“A bad attitude is like a flat tire. If you don’t change it, you’ll never go anywhere.”
Today I did not have a bad attitude. I had a flat tire! But in the same way, I could not get anywhere.
It was my first time to be in such situation. I have inquired on basic vehicle maintenance and troubleshooting courses in some driving schools, but was not able to pursue it. In a private chat, I even shared to my brothers the video How to Change a Flat Tire courtesy of Topgear magazine. So when I called up my big brother for advice, he told me to apply what I shared with them. I did not dare to do it alone on my first time. I have been a believer of “Knowing is winning half the battle” principle, but this time I was caught off guard. But anyhow, I kept calm and below were the things that I did and realized.
1. Safety First. I did not attempt to change the tire on my own despite the video tutorial I had seen. I did not have any hands on experience in changing tires before, so I thought that lack of sufficient knowledge and absence of training were unsafe. I was lucky to be in a safe place when I realized one the tires was flat. It could have been punctured by the nail somewhere I had driven to nights ago, then subtly deflated over the weekend.
2. Ask and you shall receive. I sought advice from people whom I knew could help, through calls. From there I got the idea to use a car jack to level the car and prevent damage to the tire rim. I asked a colleague named Raymond whom I saw first if he could help me change the tire after office hours, and to which he said yes.
3. Silent friends in the car trunk. I got to know my silent friends in the car trunk. Some of them I only realized were there for the first time. Now I know for what each of them is for.
4. Papa had been one heck of a boy scout. When the car was turned over to me, Papa told me there was an early warning device in the trunk, as required by law. I looked for it since there was a fork lift going to and fro near us. I saw something wrapped in a sack, neatly tied with knots I was not familiar with. Then I remembered that Papa is good in knot tying. I guess he might have learned it from scouting. I was not able to re-wrap the device neatly (as in picture below) like it was wrapped before.
5. “Early warning devices need not to be expensive,” I was told before by a friend as we were looking through auto accessories in a hardware store. “When choosing between two devices, choose the cheaper one because you will not use it often. Better if you may never use it at all. What is important is you will have something to use in case of emergency, for your safety,” he continued. I remembered those words and was able to let out a short laugh as I unwrapped and assembled the rusty metal pieces. I felt even luckier when a bystander said, “It’s good you have that. EWD is not yet available in my car!”
6. Good Samaritans are around. I was asked if the punctured tire will be returned to the trunk. When I said ‘yes’ because I will bring the tire to a vulcanizing shop on Saturday (5 days later), they were a bit surprised. They asked me why not do it tomorrow for it is not safe to drive without a spare tire. I said I will not have time on weekdays. Then somebody offered to have it dropped and fixed in a shop the next day.
7. Watch and Learn. I took the opportunity to learn how to change a car tire by watching every step that Raymond did. I was one who held the flashlight so I was also able to see clearly what has to be done. I looked under the car where the jack has to be placed, I tried myself if I can turn the jack to lift the car and found out I could do it easily. The steps were easy to remember. So next time, just in case I or somebody else will have a flat tire, I may be able to help or do it myself.
And…voila! Linus has got a newly replaced good tire! Now I can drive somewhere.
See you on the road!