Journal : Mar 23, 2012 : Living Stories, Engineering Lives

A fellow Groupie wrote : “… mellowness has eased into us like wines or those charming antiques on the Antiques Roadshow.”

I would add : “… antiques, that come alive in ways that is perfect, as perfection can be !”

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All my life, and I believe I could speak of all others as well, I have been creating stories in real life and engineering them to happy conclusion, not necessarily profitable, in full view of others. The last one, which was followed closely by my younger son, who is a chartered accountancy student, deserves a little recount.

It started in Nov last year, when my small car had clocked about 50,000 km. It had served me faithfully all through the rough and rocky roads it had taken me on, without ever leaving me in the lurch or stranded. I had been noticing its calls for a ‘spa’ treatment, for a thorough overhaul and replacement of worn parts. A first assessment got a quote of 12,500 in all. I sought a meeting with the franchise owner and demanded 50% discount on Labour and 30% on Material & Parts.

Wow, wow, wow… the guy and his GM were stunned. The case was summarily denied. I was told they do not give any discount whatsoever on quoted prices. I walked away… And let it be until Jan this year. I called up the GM, reminded him of our last interaction in some detail… substantial works he could bill today, provided… He said, I need to speak to his boss. But I again let it wait until now.

I landed at his huge Workshop and went straight to the owner while the GM watched. We shook hands and I again refreshed the context and his memory. He explained, begged my understanding, and I his. He called his staff for a review of bill of works. I wanted nothing left out and the bill to be as big as needed, though without any inflation or flab. The quote was 23,500, with several more items added. I knew my car would come out good for the next 3-5 years.

We went back to boss’ table. He was glad of the amount before and I was happy for the gain I would extract on % basis. He said he would take care of my request but did not specify. I agreed. There was something honest and transparent in him and his team. It took an entire day and I was beaming with their care and thoroughness at work. Every progress was reported to me and I’d consent to go over and inspect the results from to time.

The painting was done late and it required that I leave the car in their care overnight. I asked for the final bill… 23,500… and was back at boss’ table. Discount 20% ! Bonus further 2.5%. I paid. Got a drop to home 20 km away. Had the shining darling delivered the next morning.

A story that got my son’s eyes shining with excitement and appreciation. And, a very real understanding of personal stories we need to create all through our lives, involving other people, who in turn will be a part of the same story with some gladness, or not, and it will be with each one of us as our own. We all could smile upon recall later, but not without having learnt somethings from it in our own way and enriching ourselves in the process.

I received a call for feedback today. Another is expected next week.

Incidently, another one concluded today… on the issue of a builder who effing mother-effing asrehole had shoved white cement in internal conduit pipes while completing the plaster on walls. I couldn’t have my internet for a fortnight because the wires couldn’t be passed in internally. Today, I have the broadband connected.

Which is why you are sensing the buoyancy in the words I am keying in now.

I look forward to creating more stories and engineering them to happy conclusion. So, when guys question the efficacy of prayers or if God intervenes in human affairs… I hurry on my steps lest I have to take a stand.

The rational thing would have been untrue.

And the truth would have been… well, er, irrational !

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