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Editor’s Notes 2.0: Dream State

I had a nightmare the other night. I dreamed that I got in a collision and visited a body shop to fix my vehicle. And then I saw the repair…

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Jason Stahl has 27 years of experience as an editor, and has been editor of BodyShop Business for the past 15 years. He currently is a gold pin member of the Collision Industry Conference. Jason, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from John Carroll University and started his career in journalism at a weekly newspaper, doing everything from delivering newspapers to selling advertising space to writing articles.

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I had a dream the other night. No, maybe it was a nightmare. I suppose it was because it was pretty scary.

It wasn’t the one nightmare I have quite frequently. In that one, I’m in a car and cannot control it for the life of me. It feels like I’m in a sludgy drunken stupor, and no matter which way I turn the steering wheel, the car goes the opposite way and I end up careening into other cars or going way too fast or out of control in reverse. Interpret that as you will.

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In another one, I’m often flying free at fantastical heights, I don’t know how. Sometimes I’m at the treetops, other times in the clouds. It’s scary because I’m so high, and I often don’t have control of what I’m doing. Usually, I plummet to earth, but just before I hit the ground I go back up again. Maybe Freud would have a field day with that one, I don’t know.

In this latest one, a brand-new one, I might add, I get in a collision and visit a body shop to fix my vehicle. I don’t remember the details of the accident; the dream starts at the shop. I sign a repair order to have my vehicle fixed there, but I leave with a lot of doubts as to the quality of work they will do. Part of that is because of an endorsement they bragged to me about from a celebrity in, shall we say, a questionable line of business. Dreams are bizarre, what can I say?

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So I get my car back and I’m driving one day with my friend tailing me, and when we get to our destination, he points out that my license plate is hanging askew. I check it out and it’s barely hanging on. Why that would be the body shop’s fault I don’t know, but I’m miffed. The next thing I notice is instead of fixing the rear of my car properly, there is a flimsy, rectangular piece of metal bolted haphazardly behind the license plate that I can literally move around with my hand. At this point, I’m fuming. Don’t know they know who I am? Did they think they could get away with a hack job like that on a vehicle owned by the editor of a national auto body trade magazine?

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And then I woke up with a start, drenched in sweat. Whew. It was only a dream. In reality, the last repair I got was a dandy one, the kind I feel most collision repair facilities can deliver, with no guff from the insurance company. Maybe it’s vehicle sophistication that’s getting to me. Or that I love my car so much (true story). But I did fall back into a peaceful slumber…

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