Bad Luck Or Just Karma Knocking?

Well this is me writing a non-technical self-reflection post, so… with it.  This morning I woke up with some really unsettling feelings.  Many people who know me will know that I don’t believe in a great many things.  I am not that religious, I believe your life is what YOU make of it.  I believe hoping every 4 years a different politician is going to change the country in 4-8 years before switching again to another one with promises in actually THE definition of insanity.  I believe that the younger generation expects everything to be handed to them without working for anything.  I believe we are not alone in the universe and we’d be ignorant to think we are.  Most importantly I do in fact, above all else believe in Karma.  I always have and I always will.  I am a strong believer in paying it forward in life, and the things you do in your past will eventually catch you to bite you square in the ass.

Why is this important?  Well recently, specifically this morning lying in bed, I figured out that Karma has in fact come right around to find me.  What nobody needs is any of the details of why, but what you simply need to know is I have made mistakes.  Not just yesterday or last week, but many over time, some bigger than others.  I thought after some time now that I would have made up for some of those things by helping other people, becoming a better person, and donating to charities.  Basically becoming a better person to those around me and finding myself again, and not being the asshole everyone thought I was.  I thought I had done enough to reward myself with a little something, a gift to myself.  What I am finding is that selfishness will never outweigh selflessness.

So what are these things Karma has done to remind me of these many things of the past?  Well, as some or many may know, I recently treated myself to an upgrade to my beloved SRT8 Challenger.  The work went flawlessly, and for about a week I was happy as a clam.  Then little things started to seem “off”.  First, the new gauges seemed to not read right for a while.  Okay that went away, but looking back maybe it was the firs sign of things to come.  Next as I was pulling to a stop, I lost my power brakes.  The issue, although small, was a broken plastic fitting used to reconnect two vacuum lines to the brake booster.  Seemed like a small issue but something rings now in my mind from the conversation with the shop.  The guys told me, “That fitting has never failed before in any of the cars we have done.  We’ve never had a customer call with a brake issue until now.”  So okay maybe just my bad luck, right?

Flash forward to two days ago while I was at the New England VMware User Group in Maine.  I am pulling into the parking lot for dinner, and I lose the clutch.  No pressure on the pedal at all, nothing there whatsoever.  I limp into a parking spot, call AAA, get towed back to Portland and wait for the next day for the dealer to tell me the news.  That news is in fact that the Slave Cylinder basically exploded in the bell housing.  The additional good news from the McLeod Racing folks is that the clutch is most likely contaminated with the fluid and needs to be replaced.  I spent 2 hours coordinating all the parts and I thought all was good to go.  By the way I got home in a rental and the parts are all 3-4 days out so no chance getting it back until next Friday.  Additionally, Ralph Gilles himself direct Messaged me on twitter telling me the failure of that Slave Cylinder is “extremely RARE”.  The same transmission and parts are in Ford, GM, and Dodge and rarely have ever failed.  I googled for hours and found NO evidence of any such failures to be found.  Zip……..NADA!  Still just my own bad luck?

The final straw after I thought this was all good, was I get an email from the McLeod folks saying they don’t want to send a new pre-assembled easy 10 minute install kit up to the  dealer, they just want to send plates, have the dealer take apart the clutch that was pre-assembled, clean it, put new plates on, and re-assemble.  I should mention the dealer is doing all this for me who is NOT their customer under warranty and had already agreed to even replace the clutch for a minimal charge.  Now that will have to change once they find out what I told them is not what they are getting.  Not that I don’t have faith in the tech in Maine, this is just leading me to believe something else will eventually just go wrong.  I give them a lot of credit already for helping me out and I even told Ralph to call them and commend them on their service.

So why is ALL of this back story so important?  I am convinced, and nobody can even try to tell me otherwise that Karma is telling me something.  I have obviously not paid my dues, penance, or whatever you want to call it.  I am getting not so subtle, “one in a million”, problems tossed at me to tell me, “Hey jackass, you are not off the hook”.  You can call me crazy, insane, or whatever you like, but I have always believed things happen for a reason.  What I am now left with is frankly a fear to even drive my car home from the dealer, a desire to just park it or even sell it, or a need to figure out just what the hell it will take to please Karma!  She is pissed for sure, I mean speaking realistically both those mechanical issues could have happened at speed on the highway.  What if they did?  The fact I was not moving both times to me was the SUBTLE part of the reminder.

Whatever I have to do I don’t really know.  I’m not going to go giving away all my worldly things, but seriously something has to be done right?  I’m sitting here wondering what’s going to happen next?  The funny thing is until I did this ONE thing for myself, all was good.  Things were pretty great for the most part, and all of a sudden a single act of selfishness for myself is kicking me.  The fact all the “badness” has hit the actual thing I did do for myself is just even more freaky.  Some of you may think I am in fact loosing my mind, but I am not I’m just trying to rationalize the happenings, but damn…..I cannot find anything rational about them.

About Chris Colotti

Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.


  1. Dude you are reading too much into this situation. A moving part just broke, which by todays business method, hit its expected EOL moment. So you just experienced a programmed break down, courtesy of the accountants at GM. Don’t sell the car, just repair it and drive the thing before it needs to sleep in the garage for 6 months again.

  2. Not to jinx you, but I think if it was karma, you would be getting it from all sides, not just your ride. Like Frank, I believe you either had bad luck or improper parts installation causing a cascading effect. Unfortunately, both of those scenarios are not going to make you feel any better driving your car.

  3. Chris, I’ve spent 25 years dealing with this type of issue with high-performance cars. They happen, and if you continue to play with this type of car, they’ll happen again. The world isn’t shitting on you any more than it does anyone else who gets into tinkering with (or tinkered-with) cars. Fix it, get out there, and play some more. And have fun while you’re doing it.

  4. That’s not karma, just bad luck. Or do you think all Alfa Romeo drivers have bad karma 😉 😉 Get it fixed and enjoy the ride

  5. Dude – what you have just explained has highlighted what a fragile species we really are. I doubt it is Karma coming back at all. Just get used the fact, as blunt as it may sound, that you and your car are not infallible.
    The more you think about this problem, the more it won’t go away. In fact, you are projecting thoughts about your beloved car into the Universe and they are coming straight back at you. And no, I’m smoking anything.
    Let me put this into perspective. Given the choice of owning a broken car or living in poverty with disease and war on your doorstep I know which I’d choose any day.
    What you have experienced is no different than software bug – and there’s plenty of that around 🙂 Is a software bug the result of Karma? Faults occur, period.
    So, in answer to your blog title – it’s a simple case of bad luck. Move on, fix it and be happy! (and continue to do great things with VCD).

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