Tiresome woes

I work with the public. And, for the most part, I really love it.

The oddities and neediness of people can try my patience from time to time, and I have had to develop strategies for dealing with those...quirks. One of my strategies, for example when people get particularly worked up over not knowing how to use a web browser or a computer mouse and take it out on me, is to remember that I hate having to deal with car problems. Hate. I'm completely at the mercy of others.

Last month, on a particularly snowy morning, we were all driving to breakfast and I was noticing (oh, okay...whining) that my car seemed to be slipping and sliding more than the others. I don't know who said that maybe it was time for new tires, but the rest of the conversation went like this:
Mom: How many miles do you have on your tires, anyway?
Me: Ummm...let me see...92,500
Mom: KAT! You should have had new tires 50,000 miles ago!!!
Me: Oh. (Instant stress. Convinced we were going to be stranded downtown forever. Completely mute. Oh, okay. Fine. Every other sentence was something about the tires. Possibly every sentence.)
So. The general rule is that tires should be replaced every 40,000 miles or six years, but since tires can wear out before that, inspect them regularly.

A few years ago I picked up a free tread depth gauge at an expo, but came to realize that a) I only used it once which did little good, and b) I used it incorrectly anyway. Consumer Reports says that treads should cover George Washington's hairline on a quarter, and Car Bibles: The Wheel and Tire has a great visual on how to check the treads of the tire, along with advice on tire pressure gauges, rotation schedules, mileage warranties, explanations of the markings along the side of the tire, and all sorts of things that...just...made my eyes glaze over.

I had new tires within two weeks of this discovery, and I was really glad to have them last night while driving home in the freezing rain. NOW, I have to figure out whether I should and how I go about getting new windshield wiper blades...Ugh.

So. The effort it takes me to figure out this basic car stuff helps me in the end. It helps me maintain patience when working with the public.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

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