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My Car’s Transmission Goes Out Every Month

February 18, 2013

I’m on a conference call on my way to a meeting and I’m passing THAT intersection. The intersection where my transmission goes out.

A transmission, as you car guys know is really expensive. I mean, “Maybe we should just abandon the car on the side of the road and walk away” expensive. Just before Christmas I was driving my Chevy Suburban along Geneva Road in Orem, UT. I was on a conference call on my way to a meeting. The meeting was in Provo, but I was taking Geneva instead of the freeway because I’d been having some car issues. If you’ve read my other posts, you know that transmission issues are not one of the three things I know about cars.

“Yeah, I’m about 20 minutes away. Just turning onto Geneva up in Orem.”

Geneva road’s speed limit is 50 mph. At about 30 mph my car made a grrrrskmmmm noise. Slow down, noise goes away. Speed back up, and grrrrskmmmm again. Okay, I can drive at 30 mph. That lasted about a quarter mile.


“Ah. . .yeah, I’m gonna have to call you back. I’ve got some car issues here.”

The third thing I know about cars after how to use jumper cables and change the windshield wipers was my mechanic’s phone number on speed dial.

Transmissions are expensive. In my case it was “Sorry kids, Christmas is all about Daddy this year” expensive.

The thing is, I have that same meeting every month. I have to start it on a conference call while driving to the meeting. And every month, as I approach the intersection of Geneva and 1600 N in Orem. My transmission goes out.

Well, at least in my stomach it does. I get tense. My palms sweat. I start listening extra carefully to the engine. (Yeah, the transmission isn’t part of the engine, but that’s beyond my limited automotive experience.) I go through all of the same emotions that I experienced those months ago.

Some might call this Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.) I call it a $2600 stress test.

So, what does this have to do with business?

We each have that intersection that we dread. Maybe it’s your monthly status update that you once accidentally emailed to the Senior VP, and even though you KNOW that his name isn’t on the TO: line, you double check it again. . .and again. Maybe it’s your boss saying, “Can I see you in my office a minute?” because it takes you back to a time long ago at a different company where that phrase preceded a 45 minute tongue lashing.

I can’t tell you how to overcome this fear. I can tell you what I do. I acknowledge it. I embrace it. I KNOW that I’m going to react emotionally to certain triggers. Forewarned is forearmed. When it happens, my brain argues with my stomach that there is no reason to worry. Sometimes it works better than others.

Oh, and I’ve decided to start taking the freeway instead of Geneva. . .just in case.

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