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Back To One

May 22, 2018

Okay, everybody back to one.

I was planning to go in early this morning, get a jump on my email and shadow Arthur as he escorted our client representative through our building. Instead, I was crawling around under a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix. It was very much a redneck scence. The car wasn’t exactly up on blocks. I used jack stands instead.

I was completing a “simple” job that I started yesterday evening. I set out to change the oil and replace the brakes. I was well prepared. I had 5 quarts of 5W-30 conventional motor oil, a new Wix oil filter, the brake pads for all four brakes and a brand new jar of brake grease.

It didn’t go as planned. The oil change went smooth. And the front brakes went well. I broke one of the back brakes. Specifically, I broke the cylinder in the left rear caliper. (Oh. . .THAT’S Why It Didn’t Work.) By the time I figured out I’d broken it, the auto parts store was closed.

That brought me to today. I had no way to work, so I borrowed my wife’s car and went to get the new caliper from the auto parts store. While I was at it, I decided to replace the rotor on one wheel. I should have planned for it before, but I didn’t want to delay finishing. . .too late!

Everyone makes a car payment. You either pay the bank or you pay the mechanic
– Lloyd V Bliss

. . . or you pay the auto parts store
– Rodney M Bliss

I actually made good time and counted it as a really long lunch. I still got company work done in the morning and the afternoon and of course, we have more maintenance going on in the middle of the night.

When I got done, I took the car for a test drive. It worked great. In fact, the car is running better than it has since I bought it a year ago. I considered what was recently done.

– Oil change
– New brakes (including a new left rear caliper and a left front rotor)
– Tires rotated so the best ones are on the front

And some other work was also done recently
– New water pump
– New thermostat
– New radiator cap (It might sound minor, but it really isn’t)
– New engine mounts

I also topped off the following fluids

– Brake fluid
– Coolant
– Oil (during the change)
– Automatic tranmission fluid

It was, in many ways, like a new, or at least new…er car. But, when I got it all put back together, it looked exactly like it had at the beginning. All that work and not a single thing to show for it. It looked like nothing had changed, and yet a long list of things had changed.

I’ve often thought how my regular job is a lot like these repairs. At the end of the day, my office looks pretty much the same as it did when I started. But, if I’m doing my job well, there should be many things that have changed. During the day, my desk looks worked at, but at the end of the day, like a good mechanic, I put all my tools away. They are waiting for me the next day.

Like a movie director who has just filmed a complex scene and now wants another take, everything is back to first positions, or “back to one.”

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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