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Breakdown on the Interstate

In my day job as a Salesperson, I do a lot of driving. I average over 700 miles a week, and its not uncommon to hit 1500 miles. I usually have a decent sized tool kit with me, as well as maps and of course my cell phone.

Becuase of this, and because I try to be a helpul guy, I will often pull over to the side of the road to give people a hand. Usually they don’t need anything – they’ve just pulled over to check a map, or to make a phone call on their own. Not always though – I’ve changed a few tires, lent my cell out to a few people to call friends or family for help, or even to call for a tow. I always thought it was the least I could do as a fellow road warrior.

I keep my vehicles well maintained, and I do a lot of the work on my vehicles myself, so I’m confident it’s done right. In all my years, I’ve never needed the help of roadside strangers. That changed this past weekend.

My wife and I thought a road trip to see Mt. Rushmore would be a good way to spend a few summer days. After a 600 mile drive to Deadwood, SD the car began to hesitate a bit on the hills. We made it to our destination, and I made a mental note to check the plugs the next morning. When I did, I found they were worn almost to nothing. I changed them out in the NAPA parking lot, and went for a test drive – perfect! The thought of car problems went out of my head.

Until the next evening when the car died on the interstate 5 miles out of Rapid City, SD. The car would not fire, I had very few tools with me and my cell phone had no coverage. My mind flashed to the people that I had stopped to help in the past – and those few cars that I hadn’t stopped for. It is truly a bad feeling when your trusty chariot is broken down dead and you are away from home and have no idea of where to go to make things right.

Look, I know it’s not always safe to pull over to the side of the road, and I know there are some ass clowns out there that will try to take advantage of the most generous people. It’s not an excuse not to try and help. Sure, you have to be careful. If you’re alone with a pile of cash and the Hell’s Angels party van is broken down along the interstate, you may want to keep on truckin’. I understand that. However, I think that part of being a man is doing what you can to help when the opportunity arises.

A couple people stopped to help me and I managed to get hooked up with a tow truck and a dealership to fix the car (turned out the fuel pump was shot). So to Lance Johnson of Integrity Ford Lincoln Mercury and Tim from Great Western Tire – Thanks Guys!