Stranded On The Side Of The Road With a Little Generosity
So I went on a road trip this past weekend that left me a little lighter in the pocket book than I had planned. I hit the road around 5pm last Friday night headed down to San Antonio for the weekend. So several hours into my trip, I am cruising down I-35 when I feel the need to stop in for a coffee before the Starbucks closes up. I pull out my handy dandy smart phone (kids never do this while driving please) and found the nearest location which just so happens to never be too far away. I was just on the north side of Austin when I pulled into this Starbucks and opted to go inside so I could stretch my legs and take care of some business, if you know what I mean.
The break was nice, the coffee was warm, refreshing and delicious and I was happy as I could be until I returned to my car to find I had a flat tire. How in the world did it go flat just in the time that I had been inside? I had an immediate thought of fear and a little bit of anger (at whom I don’t know), but just was like, oh man now my trip is ruined because this is going to put me so far behind. I wasn’t thinking about not really even changing the tire, I was just going through all of this other stuff in my head.
This Starbucks sat in this small shopping center, and with it being so late, there were not very many people around. Luckily for me this small shopping center was preparing to have the parking lot re-striped that evening starting at 9:30pm after all of the shops were closed down. I said this was lucky for me because, David from Parking Lot Striping Austin was already on site and his crew was preparing their gear to knock the job out that evening. David must have noticed my random thoughts and he and Chris, another guy from his crew, came over to offer a hand.
I would have typically said that I would take care of it, but Chris immediately offered to help and said there was no need for me to get my clothes dirty, and he would be getting all dirty soon enough anyway. So untypical of me, I thought that sounded pretty good actually and let him help me out for a change. I did help by getting out the jack, but he did the rest of the work from that point.
I am lucky my car did have a full size spare, so making the rest of the trip was not going to be a problem (unless it happened to get a flat as well). I kind of felt bad because while Chris was changing the tire, I sat back and had a small chit-chat session with David. I told them I was from Dallas, but was going to San Antonio to visit a friend for the weekend. I learned quite a bit about the parking lot striping business. You never really think about what all goes into things like that, that we normally take for granted. These guys are typically working in the night while people are out of the parking lots, which makes a lot of sense.
David showed me the machines they use and how they actually prepare the lot and everything. It was very interesting to see things from this perspective. Things you just never really know how they get done until you stumble up on someone that shows you. They don’t teach you these things in schools that is for sure. So as of today I am more grateful for the men and women that spend time to make sure our parking lots are in working order, and looking nice. I am also greatful that they were there on that day otherwise I would have been a dirty mess for the rest of my drive to San Antonio.
I did finally make it to San Antonio, and scoped out the nearest tire place to where I was staying. I bolted out of bed first thing that next morning so I could be the first in line to get that tire fixed. Like I said I left with a little lighter wallet than I had planned, but the trip was still great. I met some new friends in Austin, and had a great visit with my friends in San Antonio as well.
Just in case you end up with a flat tire, and are not lucky like I was to find someone ready and willing to change it for you, here is a great video to show you how to change a tire step-by-step.