Racking Up The Grievances

, , , , , , | Working | November 20, 2020

I have a luggage rack on my bike which has encountered a problem. I take it into the shop where I bought it, where they offer a lifetime guarantee.

Me: “I’ve got this issue with my pannier rack which you guys sold me.”

Cashier: “Do you have a receipt?”

Me: “Yes.”

I hand the receipt over.

Me: “So the problem is—”

Cashier: “No worries; we can fix that for you. It’ll be about twenty minutes or so.”

Me: “I mean, that’s great, but the problem is—”

Cashier: “Cool, cool.”

He doesn’t even look at the bike; he just starts wheeling it away.

Me: “Right, but—”

Cashier: “Look. The rack broke, yeah? We’ll take it off and replace it.”

He disappears into the back.

Me: “Oooookay.”

I go out and drink a leisurely coffee. Forty minutes later, I haven’t heard anything, so I go back to the shop and ring the bell on the counter. A different person, I assume the bike mech, emerges from the back, wiping her hands on a rag.

Me: “Uh, hi. I’m here to pick up my bike. It’s a blue Kona?”

Her eyebrows go up.

Mech: “Oh, that was you, huh?”

Me: “Um. Yes. Trouble?”

Mech: “Well, we’re having a little more difficulty than we’d first thought.”

She shoots a look towards the back, where I assume the cashier is hiding.

Mech: “Can I ask, how did you shear off the screws holding the rack to the frame?”

Me: “I swear, I don’t know. I was waiting for a ferry and I just heard a ‘ping!’ sound and the screw heads had come clean off. If it was something I could fix myself, I would have just exchanged the rack and reinstalled it, but I don’t have the tools to get the broken screws out of the holes. I tried to tell the guy, but he wouldn’t listen and said you folks could replace it in twenty minutes.”

The mech pinches the bridge of her nose and lets out a long sigh.

Me: “I don’t want to be a pain, but how much longer is this going to take? I can come back tomorrow…”

Mech: “That’d probably be best. Sorry about [Cashier]; he’s the owner’s son and thinks he knows everything. I hate to say this, but if you’ve got a boyfriend or a brother or something, if they bring it in, they’ll have better luck getting him to actually pay attention.”

Me: “My husband hasn’t ridden a bike since he was twelve years old. He wouldn’t have to first clue what to say without a script.”

The mech heaved another sigh, scribbled something down on a piece of paper, and slid it over to me. It was a note that said, “My girlfriend works here; they’re much better,” with the address of another shop. I’ve gone there ever since and never encountered any problems.


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