students had a meltdown. By the time we were able to travel to be with family, the traffic was surprisingly light.

So on this high travel weekend, remember to give thanks to the mechanics who keep our cars running so that we can maintain our lifestyle and visit with family and friends near and far. Happy Thanksgiving and Chanukah to those of you who celebrate Chanukah. (The Chanukah Countdown sale is still running supporting Menorah Park.)

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