The shifter in the car is terrible. ABSOLUTELY GOD AWFUL.
Driving it back from the shop to my house was like a sick/twisted game show "Find a gear? Pick a gear!". So much slop in it.
I got the shifter out and replaced it with the Bimmer world budget SSK.
I also noticed that the stock shifter had become...oblong?
I had been told that this shifter would not cause the usual problems with my 318 but, of course, it did. Due to the increased length after the pivot point, the selector rod was sitting on the guibo for the harmonic balancer.
A quick google search and an awesome UUC write-up later, and everything was fixed [pictures to follow]