I had an experience yesterday that diminished my faith in humanity and then promptly restored it.
The day started off well enough. I had a site visit downtown that I needed my car for, so I drove into town unsure of what I would do with my car afterwards. I hate paying for parking downtown, it has time limits and hefty fines if you go over. My meeting ended early so I decided I’d go park in my go-to spot, slightly out of town on a quiet thorough street near the MAX line. I could park for free, catch the next train into town and be dropped off 20 feet from my office. It would also be handy for pick up on my way to an event on the east side after work. My go-to spot was full of parked cars – some taking up two spots altogether. I started drifting farther away into the neighborhood hoping to snag a spot. Alas, I did find a spot but it was “earmarked” by trash cans. In other words, someone had clearly reserved a space for themselves with trash receptacles. Yet I was desperate and they had no right to claim a parking spot that was public. So I shifted the cans slightly and parked effortlessly into the spot. I left a bit concerned that I may have pissed someone off, but hoped that I would get back to my car before they noticed or that they would understand.
After a long day of work, I headed back to my car. They had put another trash bin directly in front, making me shift it so that I could pull out. It seemed suspect but I left, happy my windows weren’t smashed in. As I’m sitting in traffic en route to my next destination, someone shouts at me from their car. I roll my window down, “You have a flat tire”. I starred at him from the driver seat as my thoughts immediately went to, “son of a bitch, those bastards slashed my tire”. I was in heavy traffic and not moving anywhere fast. I prayed I could make it to a gas station without too much damage – I had no idea how flat it was.*
As I pulled in to the gas station, I see it is indeed flat. I also a see a slit on the side of it. Bastards. I pull the cap off and air come gushing out. I start to fill it, but as soon as I remove the air pump, air just flies out of the tire. I am not a car girl. I am not a tire girl. I leave that up to the experts of cars and tires. My hope was to get as much air in it as possible and to make it home where Jacob could help me put a spare on. Then the same gentleman who notified me of my flat came over – he had pulled over to ensure I was okay. He took a look at the tire and told me someone had pulled the center stem out from the valve stem and that he would help me put on the spare – it was what he did for life’s work. Saddened that someone was vindictive enough to put my life in danger with a flat tire, I was immediately uplifted by the good graces of this perfect stranger.
Naturally he recommended his place of work for when I got my tire fixed – which I was all to happy to oblige. I got home safely and the next morning headed to Double J’s Tire repair. A friendly guy by the name of Jesse helped me out, told me about his upcoming vacation where he’s going to hang low with his woman. It took all of 10 minutes for them to check my tire, fix it and get it back up on my car, and for the mere price of $8.
So while it was a crummy experience and I will never be parking in front of that bastard’s house again – the situation remedied itself out with restored faith in humans. No real harm done and I got my tire fixed (it also had a nail in it, but likely from another day). So if you have the chance to pay it forward, do. Don’t be a dick when something doesn’t go your way. Embrace it as an opportunity to see a different perspective.
*For those of you who wonder about the indicator on my dash, let me just say it had been broken for the better part of 4 years. Word to the wise: never buy a Nissan.