Last week, on my trip to Florence, I sustained a flat tire. I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know exactly when it happened. What I know is that I was on my way from Cincinnati to the ballpark in Florence on Saturday afternoon (day 2 of the series) and not a block into my journey I realized that my car was not right. i pulled over and found, as I suspected, that my back left tire was out of shape.
This was an inconvenience for a number of reasons. The first and most immediate problem was how I was going to get to and from the stadium. Fortunately I found a ride. OK, one problem solved. My second problem was how I was going to get it to a tire place to get it repaired. I didn’t have a spare, you see. This was a concern best left for a later time.
And so I waited until the next day. it was a beautiful Sunday, and I’m sure someone somewhere was having the best day of their life. Maybe there was a wedding. Congratulations to that bride and groom. Maybe there was a picnic in the park. But I was unhappy. I spent the day sitting around as others did my dirty work. My tire was changed – It took me a day to realize that I had a spare because I am an idiot. I did not buy my car new so I didn’t even think about it, but of course there was a spare. There’s always a spare – and I had people researching facilities where I might get my tire patched. As it turns out, no such place existed. At least not on a Sunday.
The discovery was finally made that there is a Wal-Mart on the outskirts of towns that does tire work. I drove the half hour to get there only to encounter…well, Wal-Mart.
People don’t like Wal-Mart. I understand this. Their practices are shady and unethical. Fine. But I am not going to stop shopping at Wal-Mart. I’m not a noble person; I’m not a particularly good person at all. I am, however, a cheap person. Wal-Mart has low prices, therefore, I shop at Wal-Mart.
Here’s the problem, as my very anti-Wal-Mart companion was quick to point out: they really don’t care about people over there. I walked in with my tire problem and the woman standing at the counter asked me what I could be helped with.
“My tire has been punctured,” I said. “I need it fixed.”
Now, as I said this, she turned around to make a slow walk over to a garbage can, with her back to me. I was kind of hesitant as I spoke because I wasn’t sure she could hear me as I walked away. But she’s the one who asked me before she turned around, so I thought I had the green light to speak.
I was done talking when she returned to the counter and stared at me. It was a little unsettling. “Yeah?” she asked.
I looked around as though I didn’t know who she was talking to. Hadn’t I just told her what my problem was? I opened my mouth, but before anything actually came out, the man next to me said, “He needs a flat tire fixed.”
She appeared to understand this and told me that it would be a two to three-hour wait. That seemed unreasonable to me because there was only one other car in the place, but I accepted it and resigned to never having my car fixed because I had to be at the ballpark in two hours. Why was it so difficult to get a ten-minute job done!?
My encounter with the rude woman at Wal-Mart is over, but I want to expose her rudeness. As Tommy B says every Friday night, “Rudeness will not be tolerated.” OK, just another Wal-Mart employee, I was told. But don’t Wal-Mart employees exist before they work at Wal-Mart? Was she always this rude? I get myself worked up over things that I shouldn’t, but she really bugged me.
A little research determined that Monro Muffler Brake and Service, which was right down the street from my accommodations opened at 7:00 Monday morning. I figured that I would be alright as long as I left by 8:00 on Monday, so I stayed an extra night. Of course, if Monro was open on Sunday, i wouldn’t have had any problem.
My initial plan was to head home Sunday night, get a good sleep in my bed and head into the office Monday morning. Instead, I left Cincinnati at 8:35 Monday morning – it took way too long to patch that tire; I was there at 6:55, even before it opened – and drove straight through to the home park. I had slept a whole three and a half hours that night. It was not my favorite ballgame. But I survived.
The only reason I tell this whole story is because of something I saw last night. We’re staying in Westlake, Ohio as the team takes on the Lake Erie Crushers, and last night, as I took a walk around the neighborhood, I walked past a Monro Muffler Brake and Service.
It was open. On a Sunday.