Caffeine And Easter And Lent, Oh My

, , , , | Right | May 3, 2018

(A very good regular but quirky customer calls in about her car. She’s been taking her vehicles to two of our locations for over 18 years. She’s always polite, funny, and pleasant, but kind of weird. We’ve always chalked it up to her not being from here.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Shop]. How can I help you?”

Regular: “Hi! Is [Assistant Manager] or [Supervisor] available?”

(I recognize her unique voice.)

Me: “Sorry, neither are here today; they’ll be back Monday and Tuesday.”

Regular: “D***!”

Me: “You could always let me help you.”

Regular: “Okay, I guess so. A week ago I was scheduled to come in for a transmission flush and oil change, but I rear-ended a car and just got it back from the shop. It sounds loud and different, but also windy. I was hoping someone could double-check it for me when I come in tomorrow.”

Me: “We can definitely check it, but we are closed tomorrow.”

Regular: “No, you’re not. You’re always open on Sundays.”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, we are closed for the holiday.”

Regular: “Oh, okay, I guess. So, you guys won’t be open until Tuesday?”

Me: “Sorry, no, we are only closed Sunday. We have our normal schedule again starting Monday, after Easter.”

Regular: “F***, wait, what?!”

Me: “We are closed tomorrow for Easter and will be open again on Monday.”

Regular: “No, wait. Easter is tomorrow?”

Me: “Yes, tomorrow.”

Regular: “S***! Are you f****** sure? POSITIVE?!”

Me: *trying not to laugh and upset her* “Yes, I am positive, ma’am.”

Regular: “Aw, crap! What the f***?!”

Me: *really trying to keep it together* “I’m sorry, ma’am?”

Regular: “S***, I didn’t f****** realize Easter was coming. I’m a f****** parent. I’m screwed! What the hell am I going to do?!”

Me: “I think [Big Retailer] is still usually open for a while.”

Regular: “You can go ahead and laugh. I know this is ridiculous. It’s just rude to not laugh.”

Me: *still trying to keep it together* “It’s okay; we all forget sometimes.”

Regular: “Can you please leave a message for [Assistant Manager] or [Supervisor] that I want to bring my car in to have it checked after a collision?”

Me: “It’s okay. You can bring it in.”

Regular: “No, please let them know; you need to let them know first.”

Me: “No, it’s okay; you don’t need an appointment.”

Regular: “Please just let them know. I always let them know first and they always tell me when to bring it.”

Me: “No, any day is okay as long as we are open.”

Regular: “Please tell them.”

Me: “Okay, sure. I’ll leave them a note.”

Regular: “Okay, thank you.” *hangs up*

(I think it’s a waste of time, but while I am talking with her, I send a message to them via group text telling them I booked her for Monday. I get a text back.)

Supervisor: “No, no, no! Not Monday!”

Assistant Manager: “Not Monday!”

Me: “I already hung up.”

Supervisor: “It’s going to be horrible!”

Me: “What’s going on?”

Manager: “She quit caffeine and sugar for Lent! Glad I’m not back until Tuesday!”

Me: “Lent is already over.”

Supervisor: “You positive?”

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: “Are you sure?”

Me: “POSITIVE.”

Supervisor: “SWEET! Looks like we get Starbucks!”

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Understanding The Mechanics Of The Situation

, , , , | Right | February 28, 2018

(I am having tea with my mother at her house, and while I am there a mechanic for the electricity meter comes by. The meter cupboard is in the hallway; my mom and I are in the living room. These two rooms are separated by a door. Occasionally the mechanic has to ask a my mom question, and every time he announces his entrance into the room with a knock on the door, while we are just chatting and drinking tea. In short, he is very polite and no bother at all. This happens after he has been at work for about half an hour. There is a knock on the door.)

Mechanic: “Excuse me. Do you mind if I use your bathroom for a second?”

Mom: “Oh, of course. That is no problem!”

Mechanic: “Oh, thanks; that’s not always so self-evident.”

(He leaves the living room to go the bathroom.)

Mom: “What did he mean by that? Do you really think some people refuse to let him use their bathroom?”

Me: “I’m not sure; it sounds like it.”

Mom: “Wow. I’ll ask him when he comes back.”

(A while later, the mechanic enters the living room again with a question.)

Mom: “Hey, when you said that it is not always so self-evident, did you mean that some people don’t let you use their bathroom?”

Mechanic: “Oh, yeah, sure. That happens quite regularly. It’s not even the worst thing to happen.”

Mom: “What do you mean?”

Mechanic: “Well, sometimes I walk into a house and there is a line of tape on the floor, and the customer tells me that I am not allowed to go beyond that line, into their house.”

Mom: *shocked* “No way. People really do that?”

Mechanic: “Oh, yeah. You just learn to deal with it.”

(My mom and I were left stunned with the lack of respect some people have for service workers.)

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Unfiltered Story #93276

, , | Unfiltered | September 6, 2017

(I call the mechanic for an update on the repairs they are doing on my truck. I am a woman in my 30’s.)

Mechanic: “Well, I suggest [ and not (etc etc) ok?”

Me: “Ok, well…”

Mechanic: (interrupts) “So yeah, I suggest (etc etc)…” *repeats same info, adds some new info, circles around again*

Me: “Yes, I…”

Mechanic: (interrupts again)

This circle repeats a few times with me unable to get a word in between interruptions to agree with his diagnosis and ask him to proceed with the suggested repairs. Finally I am able to voice my approval of the plan.

Mechanic: “Ok then. We’ll do (etc etc). Sorry if I’m talking over your head here.”

Me: (thinking maybe he meant “talking over you”) “Um, no worries…. The plan makes complete sense. Sounds good. Please go ahead and do the repairs.”

I arrive at the shop when the work is completed, and he again goes over the work that was done, and explains the next step in the repair process. I give approval, and we set an appointment for the next step in the repairs. As I am digging in my purse for my wallet to pay for that day’s work…

Mechanic: “So, is your husband mechanically inclined?”

Me: (distracted by fishing out my wallet and assuming he’s making small talk) “Well…. So-so. He’s a really quick study, though, so if he runs into things he doesn’t know, a little research and he’s up to speed.”

Mechanic: “Oh, good. Well, take this home (gestures to the itemized bill/description of repairs) and have him look over it. I’m sure he can walk you through it and explain it to you.”

Me: *in cold voice* “Yeah… that won’t be necessary. Now, how much was the total after tax?”

That’s His Story And He’s Stick-ing To It

, , , , , | Working | September 5, 2017

I drive a manual (stick-shift) car. While driving it once, a small pebble struck my window and cracked it. Fortunately, it was just the tiny window between the passenger’s window and the windshield, but I went to have it replaced anyway.

I walked inside, got all the paperwork done, handed over the keys, and sat in the waiting room. An employee took the key, walked outside, and then walked right back in just a moment later. He approached me and said, “It’s company policy for customers to drive their own car into the garage.”

I didn’t say anything, just drove the car like he’d asked, but I was thinking, “Then why did you walk outside with my key in the first place?” Answer: he clearly couldn’t drive stick and was too embarrassed to admit it.

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The Fluid Isn’t The Only Thing That’s Dirty

| Working | April 18, 2017

(I live in a small town, which at the time only had one mechanic that many people used. This was around 2000-2001. I had just had the transmission fluid flushed the last time my car was in, and my wife called me telling me they showed her some very dark fluid on a piece of paper and said my transmission fluid was very dirty. I asked to talk to the mechanic.)

Mechanic: “I was explaining to your wife that your transmission fluid is very dirty. It needs to be flushed soon. We can do that for you today for—”

Me: *interrupting* “I had the transmission fluid flushed just 3000 miles ago.”

Mechanic: “You did?”

Me: “Yes, and you guys did it.”

Mechanic: “Let me look.”

(There is a long pause while I hear papers shuffling.)

Mechanic: “Oh, I see now. Yes, we did it last time you were in, so never mind.”

Me: “No, wait! You showed my wife some very dark fluid and said it needed to be changed.”

Mechanic: “Yes, sorry about that. The paperwork was misplaced. It does not need to be replaced.”

Me: “Then what fluid did you show her? If you showed her transmission fluid from my car then you need to flush it again because you guys didn’t do it right last time.”

Mechanic: “No, everything is fine. Your transmission fluid is fine.”

(Later that evening I go into the location myself and talk to the manager.)

Me: “So, my wife was in here earlier. Your mechanic showed her some dark fluid, claimed it was my transmission fluid, then later the mechanic told me it was fine. I want you to re-flush my transmission.”

Manager: “That was just a miscommunication. We filed your paperwork in the wrong place. Your transmission fluid was fine.”

Me: “So you are committing fraud, then?”

Manager: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Well, there are only two options here. One, the fluid you showed my wife was not my transmission fluid in which case you committed fraud. Or two, it was my transmission fluid and you are now committing fraud saying my fluid is fine.”

Manager: “No, see, your paperwork was filed in the wrong place.”

Me: “Then what was the dark fluid your mechanic showed my wife?”

Manager: “What?”

Me: *raising voice* “Easy question: what was the dark fluid you showed my wife? Was it my transmission fluid?”

Manager: “I don’t know. It should have been.”

Me: “Well, I have the car with me now. Show me the transmission fluid color.”

(The manager goes to my car and pulls out the dipstick and wipes it on a white piece of paper; it’s not dirty.)

Me: “So the answer is, you were committing fraud by showing my wife dirty liquid that didn’t come from my transmission.”

Manager: “No, see, the paperwork—”

Me: *interrupting* “THE PAPERWORK doesn’t make the oil turn dark magically!”

Manager: “Well, I can give you a free oil change next time.”

Me: “Don’t bother. I will never come here again.”

(I never went there again, and moved out of the town soon afterwards. I told everyone I talked to pretty much about the fraud the mechanic was doing. I started hearing a lot of other stories about other people saying they did something similar to them. They are still there last time I checked. I guess fraud paid off big enough for them to stay in business.)

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