So I really hate when I do something stupid. The other day I backed my truck into the RV and broke the tail light. Since I was the one that put all the vehicles where they were… there was no one to blame but myself. I knew taking it to a dealership would cost quite a bit… probably in the $400.00 range… which I really hated to “waste” since it was a avoidable expense. I called a friend of a friend that has done repair work for us before. He is a really good mechanic but I know he prefers to do bodywork. I told him what part I needed and he called me back and said he could fix the whole thing for $100. Woo-hoo! A much better deal. I drove the truck over to his place and left it for him. He called me later that morning and told me that he had gotten the wrong part because I gave him the wrong year my truck was built. I thought I had done well because I remembered that it was the drivers side and that it was a large one piece unit, except instead of the correct model year I told him the year of Pepper’s vehicle….whoops. He told me he would need to drive back to get the right part and said it would probably be $20 more. I said ok.
When I went to pick up my truck, I noticed it sitting in the driveway nice and shiny. The tail light was all fixed and my mechanic was in the garage already working on another vehicle. When he saw me he got the keys and met me by my truck. “Its all set. The part for this one was more than I expected.” I had pulled out my checkbook and was ready to write a total. “How much was the tail light?”I asked. He tells me it was $160. I am doing the math in my head and am thinking this is going to be a heftier bill than I wanted because he hadn’t even charged me tax and labor yet. “Ok, what do I owe ya’?” I ask.
He says, “$120.” I look at him quizzically because I know my math skills are not that bad. I add the expected labor and tax and I say, “Do you mean $320?”
He is usually a very quiet kind of guy. He asks and answers questions, says, hi and bye and that is about it. He breaks into this big grin and launches into this story that he seemed to be dying to tell… “Well, I had to go get the new part because you told me the wrong year (I think… yeah, I said I was sorry for that already!) so I went to the junk yard I go to for parts like this and they had it. It was marked $160, but the guy gave it to me for $120. Then I decide to spend a few minutes at the casino because its close and I had the time. I found a 3 cent machine and am playing it for about 20 minutes. I hit 3 cents each time. I am about ready to leave because I knew I wanted to get that tail light fixed before you came back for your truck. I hit the wrong button…. The “max” button, which makes me bet pretty much everything I had. It won. The BIG jackpot! Bells and whistles went off and lights are flashing. 4 watermelons! I had never had that happen before. I won $663.33.”
“Wow, that’s great!” I say, “congratulations!”
He says, “So since I was there because you told me to get the wrong part (yeah, yeah… I had a blonde moment, sheesh…. Do we have to keep bringing it up?!) I did the labor for free. Just give me $120 for the part.”
We talked for a few more minutes about casino’s and luck and beautiful spring days and then I headed off. He waved and smiled as I left, happy because he got to tell the story of how great his day was. Its really cool to get a benefit for someone else’s lucky day and be the recipient of a “pay it forward”… ☺