Saturday, September 29, 2007

Workin' at the Car Wash

Today started out fairly lazy -- washing dishes, catching up on some email, etc. After finally getting off my "blessed assurance" and going to wash my car, I noticed it was sprinkling a little. Great timing. Anyway, I decided to wash the car anyway because it was pretty dirty.
I go to a coin-op car wash that is always a cultural experience, I get to catch up on all the latest in Tejano, Nortena, Merengue music, basically anything with rip-roaring accordions blaring out of car stereos. I feel badly for the people who live in the apartments adjoining the car wash!
Anyway, as I was lathering up the Saturn in the vend-o-squirt, I noticed that all of the stalls had filled up and a few people were waiting. So I slowed way down. Just kidding! I tried to finish up quickly and get out of the stall for the next person. I jumped in the car and maneuvered to one of the vacuum stations (several slots down, as the one directly in front of me was occupied. As I was knocking the water off the car with my trusty California Water Blade, in the corner of my eye I noticed a guy walking up to me. This happens a lot, where someone 'volunteers' to wash or dry your car for a few bucks... so as I was formulating my polite but firm refusal in my head, I turned and noticed that this guy was (a) on the phone, (b) not really paying attention to me at all, and (c) had a ziplock bag of quarters in his hand... the bag of quarters I'd left at the control panel/coin receiver in my stall. I thanked him somewhat profusely as he handed them to me, and he never even paused in his phone conversation as he turned and and went back to his truck.
I have to say, that was a very pleasant and unexpected surprise! I am a little sad that it was so unexpected for two reasons: (1)-it's just today's reality, but (2)- it probably says something about my attitude towards others. So, while being very happy about the return of my quarters, I was a little disappointed in my initial reaction to noticing the approach of this stranger. Maybe next time I'll extend the benefit of the doubt a little more graciously. At least I'd like to think I will.
Oh, and it started raining while I was typing this.