Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tire Business

I was to meet a bunch of friends Monday at 10am. Anna was to take her mother to the doctor shortly after that.

I was backing out in the truck when I noticed the Honda had a flat on the back right. It was about 9:30. I hurriedly told her about it and then pumped it up with an electric air pump.

I went on to the meeting with the Varner’s gang. Anna called AAA and they immediately came out and changed the bad tire for the spare donut tire. The AAA man told Anna that the tire had a big bolt in the tire. He also told her he loved his job.

Later that day we drove the Honda to a Discount Tire in nearby Kennesaw.

The person that we thought was the manager looked at the tire in the trunk and said if it was repairable they would fix it free, and hopefully, we would think of them when we were ready to buy new tires.

We sat down in the show room/waiting room and, well, waited. There was a lady sitting in a chair that gave us a big warm smile and spoke. We politely spoke back. Her face looked familiar… but I couldn’t quiet place it.

The manager told us she was buying Michelin Tires. I asked her if she like Michelin and she said yes. I think I told her we did too. If I am not mistaken, they came with the car when we bought it.

We watched the hyped-up we-think-is-manager guy do things to make the place look neat and impressible such as space the displace tires a certain distance apart, maybe straighten an advertising poster, and busily talking to customers when they wandered in.

In between customers and straightening things he told us some very positive things about his company and the sole owner, which he repeated his name several times. The owner lives in Arizona. Once or twice he quoted the owner directly, both complementary, to show the owner was a wise and decent man.

The lady I first noticed said something from time to time. She complemented the guy for putting things so neat, she added that she was a librarian and could appreciate that.

A guy from the car bay area came in and told her car was ready, she could go.

Then another guy came to us and told us the bolt went into the tire crookedly, therefore, could not be repaired.

However, he said, he just put a tire a customer traded in – and he pointed that was sitting with us and said, “There she goes now”. He went on to say they were nice tires and that would get us buy until we were ready to buy. So, again, “No charge – just remember us when you get ready to buy.” Which we will. We are thinking very positive towards Discount Tires.

As she drove away, it hit me where I have seen her. She lives around the corner from us.

I told Anna who I thought it was and she thought that lady that lived around the corner is a school teacher. Maybe a media specialist at a school? We left it at that. Not that it mattered anyway.

This morning in the rain before daylight Willow and I were on a walk when the lady in question, that lives around the corner was backing out of her driveway. I waved and motioned for her to roll down her window.

Now days, how do you motion someone to roll down their window – pantomime pushing a button?

Her windows went down and she pulled up beside me. I asked her was she at Discount Tires Monday getting new tires. She said yes. She has always has a very big toothy very gracious smile. She told me she recognized us when we went in. I told her I didn’t want to make a fool of myself asking her there – so I chose to make a fool of myself standing in the rain in the dark asking her.

I told her we were driving on one of her tires and told her that story, and we had a good laugh… with me and Willow getting soaking wet.

She also told me that day she found out her nephew had a seizure and was now in the hospital. I told her that same day I found out my first cousin had died. We told each other we were sorry.

Small world.

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