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re: The Visit

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Message 1 of 9
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I like the way you wrote this, Mike.  It's like you are sharing a private journal entry.  It is a touching story with a timely nudge reminding me to tell those who have left their footprints in my life how much I appreciate what I have learned from having them there. 

  Our world is missing many of the things that could make it a happier place to live, and I find that arrpreciation is high up on the list. Not always for the benefit of the person being appreciated, but also for the joy of sharing my appreciation to those who have earned it and have went for so long without knowing that they made a difference. After feeling the pain of suspecting my efforts were  fruitless, and then realizing that someone must have felt like they benifited, it gives me a strong desire to express my appreciation more regularly. I guess , just like we all do, I thought they surely knew without any confirming action. Enjoy your friends and mentors. It is a joy for us also.



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Message 2 of 9
In Response to The Visit:

 


The Visit


 


I don't ever remember
having too many surprises that were so timely as this one. The visit
may have seemed very routine for my visitor. He was just running
some errands in the area, which is over 50 miles from his home. He
could have decided he was pushed for time and planned to catch me
another time. That would have been no unusual happening. We are all
usually pressed for time anymore. Far too little time for ourselves
and what makes us happy, and that knowledge is what made this surprise
so much more meaningful.


 


It was early this summer
and I was going through a period of feeling how much the changes in my
life were taking their toll on my ability to stay positive and self
confident. After 32 years as an automotive technician I have been
through many phases. In my early years I wanted to learn more about
the trade so badly. In the shop there are many different
personalities. Some very willing to share what they know and some
would rather the younger technicians didn't learn any faster than
necessary so they wouldn't feel the competition. I vowed that when I
was more experienced I would be one that would be remembered for being helpful.


 


In the high point of my
career, when I had acquired a lot of experience and training I felt I
was doing my best to pass it on. I took advantage of many
opportunities to help explain theories and procedures to younger
technicians whom I felt were trying to learn and not just looking for
someone to do their job. During that time I believe that brought me
as much pleasure as the success I was enjoying from the increased
knowledge and what it produced in my own work. It was a great
experience for me to work with several young people in whom I
recognized great character and ability, and above all they had respect
for others. I'll never forget that period of time.


 


In the later period of
time as I started facing hands that hurt much more and a back that was
not as limber as it used to be when I laid upside down under a dash, I
had a few more thoughts on my mind. I still worked with young
technicians and they had initially asked frequent questions as always.
I felt as if I was giving them the answers that would help them grow
without making them feel stupid or giving them answers myself and not
helping them think processes through. As time passed more and more the
younger techs were consulting each other and I usually only got the
questions that they couldn't answer. I think that back in my
“ball of fire” days that would have made me feel proud and
relieved. I could continue on with my work and enjoy the fact that my
young coworkers were getting more able to fly on their own. But
considering where I was at in my career and my other new concerns I
found myself feeling out of the loop. I found myself wondering if they
viewed me as and old tech just one step away from being switched to
janitor while they solved all of the problems I used to solve. The
janitor job didn't particularly bother me as much as the thought that
maybe I had never really taught anyone anything as I felt I had.
Perhaps I had been to grumpy. Perhaps I had just bored them and they
were glad they didn't have to deal with me as much anymore.


 


It was about fifteen
minutes until the lunch whistle blew on a beautiful sunny Friday. I
was in the middle of a job and left the vehicle I was working on to
get a tool out of my box when I had a pleasant surprise. Across the
shop standing there with his normal great big smile was Jeff, a
technician I had worked with for several years at a dealership. Jeff
wasn't just another tech I had worked with though. He was one of the
ones who was eager to learn and always wanting to better himself. We
shared more of life than just automotive talk. We shared viewpoints
and rides to work. We shared hunting trips and friendship in spite of
a twenty year age difference. I quickly went over to greet him and
shake his hand. I asked if he had gotten lost wandering so far from
home. He said “No, I just thought I would stop by and buy your
lunch”. Well that is a deal I can't refuse. We had a good time
talking over lunch over at our local diner. We shared a lot of old
times and caught up on the new. It was time for Jeff to head home and
time for me to go back to work. I thanked him for the lunch and we
promised to visit again when we could. There is no way for Jeff to
have known how badly needed that visit was and what it meant to me. I
had not been forgotten. Someone who I cared for and had invested in
had taken the time to come back and invest in me. It doesn't happen
often in most lives. More for some than others I am sure. But that one
instance could not have been better timed. Maybe it is time to revisit
some of the people who have invested in me and hopefully share what
Jeff brought me that day.


I like the way you wrote this, Mike.  It's like you are sharing a private journal entry.  It is a touching story with a timely nudge reminding me to tell those who have left their footprints in my life how much I appreciate what I have learned from having them there. 

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Message 3 of 9
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  You write as if you are talking, so naturally.  Nice story, nice moral...

  Thank you for your reply,


I guess that may be because I am kind of just talking. That would be bad news for someone writing to be published or someone making a career out of wirting. This group has been very kind to allow me to tell a story and respond with their perspectives  and make an attempt to relate to what I am saying.


As for the moral , I would have to say that the morals I have learned from lifes stories haven't been very gentle lessons. The mistakes I have made and the paths I have chosen would sometimes make better horror stories than heart warming tales. Still I hope to write of some of those stories and of the things I learned the hard way. Looking back I should have been so far ahead of where I am now, but I guess I just have to learn things the hard way. Thanks again for your encouragement.


Mike

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re: The Visit

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Message 4 of 9
In Response to The Visit:

 


The Visit


 


I don't ever remember
having too many surprises that were so timely as this one. The visit
may have seemed very routine for my visitor. He was just running
some errands in the area, which is over 50 miles from his home. He
could have decided he was pushed for time and planned to catch me
another time. That would have been no unusual happening. We are all
usually pressed for time anymore. Far too little time for ourselves
and what makes us happy, and that knowledge is what made this surprise
so much more meaningful.


 


It was early this summer
and I was going through a period of feeling how much the changes in my
life were taking their toll on my ability to stay positive and self
confident. After 32 years as an automotive technician I have been
through many phases. In my early years I wanted to learn more about
the trade so badly. In the shop there are many different
personalities. Some very willing to share what they know and some
would rather the younger technicians didn't learn any faster than
necessary so they wouldn't feel the competition. I vowed that when I
was more experienced I would be one that would be remembered for being helpful.


 


In the high point of my
career, when I had acquired a lot of experience and training I felt I
was doing my best to pass it on. I took advantage of many
opportunities to help explain theories and procedures to younger
technicians whom I felt were trying to learn and not just looking for
someone to do their job. During that time I believe that brought me
as much pleasure as the success I was enjoying from the increased
knowledge and what it produced in my own work. It was a great
experience for me to work with several young people in whom I
recognized great character and ability, and above all they had respect
for others. I'll never forget that period of time.


 


In the later period of
time as I started facing hands that hurt much more and a back that was
not as limber as it used to be when I laid upside down under a dash, I
had a few more thoughts on my mind. I still worked with young
technicians and they had initially asked frequent questions as always.
I felt as if I was giving them the answers that would help them grow
without making them feel stupid or giving them answers myself and not
helping them think processes through. As time passed more and more the
younger techs were consulting each other and I usually only got the
questions that they couldn't answer. I think that back in my
“ball of fire” days that would have made me feel proud and
relieved. I could continue on with my work and enjoy the fact that my
young coworkers were getting more able to fly on their own. But
considering where I was at in my career and my other new concerns I
found myself feeling out of the loop. I found myself wondering if they
viewed me as and old tech just one step away from being switched to
janitor while they solved all of the problems I used to solve. The
janitor job didn't particularly bother me as much as the thought that
maybe I had never really taught anyone anything as I felt I had.
Perhaps I had been to grumpy. Perhaps I had just bored them and they
were glad they didn't have to deal with me as much anymore.


 


It was about fifteen
minutes until the lunch whistle blew on a beautiful sunny Friday. I
was in the middle of a job and left the vehicle I was working on to
get a tool out of my box when I had a pleasant surprise. Across the
shop standing there with his normal great big smile was Jeff, a
technician I had worked with for several years at a dealership. Jeff
wasn't just another tech I had worked with though. He was one of the
ones who was eager to learn and always wanting to better himself. We
shared more of life than just automotive talk. We shared viewpoints
and rides to work. We shared hunting trips and friendship in spite of
a twenty year age difference. I quickly went over to greet him and
shake his hand. I asked if he had gotten lost wandering so far from
home. He said “No, I just thought I would stop by and buy your
lunch”. Well that is a deal I can't refuse. We had a good time
talking over lunch over at our local diner. We shared a lot of old
times and caught up on the new. It was time for Jeff to head home and
time for me to go back to work. I thanked him for the lunch and we
promised to visit again when we could. There is no way for Jeff to
have known how badly needed that visit was and what it meant to me. I
had not been forgotten. Someone who I cared for and had invested in
had taken the time to come back and invest in me. It doesn't happen
often in most lives. More for some than others I am sure. But that one
instance could not have been better timed. Maybe it is time to revisit
some of the people who have invested in me and hopefully share what
Jeff brought me that day.


  You write as if you are talking, so naturally.  Nice story, nice moral...

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Message 5 of 9
In Response to The Visit:

 


The Visit


 


I don't ever remember
having too many surprises that were so timely as this one. The visit
may have seemed very routine for my visitor. He was just running
some errands in the area, which is over 50 miles from his home. He
could have decided he was pushed for time and planned to catch me
another time. That would have been no unusual happening. We are all
usually pressed for time anymore. Far too little time for ourselves
and what makes us happy, and that knowledge is what made this surprise
so much more meaningful.


 


It was early this summer
and I was going through a period of feeling how much the changes in my
life were taking their toll on my ability to stay positive and self
confident. After 32 years as an automotive technician I have been
through many phases. In my early years I wanted to learn more about
the trade so badly. In the shop there are many different
personalities. Some very willing to share what they know and some
would rather the younger technicians didn't learn any faster than
necessary so they wouldn't feel the competition. I vowed that when I
was more experienced I would be one that would be remembered for being helpful.


 


In the high point of my
career, when I had acquired a lot of experience and training I felt I
was doing my best to pass it on. I took advantage of many
opportunities to help explain theories and procedures to younger
technicians whom I felt were trying to learn and not just looking for
someone to do their job. During that time I believe that brought me
as much pleasure as the success I was enjoying from the increased
knowledge and what it produced in my own work. It was a great
experience for me to work with several young people in whom I
recognized great character and ability, and above all they had respect
for others. I'll never forget that period of time.


 


In the later period of
time as I started facing hands that hurt much more and a back that was
not as limber as it used to be when I laid upside down under a dash, I
had a few more thoughts on my mind. I still worked with young
technicians and they had initially asked frequent questions as always.
I felt as if I was giving them the answers that would help them grow
without making them feel stupid or giving them answers myself and not
helping them think processes through. As time passed more and more the
younger techs were consulting each other and I usually only got the
questions that they couldn't answer. I think that back in my
“ball of fire” days that would have made me feel proud and
relieved. I could continue on with my work and enjoy the fact that my
young coworkers were getting more able to fly on their own. But
considering where I was at in my career and my other new concerns I
found myself feeling out of the loop. I found myself wondering if they
viewed me as and old tech just one step away from being switched to
janitor while they solved all of the problems I used to solve. The
janitor job didn't particularly bother me as much as the thought that
maybe I had never really taught anyone anything as I felt I had.
Perhaps I had been to grumpy. Perhaps I had just bored them and they
were glad they didn't have to deal with me as much anymore.


 


It was about fifteen
minutes until the lunch whistle blew on a beautiful sunny Friday. I
was in the middle of a job and left the vehicle I was working on to
get a tool out of my box when I had a pleasant surprise. Across the
shop standing there with his normal great big smile was Jeff, a
technician I had worked with for several years at a dealership. Jeff
wasn't just another tech I had worked with though. He was one of the
ones who was eager to learn and always wanting to better himself. We
shared more of life than just automotive talk. We shared viewpoints
and rides to work. We shared hunting trips and friendship in spite of
a twenty year age difference. I quickly went over to greet him and
shake his hand. I asked if he had gotten lost wandering so far from
home. He said “No, I just thought I would stop by and buy your
lunch”. Well that is a deal I can't refuse. We had a good time
talking over lunch over at our local diner. We shared a lot of old
times and caught up on the new. It was time for Jeff to head home and
time for me to go back to work. I thanked him for the lunch and we
promised to visit again when we could. There is no way for Jeff to
have known how badly needed that visit was and what it meant to me. I
had not been forgotten. Someone who I cared for and had invested in
had taken the time to come back and invest in me. It doesn't happen
often in most lives. More for some than others I am sure. But that one
instance could not have been better timed. Maybe it is time to revisit
some of the people who have invested in me and hopefully share what
Jeff brought me that day.


  Okay, another warm human story!  Thanks for that!  Keep them coming...


Sandy

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re: The Visit

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Message 6 of 9
In Response to The Visit:

 


The Visit


 


I don't ever remember
having too many surprises that were so timely as this one. The visit
may have seemed very routine for my visitor. He was just running
some errands in the area, which is over 50 miles from his home. He
could have decided he was pushed for time and planned to catch me
another time. That would have been no unusual happening. We are all
usually pressed for time anymore. Far too little time for ourselves
and what makes us happy, and that knowledge is what made this surprise
so much more meaningful.


 


It was early this summer
and I was going through a period of feeling how much the changes in my
life were taking their toll on my ability to stay positive and self
confident. After 32 years as an automotive technician I have been
through many phases. In my early years I wanted to learn more about
the trade so badly. In the shop there are many different
personalities. Some very willing to share what they know and some
would rather the younger technicians didn't learn any faster than
necessary so they wouldn't feel the competition. I vowed that when I
was more experienced I would be one that would be remembered for being helpful.


 


In the high point of my
career, when I had acquired a lot of experience and training I felt I
was doing my best to pass it on. I took advantage of many
opportunities to help explain theories and procedures to younger
technicians whom I felt were trying to learn and not just looking for
someone to do their job. During that time I believe that brought me
as much pleasure as the success I was enjoying from the increased
knowledge and what it produced in my own work. It was a great
experience for me to work with several young people in whom I
recognized great character and ability, and above all they had respect
for others. I'll never forget that period of time.


 


In the later period of
time as I started facing hands that hurt much more and a back that was
not as limber as it used to be when I laid upside down under a dash, I
had a few more thoughts on my mind. I still worked with young
technicians and they had initially asked frequent questions as always.
I felt as if I was giving them the answers that would help them grow
without making them feel stupid or giving them answers myself and not
helping them think processes through. As time passed more and more the
younger techs were consulting each other and I usually only got the
questions that they couldn't answer. I think that back in my
“ball of fire” days that would have made me feel proud and
relieved. I could continue on with my work and enjoy the fact that my
young coworkers were getting more able to fly on their own. But
considering where I was at in my career and my other new concerns I
found myself feeling out of the loop. I found myself wondering if they
viewed me as and old tech just one step away from being switched to
janitor while they solved all of the problems I used to solve. The
janitor job didn't particularly bother me as much as the thought that
maybe I had never really taught anyone anything as I felt I had.
Perhaps I had been to grumpy. Perhaps I had just bored them and they
were glad they didn't have to deal with me as much anymore.


 


It was about fifteen
minutes until the lunch whistle blew on a beautiful sunny Friday. I
was in the middle of a job and left the vehicle I was working on to
get a tool out of my box when I had a pleasant surprise. Across the
shop standing there with his normal great big smile was Jeff, a
technician I had worked with for several years at a dealership. Jeff
wasn't just another tech I had worked with though. He was one of the
ones who was eager to learn and always wanting to better himself. We
shared more of life than just automotive talk. We shared viewpoints
and rides to work. We shared hunting trips and friendship in spite of
a twenty year age difference. I quickly went over to greet him and
shake his hand. I asked if he had gotten lost wandering so far from
home. He said “No, I just thought I would stop by and buy your
lunch”. Well that is a deal I can't refuse. We had a good time
talking over lunch over at our local diner. We shared a lot of old
times and caught up on the new. It was time for Jeff to head home and
time for me to go back to work. I thanked him for the lunch and we
promised to visit again when we could. There is no way for Jeff to
have known how badly needed that visit was and what it meant to me. I
had not been forgotten. Someone who I cared for and had invested in
had taken the time to come back and invest in me. It doesn't happen
often in most lives. More for some than others I am sure. But that one
instance could not have been better timed. Maybe it is time to revisit
some of the people who have invested in me and hopefully share what
Jeff brought me that day.


  What a great story! I think many of us like to think that we have passed some information of value on to others. Conformation of that fact is so good. Yes, I think I'll get ahold of some of the people that have made a difference in my life by sharing their knowledge with me. Thanks so much for the nudge. 

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re: The Visit

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Message 7 of 9
In Response to The Visit:

 


The Visit


 


I don't ever remember
having too many surprises that were so timely as this one. The visit
may have seemed very routine for my visitor. He was just running
some errands in the area, which is over 50 miles from his home. He
could have decided he was pushed for time and planned to catch me
another time. That would have been no unusual happening. We are all
usually pressed for time anymore. Far too little time for ourselves
and what makes us happy, and that knowledge is what made this surprise
so much more meaningful.


 


It was early this summer
and I was going through a period of feeling how much the changes in my
life were taking their toll on my ability to stay positive and self
confident. After 32 years as an automotive technician I have been
through many phases. In my early years I wanted to learn more about
the trade so badly. In the shop there are many different
personalities. Some very willing to share what they know and some
would rather the younger technicians didn't learn any faster than
necessary so they wouldn't feel the competition. I vowed that when I
was more experienced I would be one that would be remembered for being helpful.


 


In the high point of my
career, when I had acquired a lot of experience and training I felt I
was doing my best to pass it on. I took advantage of many
opportunities to help explain theories and procedures to younger
technicians whom I felt were trying to learn and not just looking for
someone to do their job. During that time I believe that brought me
as much pleasure as the success I was enjoying from the increased
knowledge and what it produced in my own work. It was a great
experience for me to work with several young people in whom I
recognized great character and ability, and above all they had respect
for others. I'll never forget that period of time.


 


In the later period of
time as I started facing hands that hurt much more and a back that was
not as limber as it used to be when I laid upside down under a dash, I
had a few more thoughts on my mind. I still worked with young
technicians and they had initially asked frequent questions as always.
I felt as if I was giving them the answers that would help them grow
without making them feel stupid or giving them answers myself and not
helping them think processes through. As time passed more and more the
younger techs were consulting each other and I usually only got the
questions that they couldn't answer. I think that back in my
“ball of fire” days that would have made me feel proud and
relieved. I could continue on with my work and enjoy the fact that my
young coworkers were getting more able to fly on their own. But
considering where I was at in my career and my other new concerns I
found myself feeling out of the loop. I found myself wondering if they
viewed me as and old tech just one step away from being switched to
janitor while they solved all of the problems I used to solve. The
janitor job didn't particularly bother me as much as the thought that
maybe I had never really taught anyone anything as I felt I had.
Perhaps I had been to grumpy. Perhaps I had just bored them and they
were glad they didn't have to deal with me as much anymore.


 


It was about fifteen
minutes until the lunch whistle blew on a beautiful sunny Friday. I
was in the middle of a job and left the vehicle I was working on to
get a tool out of my box when I had a pleasant surprise. Across the
shop standing there with his normal great big smile was Jeff, a
technician I had worked with for several years at a dealership. Jeff
wasn't just another tech I had worked with though. He was one of the
ones who was eager to learn and always wanting to better himself. We
shared more of life than just automotive talk. We shared viewpoints
and rides to work. We shared hunting trips and friendship in spite of
a twenty year age difference. I quickly went over to greet him and
shake his hand. I asked if he had gotten lost wandering so far from
home. He said “No, I just thought I would stop by and buy your
lunch”. Well that is a deal I can't refuse. We had a good time
talking over lunch over at our local diner. We shared a lot of old
times and caught up on the new. It was time for Jeff to head home and
time for me to go back to work. I thanked him for the lunch and we
promised to visit again when we could. There is no way for Jeff to
have known how badly needed that visit was and what it meant to me. I
had not been forgotten. Someone who I cared for and had invested in
had taken the time to come back and invest in me. It doesn't happen
often in most lives. More for some than others I am sure. But that one
instance could not have been better timed. Maybe it is time to revisit
some of the people who have invested in me and hopefully share what
Jeff brought me that day.


  I liked that story.  Yes, we do need to appreciate one another and take the time.  What a nice realization.



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The Visit

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Message 8 of 9

 


The Visit


 


I don't ever remember
having too many surprises that were so timely as this one. The visit
may have seemed very routine for my visitor. He was just running
some errands in the area, which is over 50 miles from his home. He
could have decided he was pushed for time and planned to catch me
another time. That would have been no unusual happening. We are all
usually pressed for time anymore. Far too little time for ourselves
and what makes us happy, and that knowledge is what made this surprise
so much more meaningful.


 


It was early this summer
and I was going through a period of feeling how much the changes in my
life were taking their toll on my ability to stay positive and self
confident. After 32 years as an automotive technician I have been
through many phases. In my early years I wanted to learn more about
the trade so badly. In the shop there are many different
personalities. Some very willing to share what they know and some
would rather the younger technicians didn't learn any faster than
necessary so they wouldn't feel the competition. I vowed that when I
was more experienced I would be one that would be remembered for being helpful.


 


In the high point of my
career, when I had acquired a lot of experience and training I felt I
was doing my best to pass it on. I took advantage of many
opportunities to help explain theories and procedures to younger
technicians whom I felt were trying to learn and not just looking for
someone to do their job. During that time I believe that brought me
as much pleasure as the success I was enjoying from the increased
knowledge and what it produced in my own work. It was a great
experience for me to work with several young people in whom I
recognized great character and ability, and above all they had respect
for others. I'll never forget that period of time.


 


In the later period of
time as I started facing hands that hurt much more and a back that was
not as limber as it used to be when I laid upside down under a dash, I
had a few more thoughts on my mind. I still worked with young
technicians and they had initially asked frequent questions as always.
I felt as if I was giving them the answers that would help them grow
without making them feel stupid or giving them answers myself and not
helping them think processes through. As time passed more and more the
younger techs were consulting each other and I usually only got the
questions that they couldn't answer. I think that back in my
“ball of fire” days that would have made me feel proud and
relieved. I could continue on with my work and enjoy the fact that my
young coworkers were getting more able to fly on their own. But
considering where I was at in my career and my other new concerns I
found myself feeling out of the loop. I found myself wondering if they
viewed me as and old tech just one step away from being switched to
janitor while they solved all of the problems I used to solve. The
janitor job didn't particularly bother me as much as the thought that
maybe I had never really taught anyone anything as I felt I had.
Perhaps I had been to grumpy. Perhaps I had just bored them and they
were glad they didn't have to deal with me as much anymore.


 


It was about fifteen
minutes until the lunch whistle blew on a beautiful sunny Friday. I
was in the middle of a job and left the vehicle I was working on to
get a tool out of my box when I had a pleasant surprise. Across the
shop standing there with his normal great big smile was Jeff, a
technician I had worked with for several years at a dealership. Jeff
wasn't just another tech I had worked with though. He was one of the
ones who was eager to learn and always wanting to better himself. We
shared more of life than just automotive talk. We shared viewpoints
and rides to work. We shared hunting trips and friendship in spite of
a twenty year age difference. I quickly went over to greet him and
shake his hand. I asked if he had gotten lost wandering so far from
home. He said “No, I just thought I would stop by and buy your
lunch”. Well that is a deal I can't refuse. We had a good time
talking over lunch over at our local diner. We shared a lot of old
times and caught up on the new. It was time for Jeff to head home and
time for me to go back to work. I thanked him for the lunch and we
promised to visit again when we could. There is no way for Jeff to
have known how badly needed that visit was and what it meant to me. I
had not been forgotten. Someone who I cared for and had invested in
had taken the time to come back and invest in me. It doesn't happen
often in most lives. More for some than others I am sure. But that one
instance could not have been better timed. Maybe it is time to revisit
some of the people who have invested in me and hopefully share what
Jeff brought me that day.

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The Visit

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Message 8 of 9

 


The Visit


 


I don't ever remember
having too many surprises that were so timely as this one. The visit
may have seemed very routine for my visitor. He was just running
some errands in the area, which is over 50 miles from his home. He
could have decided he was pushed for time and planned to catch me
another time. That would have been no unusual happening. We are all
usually pressed for time anymore. Far too little time for ourselves
and what makes us happy, and that knowledge is what made this surprise
so much more meaningful.


 


It was early this summer
and I was going through a period of feeling how much the changes in my
life were taking their toll on my ability to stay positive and self
confident. After 32 years as an automotive technician I have been
through many phases. In my early years I wanted to learn more about
the trade so badly. In the shop there are many different
personalities. Some very willing to share what they know and some
would rather the younger technicians didn't learn any faster than
necessary so they wouldn't feel the competition. I vowed that when I
was more experienced I would be one that would be remembered for being helpful.


 


In the high point of my
career, when I had acquired a lot of experience and training I felt I
was doing my best to pass it on. I took advantage of many
opportunities to help explain theories and procedures to younger
technicians whom I felt were trying to learn and not just looking for
someone to do their job. During that time I believe that brought me
as much pleasure as the success I was enjoying from the increased
knowledge and what it produced in my own work. It was a great
experience for me to work with several young people in whom I
recognized great character and ability, and above all they had respect
for others. I'll never forget that period of time.


 


In the later period of
time as I started facing hands that hurt much more and a back that was
not as limber as it used to be when I laid upside down under a dash, I
had a few more thoughts on my mind. I still worked with young
technicians and they had initially asked frequent questions as always.
I felt as if I was giving them the answers that would help them grow
without making them feel stupid or giving them answers myself and not
helping them think processes through. As time passed more and more the
younger techs were consulting each other and I usually only got the
questions that they couldn't answer. I think that back in my
“ball of fire” days that would have made me feel proud and
relieved. I could continue on with my work and enjoy the fact that my
young coworkers were getting more able to fly on their own. But
considering where I was at in my career and my other new concerns I
found myself feeling out of the loop. I found myself wondering if they
viewed me as and old tech just one step away from being switched to
janitor while they solved all of the problems I used to solve. The
janitor job didn't particularly bother me as much as the thought that
maybe I had never really taught anyone anything as I felt I had.
Perhaps I had been to grumpy. Perhaps I had just bored them and they
were glad they didn't have to deal with me as much anymore.


 


It was about fifteen
minutes until the lunch whistle blew on a beautiful sunny Friday. I
was in the middle of a job and left the vehicle I was working on to
get a tool out of my box when I had a pleasant surprise. Across the
shop standing there with his normal great big smile was Jeff, a
technician I had worked with for several years at a dealership. Jeff
wasn't just another tech I had worked with though. He was one of the
ones who was eager to learn and always wanting to better himself. We
shared more of life than just automotive talk. We shared viewpoints
and rides to work. We shared hunting trips and friendship in spite of
a twenty year age difference. I quickly went over to greet him and
shake his hand. I asked if he had gotten lost wandering so far from
home. He said “No, I just thought I would stop by and buy your
lunch”. Well that is a deal I can't refuse. We had a good time
talking over lunch over at our local diner. We shared a lot of old
times and caught up on the new. It was time for Jeff to head home and
time for me to go back to work. I thanked him for the lunch and we
promised to visit again when we could. There is no way for Jeff to
have known how badly needed that visit was and what it meant to me. I
had not been forgotten. Someone who I cared for and had invested in
had taken the time to come back and invest in me. It doesn't happen
often in most lives. More for some than others I am sure. But that one
instance could not have been better timed. Maybe it is time to revisit
some of the people who have invested in me and hopefully share what
Jeff brought me that day.

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