Thank You, Kind Stranger

I can’t remember the last time I changed the oil in my car, but then again I haven’t driven it much lately. My biggest concern has been keeping the battery charged. A combination of Covid isolation, long winters, and increasing agoraphobia have meant that my car hasn’t been put through its paces for a very long time.

Now, though, I am planning a long trip. I am all set to move to Nanaimo, British Columbia next month and that will be a two-day drive. As I was doing some packing, it occurred to me that I should probably get my car checked out before I set off.

Image via Google Maps

I used to go to the dealership for an annual tune-up, but their charges for minor maintenance are extortionate, so a few years ago I started using oil change services instead.

When I arrived at Jiffy Lube yesterday, I had a bit of a wait — about twenty minutes — before I could drive into the service bay. A very nice man with red hair and beard came out to tell me how long it would be, and so I settled in to watch him work on someone else’s car.

After he had finished that job, my red-headed friend directed me into the bay and asked if I wanted an oil change. I said I did and asked him to please also check the pressure in the tires. I popped the hood and he went right in to check the oil. Then, he came out from under the hood with the dipstick in his hand to show me what he was looking at. He said, “Your oil is pristine!” Apparently, I had used the car so little, the oil was still in perfection condition.

Image via Google Maps

When it was clear that I didn’t need oil, I asked him if he wouldn’t mind checking the tires for me, and he did. As he was doing this, I explained that I was planning a long trip and wanted to make sure everything was OK, and he recommended that I get the oil checked again after my trip was over. Then he told me that the tire pressures were just as they should be. No need for anything to be done there, either.

Great. This was very reassuring. I handed him my credit card to pay for his work, but he refused it. “I didn’t do anything,” he said. I replied that I felt I should pay him for his time, but again he declined.

As I was about to drive out, it seemed to me that what was nothing to him was a lot to me. It put my mind at ease, and I told him so. He told me to drive carefully and to have a good trip.

So, this is to thank you, red-headed man at Jiffy Lube. I may not be back to your service centre again, but I am happy to sing your praises here. It is heart-warming to get such good, honest, service.


  1. Though the super kind, thoughtful, selfless people out there in our two nations seem to be a dying breed & art, it is indeed uplifting to know AND experience the few remaining, huh Anne? πŸ™‚ ❀️

    P.S. Don’t come to Texas anytime soon though. It is sheer living hell down here with all the religious conservative gun-happy nutcases around every corner. 😞

    • I know there are lots of good people out there, but it isn’t often so obvious. The fact that I found it noteworthy is rather sad, though.

      I’m not hearing good things about Texas lately, but I feel sure that the good and kind people outnumber the bad ones.

  2. Rare and very kind. Be careful of that battery, though. In the early days of the pandemic when I was not driving at all, I ended up having to buy a new battery — totally my own fault.

  3. I am impressed that you found that kindness at an international chain. I am so glad you did!
    I’m looking forward to hearing more about your new adventure. I hope it lessens that pesky agorophobia.

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