I got a flat yesterday. In my 45 years, this is the first time I've ever had to change a tire. I've had people show me how before, but if you don't do it yourself, you don't remember. Here are some things I learned:
1. When you ask for help from others, don't be too specific.
I couldn't figure out where my spare was. I had cranked the thing it told me to crank, but still couldn't figure out how to get to the spare. I thought it would be under the carpet in the back of the car. I saw a gas station attendant and said, "Could you help me figure out how to get my spare out?". He came over and also looked at the carpet, then realized (because he had at least some experience) that it was UNDER the car. As soon as he got it out, he disappeared. It would have been nice to atleast have him supervise me and tell me how to do things....but that wasn't what I had asked for.
2. When all else fails, read the instructions
Having never done this before, I was sort of learning by the book. I stumbled across my jack by accident, and it had instructional diagrams printed on the cover. Even though it was a little cryptic, all the information I needed was there in some form or another. I was able to figure out how to properly use the jack and get the car jacked up.
3. My brain is as good as most people's.
Even though I really didn't know what I was doing, I kept telling myself that I have a brain, and if I studied the problem long enough, I would be able to figure out how to do it. This helped to squelch the panic that occasionally tried to escape. :)
4. There are good Samaritans left in the World.
I had pulled in to a gas station to do the work. A man pumping gas nearby noticed that I was having a hard time loosening the lug nuts, and volunteered to help. He stayed with me until the job was finished and I have to admit he did most of the work. I would begin to do the work, but frankly, I don't think he liked the way I was doing it, so he would jump in and take over at some point. He was so nice about it, and acted like it was the smallest of acts of service, although to me it was a big help.
5. I will never buy tires from Walmart again.
Last summer we were traveling in Utah and noticed our tires were getting bad. Rather than drive all the way back home with those questionable tires, we decided to buy some at Walmart. I went to Walmart yesterday to get the flat fixed. They told me it would be atleast a 2 hour wait. I didn't have the time right then, so decided to come back this morning. When I got there at 9:15, no attendant was at the register. Finally about 9:30 he showed up for work. He told me the mechanics wouldn't get in until 11:00! I grumbled and left, but on my way out of the parking lot I decided right then and there that I would always buy my tires from the independent tire company that we normally buy from. I went over to their shop and asked them to fix my tire. They did it in 45 minutes, made sure all my tires were filled properly, and put away the jack and spare......for FREE!!!