Skip to content

Saving Time

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

If I have written about time in the past, it is probably because it is in short supply. Time is really more exceedingly valuable the older I get. When someone wastes my time, I almost can’t stand it. Maybe it is normal to get impatient as you mature, or maybe I’m finally waking up to how valuable and scarce time is.

But as usual, I am getting ahead of my story.

Mrs. Swaim, Abbey, Jessie the dog and I went for a little hike in the Boise foothills on Saturday morning. After which I offered to get the ladies a fancy coffee from one of their favorite places in Hyde Park. Needless to say, Java (whatever it is) was packed, and me being a black coffee man, I was sitting in the car listening to a rerun of Casey Kasem’s Top 40 Countdown from the 70’s (technology is really pretty amazing) and finishing the cup I had brought from home. Well, way too much time went by, maybe 35 minutes, and we were still waiting for the coffee drinks. I began to wonder if Juan Valdez was on strike! Anyway, right in the middle of the Top 40, the radio quits working and we are down in the top 10 songs. Mrs. Swaim is going to kill me if I don’t remember to tell her who she missed on the count down! So, I tried to start the car and …yep, dead battery. Luckily a nearby young man saw my plight, got his cables to bail me out.

So now I’m driving home, having wasted a pile of time getting coffee with a new potential time waster. I was only pretending to listen to my wife and daughter, but I was really trying to make a plan to get a new battery without turning the car off. I drove into Nampa, dropped off the ladies, and headed for Walmart. But if you have ever been to Walmart on a Saturday, you have to ask yourself why in the wide world of sports would you go to Walmart on a Saturday if you were trying to save time. A root canal without anesthesia starts looking pretty good.

So, I bypassed Walmart and I think hey, that Einstein’s place always checks my battery and offers to replace it when needed, they must have batteries. But Einstein’s (now Valvoline which is not even remotely as appealing of a name) is always crowded. Why? Because they do a good job and they do it quickly and no greasy people get into the driver’s seat of your car. You drive over the rack and you watch the whole show. Pretty sweet and a good use of time.

But alas because they are good, there is usually a line and Saturday was no exception. So, I opted for Jiffy Lube. Empty car bays on a Saturday should have been a red flag so bright as to make the communist party envious. Apparently, I was bent on saving time and ignored the rather ominous warning signs of what an empty store on Saturdays means. But I figured if Einstein’s checked batteries, wouldn’t the competitor?

I pulled into the Jack-n-the-Box parking lot because I spied a greasy Jiffy Lube man having a smoke. I figured, I’d save a little time by asking out of my car window if they replace batteries. He eventually nodded, and barely audibly said bring it around. I did as directed. They asked me to get out of the car and sure enough some greasy guy climbs into my wife’s car and moves it. No explanation just moves it. I started wondering if it was company policy to sleep in your clothes and skip shaving. My greasy new friend then pulled out some sort of gadget that showed yes indeed Kenneth, you need a new battery. So, he pulls my battery out and sits it on the ground. I’m thinking oh boy, now we are really cooking!! But really, I was just trapped.

Greasy guy number 1 eventually comes over and says “I’ll get you a price on that. You can go inside and sit down.” “No,” I said, “I’ll just be standing out here” rather naively thinking that this would speed up the process. What a fool! You can’t speed drying paint.

Saturday was a beautiful day and I was spending it in the alley behind Jiffy Lube. Saving Time!

Eventually I got tired of saving time and asked the nearest available greasy guy if he would put my battery back in so I could go somewhere else and save time. He began the simple process of replacing the old battery only to be interrupted by the arrival of the new battery. So, I said yes please put in the new one so that I may be on my way, which they did. I paid, got a 15% discount for some reason, and left.

But not before I had written most of this blog in my head standing in the alley behind Jiffy Lube saving time.

Let’s dissect this customer encounter lest you think I’m a snob who can’t get greasy. (I did get a C in auto shop at Fresno High in the 80’s so maybe the A students got greasier)

Now before you think I’m being unduly harsh or impatient or unreasonable or all three, let’s talk about managing expectations, because seriously, one of the biggest parts of my job is to manage your expectations. Greasy guy(s) did not manage my expectations at all. They just left me hanging in the alley, saving time, wondering what the heck was going on.

So, I had to ask myself, “Why didn’t this greasy guy just tell me that he had to order the battery and it would take 40 minutes. ‘Jiffy’ is right in the name! Maybe the marketing team goes to Einstein’s, so they don’t really know that Jiffy doesn’t apply.

The reason I did not go to Walmart in the first place was to reduce time wasted and reduce the hassle factor. I accomplished neither in one fell swoop.

Here is where this concerns you, dear reader:

We value our time. We value your time. We value your expectations and work diligently to manage them. Most of us will never run a marathon or slam dunk a basketball, no matter how hard we try. We must keep our expectations rooted in reality.

And the reality is, that time is valuable.

We take you and your time seriously. Batteries not included.



9 Join the Conversation

  1. Greg Hector says
    Oct 13, 2023 at 1:46 PM

    Truely entertaining read, and truely true….loved the “real world adventure” you shared.

    • says
      Oct 13, 2023 at 6:55 AM

      So glad you are reading and enjoying! Cheers, my friend! ks

  2. Bret says
    Oct 13, 2023 at 6:29 PM

    In Walden, Thoreau writes, “Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. I would drink deeper; fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars.” Of course, Thoreau has been long dead

  3. Joan Brewer says
    Oct 13, 2023 at 10:58 PM

    Good Ken!!!!!!! As usual, I sat here laughing like a nut....ooops you are that!!! JB

    • says
      Oct 13, 2023 at 4:30 PM

      Glad to keep you laughing and you're correct, I am a nut! Cheers, ks

  4. Rebecca says
    Oct 15, 2023 at 5:21 AM

    My first comment, which station plays Casey Kasem's Top 40 Countdown? I was so disappointed when I could no longer find the program. One of the finer things of life. Second, I enjoy the gift of laughter. Your coffee and Walmart experience made me laugh when memories of such events occurring in my own life were brought to mind. Walmart, however, is not my go-to for anything anymore. Third, you relate to your audience well; building relationships, always the first, and most important, step. Thank you for sharing.

    • says
      Oct 16, 2023 at 9:36 AM

      Thanks for commenting Rebecca, so great to know we are being read! I am so glad you enjoy it. We have SiriusXM, which we stream, and Casey Kasem is on multiple times every weekend on 70s on channel 7. However, we used to also listen to him on IHeart Radio. Keep finding better places to shop and for services! We need to give the good guys lots of encouragement! Cheers, ks

  5. Yvette Washburn says
    Oct 19, 2023 at 1:42 AM

    Enjoyed your blog. So true! I am almost always picking the slow line at the store, but I figure I am learning to be patient. I have not been to your office in a few years because you fixed me! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

    • says
      Oct 19, 2023 at 12:30 PM

      Yvette, the best news is to hear you are doing so well!!! We are celebrating with you! And yes, we do need to learn patience. Cheers, ks

Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

No Widgets
list location key: 18
sidebar name: blog_widget_area
sidebar query: SELECT option_name, option_value FROM wp_943_options WHERE option_name = 'sidebars_widgets' OR option_name LIKE 'widget_%'