Somebody Else’s Hassle May Be Your Opportunity

by Andy Wood on January 23, 2008

in LV Stories

TireMy wife’s car had a flat tire today. There was no question what to do. We called Flores Tire. I’d like to tell you why.

When babies are born, God gives them a voice and lungs to sound the alarm when they have a need. The only word they know is “Whaaaaa,” but it works pretty well.

When babies go to college, only the vocabulary changes.

“Dad,” Carrie said in a whimpering voice. “I have a flaaaaatt!

(Sigh.) “Where are you?”

“I’m at Spanky’s near the Tech campus” (Translation: on the other side of town.)

“Okay. I’ll be there as quick as I can.”

I meandered through the grid and traffic light maze that is Lubbock, and found Carrie standing in the Spanky’s parking lot. She had that look; if you’ve ever been the parent of a teenager, I need not say more. But for the rest of you, it was that “I’m-sorry-I-know-this-is-a-lot-of-trouble” look.

The evolution of the 21st-century automobile has given new meaning to the words “car jacking.” Some guy or team with an engineering degree (this one in Germany), has tried to do more and more with less and less. I figure before long, we’ll be jacking up cars with aluminum Tinker Toys.

Anyway, I was sitting in the passenger’s seat of the Beatle, reading the owner’s manual, just trying to figure out where the jack was. I looked up, and there he was. I don’t remember his name – I think it was Anthony or something. But he was driving an oversized pickup with an air compressor and a bunch of tools on the back.

“Would you like me to change that for you?” he asked.

Imagine me smiling. A lot.

“Sure,” I said.

Anthony didn’t just change the tire and replace it with that tire wannabe lodged in the fender. He found out what was wrong with it (a nail) and fixed it. All on-site. I never knew such a business existed. All the while, I was pumping him with questions. No, he was not the owner. Yes, they could go anywhere in town. Yes, they’re available 24/7. Finally, the ultimate question:

“How much do I owe you?”

“Nothing,” he said. “Just next time you need us, give us a call. And recommend us to your friends.” With that, he handed me a few business cards. And I handed him a promise: “I sure will!”

I took one of those cards and went even further out of my way. I wanted to meet the owner of Flores Tire. I wanted to find the man who would empower an employee to solve people’s problems on his dime. I wanted to tell him that I’d be back, that I’d be calling again.

And call I have. Every single time I’ve had a need. With five cars and a lot of home construction in this town, believe me, we’ve had the need.

The guys at Flores Tire are LifeVestors. Why? They do more than they have to, more often than they want to, for less money than they deserve. (Today’s visit: $22.50.) But they do it with a greater view in mind. One act of kindness in a restaurant parking lot has more than paid for itself many times over.

You can do the same thing. Maybe not with tires, but with something. Your business. Your money. Your time. Your talent. Your spiritual life. It just takes a willingness to see beyond the immediate and the convenient.

Be a LifeVestor. Do more than you have to. More often than you want to. For less immediate reward than you may deserve. But do it with a greater view in mind.

And if you live in Lubbock or the South Plains, give the guys at Flores a call when you need to keep rolling. They deserve it.

(How about you?  Any great LifeVesting stories you’d like to share?  Leave a comment below.)

Terry Richardson January 24, 2008 at 8:49 am

Great illustration for a great lesson. I’m sending this to my sons . . .

JoAnne Wood January 24, 2008 at 10:14 am

Wish they had a business in Alabama

JoAnne Wood January 24, 2008 at 10:15 am

Wish they had a business in this area of Alabama

Daddy January 24, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Glad you gave Flores a good “plug!”

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