The two most disappointing words (paired together) that can be presented to an adult on any given day are, “Needs work.” It’s one thing if you’re in junior high school and you’ve turned in a paper that was written half-heartedly using nothing but Cliff’s Notes because you couldn’t be bothered to read the book. The teacher marks up your barely understandable outline and makes some snide comments to indicate that she’s on to you. She may even write, “Needs work,” at the end, but your life won’t come to an abrupt halt because of it and you’ll still probably never read the book that was assigned to you three months ago until much later in your life.
If you’re an adult however, it’s a whole different ball game. Picture yourself driving to work and hearing a funny sound in your car that wasn’t there yesterday. You didn’t hit anything on your way home last night and nothing on your dashboard indicates that anything is wrong. You’re sure it’s something minor.
You drop said vehicle off at the mechanic because you’re a responsible individual. When the phone rings a few hours later and he starts to utter those two dreaded words, you know that your bank account is about to sink to the same low place your stomach just did when he says your car, “Needs work.”
My car has been faithfully employed by me for several years. I take good care of it by keeping up with the scheduled maintenance and taking it in for its own personal spa treatments at the local car wash. Suddenly, it “needs work.” It already has a job and its job is to transport me back and forth to places of employment, pleasure and interest. It was not hired to moonlight at the mechanic’s garage where men with soiled paws will take it apart to look for more things that are probably not wrong with it and to charge me by the hour to find out what those wrong (and costly things) might be. Especially on a holiday weekend.
If this is a portending of my upcoming summer, I’m cancelling my dentist’s appointment until after Labor Day is over. Needs work is not what I want to hear when I’m told to open wide.