The guy at the tire store lost my business the other day.
I came in to ask him if he could rotate and balance the tires on the minivan. It was pulling to the right….wobbling a little.
Wobbling a lot.
I figured that if I asked an expert what was going on, he could rotate the tires and the problem might go away.
When I got to the part about purchasing the tires at Sams Club, and how I wondered if the balance hadn’t been done right after the guy patched a nail hole, and that the wobbling had started after the technician had fixed the leaking tire….well….our conversation seemed to be over.
“Sounds like something you need to have them fix…better take it back to where you got the tires.”
Now, unless there’s something that I’m missing, a rotation and balance is 20 dollars and they do it for you no matter where you bought the tires.
Maybe they need a sign out front….”rotate and balance, twenty dollars…if you bought the tires from us.”
Anyway, this part of the story is longer than it needs to be.
I went home, dragged the heavy floor jack across the gravel driveway, jacked up the car and rotated the tires myself.
I couldn’t balance them at home…but I could rotate them, and when I finished the job and drove the car around, the problem was gone.
The front end didn’t wobble anymore….or pull to the right.
Maybe I should have been more forceful with the guy…came in and told him, “Rotate and balance these tires…now!!….please.”
Maybe I gave him too much information.
But he was kind of a jerk about it….and the town’s big enough that I have plenty of other options, so I’ll take the car in a different direction next time I need tires.
But I was thinking about this rotation thing a little this morning, and I came to a conclusion, if only a possible temporary conclusion, that maybe all this self-help stuff is missing the point sometimes.
A lot of what I read seems to be centered on “getting rid of problems”.
We want to fix things. We want to get better at things.
We want to correct. We are told to ERADICATE.
Now, in the case of the tires on the minivan, whatever was wrong with the tire that was causing the original problem is probably still wrong.
It’s out of balance….or has a ply that got a little wonky. The problem is still there.
It’s just that now the problem is in the back where it can’t affect the way the car drives.
Maybe the problem is corrected? Not really, maybe…the tire is still wonky…but it’s not noticeable because nothing’s shaky anymore.
I have things that I notice to the point of paralysis. I don’t know how to fix them, so I don’t act on the problem at all.
I can’t balance by myself.
But maybe I can move something better to the front of my life….and relegate the problem to the background where it’s not as noticeable?
“Out of sight, out of mind.”
I guess that the really powerful and constructive way to approach problems is to make a list, check things off as you complete the task, and move on to the next issue.
The way to do it right might be to become a home and lifestyle improvement juggernaut and just plow through all the life issues that bring you discomfort.
“SEEK AND REPAIR! SEEK AND REPAIR! SEEK AND REPAIR!”
But maybe moving the “tire/problem” to the back of my life, where the problem doesn’t affect things in the same way, buys me enough time to figure out how to really fix things later without screwing up the big picture right now?
Maybe there’s no more philosophical importance to the story than figuring out where it might be more pleasant to buy my tires?
I just thought it was interesting that moving things could make that much difference.
As far as I need to be concerned, the problem is fixed.