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Just Give Her The Cold Shoulder

, , , , , , | Right | October 15, 2020

I work at a carwash and it’s the prime of winter. We usually close when the temps get below a certain temp to avoid car damages and upset customers, but the company decided we won’t be closing for that anymore. Apparently, money is more important than safety and quality.

It’s about thirteen degrees outside, I just opened up, and my first customer was right there waiting for us to do so. She purchases her wash and goes through, and when she pulls around to vacuum, she notices that ice has formed on her wheels and back windshield. She slams her door, throws down the vacuum hose, and stomps up to the office.

Customer: “I paid [total] and your wash put ice all over my car! I want my money back! You shouldn’t be open for business if you can’t control the ice, you f****** moron! What kind of place is this?!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t control the temps any more than you can. It is thirteen degrees outside and we use water to clean your vehicle. Water freezes at or below thirty-two degrees, so I’m just confused as to why you’re confused. I’ll give you your money back, however, as I guess with the heat blaring in your car you maybe forgot we’re in the middle of winter?”

Customer: “It’s not my job as the customer to know what temperature water will freeze at, nor is it my job to know when to wash my car and when not to! You say all this like it’s just common sense, and it’s not!”

Me: “You’re absolutely right. Here’s your money. Have a great day and come back to see us when it warms up!”

She rolled her eyes at me, snatched the money out of my hand, and stomped off back to her car. She got to her car and tried to open the door and it wouldn’t budge. She tried all the doors and none of them would budge. They were frozen shut! 

I was amazed that she didn’t stomp back up to me and say it was all my fault and I needed to pay to have her towed. But she didn’t. She stood out there in the cold waiting for a tow truck to arrive in her shameful karma.

I did wave for her to come up front and I was going to offer for her to sit in the heated office until the tow truck arrived, but she flipped me the bird when she saw me waving.

Their Claim Has Fallen Flat(bed)

, , , , | Right | March 18, 2020

During the summer of 2010, I was hired by a locally-owned car wash that also served as a franchised car rental location and laundromat. It was the only commercial car wash in my town. The owner was an older gentleman with a frail voice who worked odd hours, essentially turning up to work as an extra pair of hands whenever he was bored of being retired from working there for literal decades. 

My very first shift at the car wash, he was training me. We offered three different kinds of washes: a coin pay-as-you-go self-wash, a touchless wash, and a full touch wash with spinning brushes and fabric strips.

The owner just finished teaching me how to fix the arm of the touchless wash if its calibration was off and it bumped into a vehicle. He even demonstrates how little force is needed to cause the arm to stop safely by breaking one of the safety fast-break dowels. It was a simple procedure of flicking a switch to return it to its base position and replacing the dowel. He then told me to man the cash register and try to up-sell the car wash voucher booklets we offered while he cleaned the self-service bays. 

I wasn’t alone for more than ten minutes before a woman came into the main office. She looked very upset, and before I could say a word she said that our car wash had damaged her car and she demanded compensation. I was quite confused by this, as I’d just been shown how the touchless wash’s arm breaks with such little force. The entire thing was wrapped in foam as well; it couldn’t so much as scratch the paint off of a car if you drove through it.

We left the office and she took me to the touch-wash instead of the touchless wash. I was gob-smacked to see that the woman’s pickup truck’s rear window had been smashed out by some kind of thin metal strip. 

I went to grab the owner and quickly brought him to our seething customer. He took one look at the damage to the truck and basically said, “Huh,” before going to inspect further. The whole time, the woman was raving about how she was going to need to be compensated for the window. The owner took one look in the back of the truck’s flatbed before looking up, smiling at the woman, and saying, “We won’t be paying you anything.”

The woman had left several of those thin strips of metal in her flatbed. The owner calmly pointed to the instructions next to the entrance to the carwash. It clearly stated that all objects must be removed from flatbeds prior to entering the wash. 

The woman threatened to take the owner to court, but he just smiled again and said in that weak and frail voice, “If you’re stupid enough to not read the instructions, you’d get laughed out of court.”

The woman drove off without her car wash or even a voucher and I never saw her again the summer that I worked there.

Those Kinds Of People Are Not Decent Human Beings

, , , , , | Right | March 4, 2020

(I am sitting down at a car wash, waiting for my car to be finished. I have my notebook with me and I’m writing in it. A kid comes up to me holding a semi-used lollypop by the wrong end and starts touching all the pages of my notebook.)

Me: “Excuse me, but would you mind not touching that? I’ve worked really hard writing it all and I don’t want the pages to get torn out.”

(The kid looks shocked and leaves. I go back to writing. A second later, the kid comes up behind me and grabs my hair, making me jump forward.)

Me: “Excuse me, do you mind?”

(His mom comes and takes his hand.)

Mom: “Come on, [Kid]. We don’t talk to those kinds of people!”

(She scowled at me. The clerk and I looked at each other, speechless, and she stormed out of the car wash, dragging her kid.)

Always A Line Outside And On Your Windows  

, , , , , , | Working | November 19, 2019

This happened before cell phones were common, and I didn’t yet have one. I took my car to a local full-service car wash for a full wash and detailing. I pulled into a vacuum lane as directed, told the attendant what I was there for, asked about the turnaround time — an hour to an hour and half due to how busy they were — and told him I’d be at the restaurant next door — the other side of the building from the drop off and vacuums — for lunch, but would be back well before the completion time. “Sounds good! Enjoy your lunch. See you soon,” was the reply. “Ding, ding, ding,” said my car.

Fast forward to about 45 minutes later. I returned to the car wash, expecting that my car would be well into the process of being clean and shiny, and there it sat, right where I’d left it, all of my personal items sitting on the ground around it. “You didn’t leave us the key and didn’t tell us where you were going,” I was told, “And you caused the line to back up since we can’t use this lane.” There were two workers, one of them the original attendant.

I replied, “I know I left the key, as when I was walking away the alarm was sounding and my keyring is right here, without the car key on it. I also told you I’d be right next door, which you acknowledged.”

“Well, we don’t have the key and couldn’t find you.”

So, I started sorting through my things on the ground and, lo and behold, the key had been dropped into a tissue box that they’d taken out from the back seat! Not only would they not acknowledge that they’d messed up, they’d left all of my things out that they’d removed, supposedly to vacuum, and they hadn’t even done that!

I went inside and talked to a manager, who dismissed my complaint, wouldn’t offer any compensation or even an apology, and told me I must have put the keys in that box myself to try to get his guys in trouble. I didn’t get the car detailed that day; I had it done a few days later at a competitor who did an excellent job and cost less than what I would have paid at the first business.

A couple of years after, confident that the workers were not the same, I tried again to get a vacuum and car wash there and it took three tries after it was “done” for them to wipe my windows without leaving greasy streaks. How they remain in business I don’t know but, on warm, sunny days there’s always a line waiting.

Trying To (Car) Wash Their Hands Of Grandma

, , , , | Right | September 6, 2018

A brand new car wash opened and promised free car washes for anyone in line on the first day. My grandmother was the very first person in line. When she went in, she managed to put her car in gear. It jumped the track and she stomped on the gas instead of the brake. As a result the car rammed into the equipment and seriously damaged it.

The car wash had to close down for almost a month for repairs. When it finally opened again, my grandmother went back and asked them when she would get her free car wash. The response she received was a little less than positive.