The Satisfaction of a Job Done Yourself

The other day I took my car to Tires Plus to get an oil change and have the tires rotated. I usually change the oil myself, but the prospect of writhing around on the dirty, wet and cold concrete in sub-zero temperatures wasn’t too appealing (of course this week the temps are in the 30s so it wouldn’t have been so bad). While in the shop I noticed a “rainy day” special they had to change your oil and your wiper blades–which reminded me that I needed to change my wiper blades. Their “rainy day” service cost $50–more than twice the price of an oil change.

I decided to stop at AutoZone on the way home and do it myself. The wipers cost $12 (but only because my wipers come in two different sizes–wha?!–and I had to buy two sets. Though next time I won’t have to buy them, so they really did cost only $6.) and trying to install them in the parking lot took maybe 15 minutes.

But more than the cash saved, I drove home with dirt on my fingers and the satisfaction that comes with a job done yourself. I felt nothing about the oil change and tire rotation. For all I know they just put a sticker in my window and drove the car around the block. Even though I was doing the responsible thing and taking care of my car I gained nothing. Doing it myself, however, had tangible benefits.

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