Car Fool

, , | Right | April 11, 2019

(I am one of the customers in this story. My father works at a very large car dealership that also has a service station. Whenever my car needs work, he makes an appointment for me and I take it to his company, who will do the work at a discounted rate since he is an employee. However, since the service guys know us and are doing the job for less money, they sometimes end up pushing my appointment time back if things get really busy so they can take care of full-paying customers first. This is fine, as I am getting a good deal, so I don’t mind waiting a little longer on occasion. I usually just bring my laptop and do some work while I wait. On this particular day, I have an appointment at one pm, but things are incredibly busy. It is now 4:30 pm. I go to the restroom, and when I come back out a lady has just entered the crowded waiting space, has moved my coat and computer, and is now sitting in the seat I just left. I gather my stuff and take a seat near her when my dad comes in.)

Dad: “Hey, kiddo, just wanted to let you know they are just starting on your car now. Should be about half an hour.”

Me: “Thanks, Dad.”

(As he turns to leave and go back to work, the lady who just recently sat down jumps out of her seat and points her finger at him, and then starts screaming.)

Lady: “GET ME YOUR SUPERVISOR RIGHT NOW! The man at the counter told me I was going to have to wait an hour and a half, and I got here before her. JUST BECAUSE SHE IS YOUR DAUGHTER DOESN’T MEAN SHE SHOULD GET TO CUT ME IN LINE!”

Father: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but she has been waiting here for nearly four hours; she didn’t just get here.”

Lady: “THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. I KNOW SHE JUST GOT HERE; SHE SAT DOWN ONLY A MINUTE AGO. THIS IS NEPOTISM!”

Me: “Lady, I’ve been here since one pm. You moved all my stuff and sat in the seat I was in. I just came back from the bathroom. Since this is where my dad works, I always wait a bit longer for service in order to let the other customers go first; I never get to cut the line. And if it was just me, I’d say, ‘Whatever, take her car before me,’ but all of these other people are ahead of you in line, as well, so I can’t do that.”

(I gesture around to the packed waiting room, where everyone is staring at her. The supervisor also hears what is going on and comes out to talk to her. He tells her that even if they skip my car and leave it until last, it will not shorten her wait, as there are about ten other customers in front of her besides me. He also tells her I had a one pm appointment and was gracious enough to wait when they were even busier around lunch time, and that I am not getting any special treatment in terms of cutting the line. She is still angry; she demands her car back to take it to the competitor down the road and storms out.)

Me: “Sorry, [Supervisor]. I feel like you lost a customer because of me.”

Supervisor: “It’s not your fault. I don’t want screaming people in my waiting room, anyway. Besides, I know for a fact that [Competitor] is even busier than us and has at least a two-hour wait right now.”

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