Saw it at the auto parts store

I was running late.

Had just a couple of minutes before I had to head back to class, figured I had just enough time to get the part.

Walked in the door of our local auto parts store. Two guys behind the counter and  three people in line.

I felt a tight knot in my stomach.

I had tried to squeeze too many things in.  Had not yet learned the importance of building margin into my schedule.

Then I saw it…. a sign on the wall, about the size of a piece of typing paper.

It put everything into perspective.

I left the store without the part that day.

I first encountered that sign 45 years ago, and to this day I still refer to it in my personal dealings with people…..


Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part


Agreed to help another carpenter with a large project this past fall. The project meant a couple of months of steady work/ great pay… At the last minute, the financing fell through.  I had scheduled my fall work around that job, and suddenly found myself scrambling to stay busy….

It happens.

Same project was rescheduled to start this Spring.  I was told, it would be ready for us, late May/ early June…  then got bumped back to first week of July…then 3 weeks ago, we got an e-mail that they wouldn’t be ready for us until early August.

Right about that time, Paul approached me about finishing off their basement, and since I wasn’t going to be needed until early August, it fit perfectly into my schedule.  Lined up an electrician,  a plumber and a drywall finisher.

Start date July 1st.

Got a phone call on Monday…the large project will be ready mid July. (Not early August).

It took me a little bit to sort this one through.  Keeping my word is important to me, and I had given my word to the other carpenter that he could count on me with the large project.

Then I remembered that sign from the auto parts store.

Bet you’ll never guess where I’ll be working mid July. 🙂

Well, I have time to spray the orchard this morning.  No wind. Perfect conditions.  Currently shaping up to be the best apple crop we’ve ever had….

Take care. DM

17 thoughts on “Saw it at the auto parts store

  1. I like that quote Doug. I can honestly say that I’ve been on both sides in my life and not enjoyed either very much. Being pulled in two different directions is no fun, but I know you to be a considerate person who clearly wants to do their best. Sometimes it’s good for others, but sometimes it has to be good for you…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deb. Yep, I do try to apply the golden rule as best I can (do unto others as I would have them do unto me) and in this case, if I were to move the goal post 3 or 4 times for someones schedule I would totally get it, if they told me on # 4 I was the one who would now be hanging. We shall Scott mentioned in another comment..wouldn’t surprise me if things got moved back to September, although I doubt it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ha. not this time 🙂 It took me 15 minutes to cool down this time. Even said a couple of choice words on the phone. One thing about me, I tend not to stuff things emotionally…I may occasionally trip a breaker but who doesn’t…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Eh, don’t sweat it… You’ll get another call next week it’s pushed to Sept. Lol! Take care. If you can squeeze in a fiber cement siding job east – southeast of you by several hours, the job’s yours…

    Liked by 1 person

    • would love to 🙂 If my memory is correct, that job you mentioned, has pretty high gable endwalls… ..better get some pump jacks. I have done a hand full of cement siding jobs…that darn stuff can be heavy 🙂


  3. I can relate to this ~ I’m a planner by nature and prefer to work far in advance. So I stay organized and caught up and I do this because around me are Dumpster Fires who loft projects at me/us 10 mins before they’re due ~ it’s stressful but my preparedness is (usually) what saves my bacon. Doesn’t mean they don’t annoy me, though.. I’m just used to it now … and even when I can complete their last minute projects on time, I don’t always give in and do so. Just because! Hang in there ~ you gotta feast while the eating is easy, right?

    Cheers! MJ

    Liked by 1 person

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