Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cars and counseling

Yesterday morning was a bit of a mess after R texted and told me the ignition on his truck wouldn't work.  After some work on his part, he called for me to come get him to take him to the parts store.  We fiddled with the steering wheel to get it off, so he could try and pull the ignition (he apparently has the one type of truck that requires you actually take the steering wheel off before you pull the ignition), and that in and of itself was an endeavor.  

We did some more fiddling and still couldn't get it loose.  So a friend (and parishioner) came and started helping.  Then he recruited a neighboring business owner/friend to also help.  The two men worked to try and get it all apart.  R and I mostly watched.  After awhile, the guys determined the ignition wasn't going to budge, so they got drills and started drilling it out.  

Now, as a woman who can change her tires and semi-narrow-down the problem with her own car, but not much more, I will openly admit that I would have had the car towed to a mechanic about 4 hours earlier when someone even dared mention taking off the steering wheel, but that's just me.

So, instead, I just stood by and watched as they drilled and drilled and drilled some more and still struggled to get it off.  At one point, I asked, "so, at what point do you call a professional?"  No one answered.  I worried that maybe I had offended the guys, but I also wondered how many more parts would break in the endeavor to fix it and how quickly it might have been fixed if we'd just taken it to the shop.  So, I shut my mouth and kept on being a quiet observer.

Later, R and I were in the car (going to get a new ignition) and I remarked that he had been quiet and I assumed just waiting and hoping they would figure it out and be able to fix it before they did too much damage, but also silenced by the fact that they might be able to fix it or he might need their help later and he wouldn't want to ruin that possibility by saying, "yeah guys, no more dinking with my truck, I'm going to a shop."  

And I think that summed it up.  So, we got the ignition and M continued to work on the truck in our absence and got it all apart and figured out how R could get it to start until he could get it properly fixed.  So that was super nice.  Worth the waiting (and the fear I suppose) and saving however many $100 not to pay a shop.  

Later I was recounting the story to a friend and she and I cracked up at how insane the idea of drilling into the ignition while still attached to the steering column had seemed, and then I said, well, that might also be because I don't take apart cars. 

The parallel might be that I consider myself fairly versed in counseling, I can handle most situations and have done enough of it that I would probably "tinker" with a situation (counseling-wise) when someone not as experienced would have called in a professional long ago.  I guess when we're comfortable with something (whatever that something might be) we're willing to stretch ourselves and go a bit further, after all, that's how we learn and grow.  And when we're a complete novice, we ask silly questions like "so, when do we call a professional?"

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