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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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