Driving In The Car Fool Lane

, , | Right | December 7, 2018

(I work in the service department of a car dealership. Despite the fact that I’m a girl and in my mid-20s, I know a lot about cars. A grumpy old guy in his 70s comes in.)

Me: “Hi! How can I help you?”

Customer: “The car told me to get my brakes fixed.” *refers to automated message in the car*

Me: “Sure. Let’s make an appointment, then.”

Customer: “No. You have to do it now!

Me: “Sorry, sir, but that’s not possible. We are fully booked for the next couple of days. However, if you could leave the car here, I could get someone to drive you home, and we could possibly manage to get it done by tomorrow evening.”

Customer: “No! I’m going on holiday tomorrow morning, with the car! Can I drive to [Place about 600 miles away] with the brakes being in this condition?”

Me: “No, sir, I don’t think you will make it there. When did the car start to show you this warning?”

Customer: “Two weeks ago.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Can you tell me what the new brakes are going to cost?”

Me: “Sure. It will take just a few minutes.”

(One of our mechanics takes a look at the brakes, and then prints the offer for the customer. We have hardly any influence on the prices, as they are given by the brand. I hand the offer to the customer, and he tells me he will be driving home to think about it. I then give him some information on how to make the brakes last a little longer, like avoid using the speed limiter.)

Customer: “No! You are wrong! That’s not true! You don’t know anything about cars! Why do you say something like that when you don’t even know how brakes work!?”

(I try to keep calm but tell him I know what I’m saying, as I was trained to know things like that. He insists I don’t know anything and leaves, refusing to make an appointment. About three weeks later, the same guy approaches our store. I recognize him immediately, and I tell my coworker I’m going to take this. He comes in and pretends we have never met, obviously hoping I have forgotten him. He tells me the exact same story — that he needs his brakes fixed — and asks for the price.)

Me: “Oh, what happened to the offer that [Mechanic] printed for you? You took it with you when you were here three weeks ago.”

Customer: *shocked that I recognized him* “Um, I, eh… I guess I lost it.”

Me: “Well, okay, then. We can just print it again. The price will be the same.”

Customer: “Oh… The price is going to be the same?!”

Me: “Yes, and we still need to make that appointment.”

Customer: “But I can’t make an appointment! Why can’t you do it now?”

Me: “For the same reason I told you three weeks ago. We can’t let other people who have made appointments weeks ago wait, just because you don’t want to make an appointment.”

Customer: “Now that’s ridiculous. Let me talk to a mechanic.”

(I call one of the mechanics on duty and tell him the whole story. He then tells the customer the exact same things that I told him, but the guy continues to ask really stupid questions.)

Mechanic: “Look. I really don’t have time to talk to you about things that you could have easily asked [My Name]. I have work to do. Now, if you have any more questions, please go talk to [My Name]. She is great at her job and knows what she’s talking about.”

(I can’t help but smile and wave slowly at him. He comes back to me, obviously pretty unhappy with what he has just been told.)

Customer: “I’d like to make an appointment.”

Me: *with big smile* “Sure. The next appointment will be available next Thursday.”

Customer: “Okay, I’ll take that.”

(When he came to pick up his car after his appointment, he told me he did some research and it turned out I was right with everything I said. He used to be a mechanic himself and said things had just changed so much since he retired. Apparently, he was just extremely sad to find out that his knowledge from twenty years ago wasn’t going to help him anymore.)

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