I had grand plans for this morning. Get up early, do my workout, make my smoothie, shower, and be at Jiffy Lube by 7:55 so that I would be first in line for an oil change when they open at 8:00.
I always use a similar plan when I get my haircut; get to Hair Cuttery five minutes before it opens so that I am the first customer. Otherwise, when I’ve gotten there in the middle of the day, there can a be a significant wait. And the plan has always worked well.
Well the first kink in the plan was staying up too late last night (fiddling with this blog), and so I was not able to get up as early as I liked. So I skipped the workout, the smoothie, and the shower but still left my house with what I thought would be enough time to get to Jiffy Lube before it opened.
Unfortunately the traffic was quite heavy. It was probably just normal traffic, but since I don’t really have a commute, I’m not that familiar with early morning traffic patterns. The whole time I’m driving I’m trying to recalibrate when I think I’ll get to Jiffy Lube, but finally the realization hit that I was not going to be there at 7:55. And now I had to hope that there’s not too much demand for an oil change at 8:00 in the morning.
I arrived at 8:02, and there were two cars ahead of me, one in each bay. In theory, that meant there was only one car ahead of me, assuming that there were people working each bay. One of the workers told me I could wait inside, which I did.
I started to do some calculations in my head as to when I thought I would be out of there, since I had another appointment later that morning. I’ve been to Jiffy Lubes before when they are finished in 15-20 minutes. So I thought that I would be out of there by 8:45.
By 8:30, neither of the cars that were ahead of me were finished. It turned out that they were getting more than just an oil change. I started doing some more calculations, and I said to myself that if those cars weren’t finished by 8:40, I would have to leave.
8:40 came and went, and still no sign of either car being finished. I went out to my car, hoping to catch the eye of one of the employees, but no such luck.
So I got in my car and left.
As I drove home, I realized that arriving five minutes later than I wanted cost me 90 minutes of my day, it Jiffy Lube whatever profit they earn on an oil change, and a customer. In addition, I’ll have to go to Jiffy Lube again tomorrow (but a different one); that’s about 40 minutes in travel time I should not have had to make, so there’s some more lost time.
All of this because of five minutes.
There is one winner in this story, and that’s the Jiffy Lube that will be getting my business tomorrow, business they would not normally have had.
And there is a lesson learned – tomorrow morning I will leave with plenty of time to spare. I can pretty much GUARANTEE you that I will be the first one there…