Not Licensed To Be This Stupid

, , , | Right | May 4, 2021

While I don’t typically work the front counter, I do jump on register to help from time to time. I also help to answer the phone. On one particular morning, I pick up a line. Here in New York, most license plates start with three letters and end in four numbers. Commercial plates typically are five numbers followed by two letters.

Me: “Thank you for calling [Auto Parts Store], [My Name] speaking. How may I help you today?”

Caller: “Yeah, I need a power steering cooler for a 2005 GMC.”

Me: “All right, sir, can you tell me what model GMC you have?”

Caller: “Uh, it says Z71 on the side.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that isn’t a model. If you look on the back of your vehicle it might have the model name.”

Caller: “It just says GMC on the back.”

Me: “All right, sir, that’s fine. Is your vehicle registered?”

Caller: “Yeah.”

Me: “If you tell me the plate number, I can look it up that way.”

Caller: “The what?”

Me: “The license plate number, sir.”

Caller: “What’s that?”

I’ve never had anyone ask me this question before, and I half expect the caller to say he’s just kidding, but he doesn’t say anything else.

Me: “It’s the plate with seven characters on your vehicle.”

Caller: “You mean like the VIN number?”

Me: “No, sir. If your vehicle is registered, then it’s the plate on the front or back of your vehicle. Do you have a plate like that?”

Caller: “Oh, yeah. It says [five digits].”

I think that maybe it is either a specialty plate, but a search of those five digits comes back with nothing for New York.

Me: “Is your vehicle registered in the state of New York?”

Caller: “Yeah.”

Me: “Are there any letters on the plate, too?”

Caller: “Uh, yeah, there’s [two letters].”

I put the letters in my search, too, and his model finally came up and I quoted him his price.

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