Since I have some time on my hands after networking, practicing my craft and looking for income opportunities, I've started to do a few of the things that I couldn't when I had a “day job”. Toyota had 2 minor recalls on my Prius, so I made an appointment with the local shop to get these fixed. I figured I could even hang out — making a few calls, responding to e-mail via the iPhone, etc. — at the service center while they did the work. So that's what I did.
Fifteen minutes into the appointment, the service manager and a mechanic came out and informed me that I had a drive belt, 2 filters and a license plate lamp that all needed to be fixed. It would cost $260 to perform all these repairs counting parts and labor. In my head, all I could think about was how we couldn't afford this right now and even if it wasn't 100% safe, I had to let it go for now. They said I could let all of these slide except the drive belt. They judged that it was a potential danger. It was also the bulk of the cost.
In spite of my embarrassment, I explained to these two men that I'm unemployed and really have to watch my expenditures right now. I wasn't sure if I could afford to do any of the repairs. I asked for a moment to think about it and even called a local parts place to see if I could do it myself. No such luck. Only Toyota could provide these parts. So, I approved all the repairs in addition to the recall work (no charge to me for that) and headed off to run an errand while they worked.
When I returned, the service manager took me straight to the cashier. I pulled out my credit card and she handed me the receipt. It said “$153.16”. Huh?
After paying, I went to see the service manager again. I told him about how surprised I was to find the cost over a hundred dollars less than what he had quoted. He said he'd talked it over with the mechanic and they agreed that all the labor could be removed from the bill.
There is was. In the face of my fear of scarcity: abundance. In the face of my vulnerability: redemption.