Saturday, August 28, 2004

Car and chocolate

I'm finally going to get back my car. I've been going around without one since the accident but today is the day I close the chapter. My new used car is ready and I have to pick it up from the shop. I arrive there shortly before 7 PM. The garage shop is closed but the night guard is there, managing the gas pumps. I ask him about the mechanic who took care of the car. "Is Brahim here?" "No he left a while ago", he says. I am disappointed. I was hoping to see him and talk to him a bit. "He still had to get something done before class start". "What classes does he take?"
"Economics, Political science, History". I am impressed. Brahim works a full time job and takes classes in addition. "Yeah. He wants to get ahead", says the man. "He came here not knowing a word of English. Fresh from Paris. He even got fired because he could not talk to the customers but he is so good they hire him back". I smile. The fact that he speak French is one of the reasons I am so faithful to him. He is very good, very honest and I can understand the repairs that he does. What else can one ask?
We're singing the praises of Brahim and I told the guard a story.
About a year and a half year ago, he had worked on my previous car and for a reason that I now forgot, I lost my temper at him, told him that he was robbing me blind. Brahim was calm and just smiled at me the whole time. I left still raging and it was only once I got home that I realized that I had been unfair to him. He had not ripped me off, he had done exactly what I had asked him to do. I had been unfair and wrong twice. I went and bought a box of chocolate that I brought in the next day. I apologized profusely and told him that I hoped that he would be able to forget and forgive my horrible behavior. Again he was just smiling, calm when he told me "Don't worry about it. I am happy that you recognized your mistake and came back. If every costumer that yells at me for no reason was coming back with a box of chocolate, I'd be able to open a chocolate shop".
The guard has listened to the story and he now shakes his head. "A year and a half ago? That's when he got fired...."


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