Don’t Let A Mechanic Talk To Me

under the hoodMy car tried to blow up Friday.


I say try because it was shaking and doing all sorts of funny things while I was driving that seemed to me to be signs that at any moment it was going to just explode.


I was able to get it to the mechanics, actually to my mom’s for my step-dad to take it to his mechanic.  I explained to my step-dad in girl language what it had done, for how long and under what circumstance.


For example when I would talk to it really nice and gentle push on the gas it the check engine light would only blink at me and it would shake like it was struggling to go up hill during a shift change even though I drive an automatic and it was on flat land.


But when I didn’t say nice things to it and let off the gas apparently it didn’t like it because the check engine light would come on solid and make a horrible noise at me.


Needless to say I’ve been doing a long, holding of my breath type thing all weekend hoping that it wasn’t going to be something that would cost more to repair than the original value of the car.


The mechanic called my step-dad and explained all the gruesome details about what was wrong with it, what needed to be done, why and how.  My step-dad then told my mom.  She then called me.


It boiled down to: I had a bad plug, but instead of replacing one he replaced them all and the serpentine belt was frayed so that had to be replaced.  And oh yeah, there is another belt on a “v” and something about a pulley and another part and these had to be replaced and fixed because if not then my fan might go flying out or something; I don’t know it would have just been really, really bad.


Literally this is how my mom and I talked about my car.  The funny thing is I was raised by a mechanic, the man she was married to for 30 years and this is the best we could do for car talk.  I think my dad is above us shaking his head saying, “seriously?”


Yes, seriously.  I know a few key words about cars – I know the name serpentine belt but I haven’t the faintest idea what it does, where it is located or why it makes me think of snakes under my hood.  My father would be so proud.


Even though I adored my dad, he was my hero, and I listened to him talk about work and watched when he fixed our cars I still don’t know a damn thing about them.  I grew up with this and yet I am still clueless.


When you are talking to prospects, clients, potential employers or networking never assume that just because they share an interest or commonality that they will speak the same language.


It is a big world even within your work world; we all don’t live in the same zip code.


It is important to always be aware of not just who you are talking to but where they are coming from.  That way you will know the best way to communicate and ensure your message is not only heard but understood.


Either tonight or tomorrow when I pick up my car all the mechanic will have to tell me is: “it’s fixed.”  He won’t have to worry about all those technical words – he can call my step dad to tell him those things and everyone will hear the same message and know the end result – it’s fixed.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.


1 thought on “Don’t Let A Mechanic Talk To Me”

  1. well. its too late to help me. i don’t know anything about a car and today i found out my “trusted” mechanic probably doesn’t know either.

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