I Did It My Way

, , , , , | Learning | November 1, 2019

(I am in high school and am leaving school for the day. I had an extracurricular, so when I’m leaving almost everyone else has already left other than some staff. My car won’t start so I walk back into the school and ask if there’s anyone who can help me jump my car. The janitor meets me at my vehicle. Note that I am female and I know how to do basic car maintenance, including how to jump a car.)

Me: “So, I have my own jumper cables and I can do it if you’ll just pull your car in front of mine.”

Janitor: “No, no I got it. I got my own cables. We’ll use those.”

(He starts hooking up cables but he leaves his car running, puts the positive cable on his battery and the negative cable on a metal part in his car, and then puts both the positive and negative on my battery at the same time.)

Me: “Uh, that’s not right. You need to have both cables attached to your battery to start mine.”

Janitor: “I know how to jump a car.”

(His way is making me nervous so I take a few steps back cautiously.)

Janitor: “I know what I’m doing! It’s not going to explode or anything.”

(Sure enough, my car still won’t start.)

Janitor: “Yeah. Your battery’s completely shot. I don’t know what to tell you.”

Me: “Can we try it my way?”

Janitor: “No. I already did it the correct way and it didn’t work.”

Me: “Can we at least give it a try? I can do it. My dad taught me how and it was different than what you did.”

Janitor: “No. It’s dead.”

(He packs up his cables and goes back inside the school. Frustrated, I call my dad and tell him what took place. My dad leaves his work and drives to my school. Once he gets there, I get my cables and set it up the way my dad taught me. My car immediately starts and my dad leaves to go back to work. The janitor watches this happen and approaches me when I’m putting away my stuff.)

Janitor: “Oh, how did you get it to work?”

Me: “I did it my way.”

(He mumbled a half-apology and walked back to his car to leave for the day. He refused to make eye contact with me for the remainder of the school year.)

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