The other day (a Friday), my car wouldn’t start. I didn’t realize this until about 11:30am. Not only was I annoyed by this, but I needed to get my car fixed because the upcoming week was FULL. The situation was worsened by the fact that I had to deliver a workshop to a client at 3:30pm.
So, I called Toyota for an emergency appointment cuz the dashboard light read “‘electrical” problem; you shouldn’t drive this thang”. I asked Toyota if I had to be with the car if I had it towed. They said no, and I told them that I was sending the car and the key fob would be in the cupholder. Then, I called Enterprise. Enterprise was like, come pick up a car now. Then, I got into a Lyft to get to Enterprise and called AAA while on the way to tell them to come get Sula (yes, my car is named after THAT Sula). They said that I needed to be with the vehicle or follow it and that it would be an hour before they got to me. UGH!!!
Mind you, I needed to pick up copies from the UPS Store for my workshop because my stupid copier’s wifi connection is wishy washy (I’m getting a new copier!) and I don’t know how to reset it without calling tech support, WHICH TAKES FRIGGIN FOREVER. Then, I got to Enterprise and realized that I didn’t have my drivers license…I used it the day before and put it back in my pocket instead of in my wallet. UGH UGH! So, Enterprise got somebody to take me back home. On the way home, AAA called and said their guy would be at my place EARLY – in 10 friggin minutes. I was like, I needed that hour to get my rental and my copies, but I cannot cancel this tow cuz I need my car next week.
I asked the Enterprise driver (who is committed to driving 35 mph! Dude if you don’t speed up!) if he could pick me up at Toyota because I had to go with the car. He said that location was too far from their territory. So I called the Enterprise office to see what could be done: they transferred my reservation to a different branch, and said that team could come get me from Toyota.
Tow truck driver arrives and he is trying to give me the stupid woman treatment, “I bet you just didn’t…” Bruh, I drive this damn car every day; I didn’t kill it and I know how to press a push start button.” But I couldn’t go off because I needed to ask him to stop by the UPS Store on our way to the dealership because I had to teach my 3:30pm class: my problems aren’t the client’s problem. Besides, I don’t want to reschedule because scheduling is a headache. Thankfully, patronizing tow truck driver agrees to stop by UPS: thank God!!!
We got to Toyota at 2:05pm. But because my car wouldn’t turn on (translation: the steering wheel was locked), we had find a spot where the truck could dump the car straight. I was like, Mr. Driver, you need to work this out because I gotta call the new Enterprise location and get the hell outta here. I’ll call Toyota from the car and tell them what’s wrong.
Then, the new Enterprise branch driver showed up. I explained to him that I was in a hurry cuz it was 2:35pm by this point, that my client is in Philly, and parking in the area is tough. He was like, “Say less” and sped up: this is my version of good customer service! When we got to the office, he was like, “Ma’am, the car you requested isn’t clean. If you’ll take a Nissan Sentra, I can get you outta here, and you just might make your commitment.” In turn, I said, “Say less! Where are the keys?”
Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! I was going toward the Betsy Ross Bridge, and hit about 85, just getting it, and ran up on a cop!!! I just knew I was going to jail (what exactly is wreckless driving?), but it was right at 3pm. Thank God for a shift change or something because he wasn’t stuttin’ me! At the same time, I knew I needed to call the client because he was probably starting to sweat bullets cuz, “Where is she?” Since I know NOBODY wants the instructor to call them when they’re supposed to be there, I called and started with, “Nothing is wrong, but I got a situation. My car died, I got a rental, and I’m on my way to you. My ETA is 3:17pm. If I look for parking, the class will start late. Um, would you be willing to park my car?” He said, “Say less”.
I arrived at 3:17pm, he was waiting on me, AND CLASS STARTED ON DAMN TIME!!!!!!
Guess what? I was only stressed about the schedule, but nothing else! Why not? Because I had a plan! As a single woman and an entrepreneur, I’ve built my life around those realities. More specifically, when I decided that I would intentionally build my life around these realities, it gave me the freedom to make choices. I could never be the damsel in distress, and I was not going to put major life decisions on hold in hopes of a partner (If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, I’m still going to live a full life). When I fully committed to entrepreneurship, it meant anticipating the things that could undermine my ability to deliver the services I promised, which meant potentially compromising my reputation (and losing money).
Because these two elements impact so much of my life, owning them also meant accepting that I needed a plan to control my expenses as much as possible. I drive quite a bit for my business and will pay for a reliable car and my AAA membership before I pay for anything else: I can’t begin to imagine what a tow of 50+ miles costs!! I also embrace respecting the fact that my friends and family are just as busy as I am; therefore, they may not be able to bail me out of a jam (hello Enterprise Rental Car because they will come get you!). These realities even affect where I live: I have lived relatively close to public transportation because I need options.
What’s my point? What aspects of your life do you need to truly embrace? What are the goals that you have that you need to protect so that the little things, that are bound to happen, don’t repeatedly set you back?