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A Loose Connection

, , , , , | Working | March 12, 2019

Growing up with divorced parents, once a month my mom would pack us up for the eight-hour drive to visit my dad and brother for the weekend. One time, we were roughly halfway through our trip when her engine suddenly died in the middle of nowhere. We were fortunate enough that this happened on a section of the canyon road that actually had a shoulder wide enough to pull out on, and that she had enough momentum to reach it before we came to a halt. Being in the age before cell phones — and even today, that area is probably still out of range of the nearest tower — she put on her hazard lights and we proceeded to wait… and wait… and wait…

Around four hours later, someone pulled over to ask if we needed help, and she asked him to call her a tow truck when he reached the next town. Two hours later, we were finally back on our way, and an hour after that we dropped off the car and check in to a hotel.

The next morning my dad picked us up and the car was left at the mechanic for them to fix for our return trip the next day. They inspected it and informed her that the problem was a very simple fix; there was a loose connection that had come free during the drive. Mom thanked them, paid, drove us home, and immediately went to the mechanic who had checked out her car two days before her drive to demand an explanation.

It turned out that one of his employees was in the process of opening a shop of his own, and had deliberately loosened that connection — as well as sabotaged other customer’s cars — in an effort to discredit his employer and drive their business to him.

I have no idea what happened to that guy, but the boss gave my mom several hundred dollars of free maintenance on her car to make up for everything.

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