A really great way to spend the weekend is with your best bud, under the hood of a project car, working together to get that whip back on the road where it belongs.
Though, we’ve all had that day. You know the one. When we don’t get the call. We pick up the phone to ask “What’s going on?” only to be told that they would’ve called, but they aren’t working on it this weekend. Then from the background some tools clatter and a strange voice shouts “I’m going to grab a beer, you want one?” Suddenly, there’s a lump in your throat, tears in your eyes, and as if it couldn’t get any worse—they say things like “I can explain!” and “It’s not you, it’s me.”
There’s no arguing that being replaced in the garage is worse than a bad break up. So where did you go wrong? What could you have done to keep them from slipping through your fingertips? Was it something you did?? Something you said?!
While the past may be a bit foggy, you know in your heart that the best thing for you to do is move on. While operational performance in the garage is important, let’s focus on the language. In fact, let’s talk about five things never to say to your buddy while wrenching on their project car.
“What the HELLo are you doing?”
Okay, so it’s pretty rare in the early stages of this type of a relationship to have your partner call you up to work on a vehicle from start to finish. (That usually comes around the third project.) Though, you might get lucky enough to spend the night on the first try. That is, as long as the first words out of your mouth aren’t insulting their process. Every job is different and everyone has a different way of doing things. Even if you don’t understand it, you need to go in with an open mind and accept them for who they are. If you have questions, ask nicely and listen to what they have to say.
“Eh, that’s not how I would do it.”
We get it, sometimes you’ll know a little more than your friend. And sometimes you’ll know a lot more. Watching them botch a job can be really frustrating and sometimes those words of belittlement just slip out, right? Next time, try turning it into a teaching moment rather than grounds for resentment. As the great relationship therapist, Dr. Ruth, once said “A lesson taught with humor is a lesson retained.” So keep that chemistry alive, show a little levity, and who knows? Maybe your buddy can teach you a thing or two as well.
“Just let me do it…”
They called you over for a reason. Usually because they’re in over their head or there’s too much work for one person. Therefore, trying to do the same job at the same time can be a problem. Both of you will be fighting for the wrench and slowing the whole process down. Think back to your nursery school lessons, and rather than losing your patience, find something else to do. It’s THEIR project car and you are there to help. Move on to something else and if you finish up before them, ask them nicely if they need a hand. Sharing is caring, after all.
“This thing is a piece of…”
Sometimes, what sounds like a beautiful muscle car may be a bit rusty. And the project you thought you’d be helping with, is much worse than you anticipated. But hey, that doesn’t mean its okay to body shame. You’re there to help them reach a higher platform. Accept the blemishes. Because with your help, you can make that project car grow from the ugly duckling into a beautiful swan.
“Real smooth, Rico Suave…”
People screw up. Sometimes it’s funny. And sometimes you silently cry-laughing at their expense can really embarrass your buddy. Besides, you’ve shorted a few wires and busted a few knuckles before haven’t you? Nobody’s perfect, and you have to take that into consideration. If you can’t help but smirk or laugh, make sure to pacify his ego, tell him it’s okay, and that he’s doing great.
We know, garage talk isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re getting your hands dirty you’d better be ready to talk dirty too, right? But that doesn’t mean be a jerk. Find the line between playful and hurtful, and who knows? You might just find the one—the perfect project buddy you’ve always dreamed of. We promise, talking the talk will help to set the mood.