Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Stupid Car Mechanics

Steph_Dammit said in her responses to the survey I stole from her yesterday that my journal can usually be counted on to make her giggle at the folly of stupid people. I hadn't quite thought of that as a long-term specialty of mine, but lately I just don't seem to suffer from any lack of material in that category.

So I made an appointment last weekend to get my new car's radio and CD player fixed. I told them on the phone, "The buttons to skip forward or back a track on the CD player don't work, the button to switch back to radio from the CD player doesn't work (so the only way you can get the radio back on is to eject the CD), and the AM/FM button doesn't work, so the radio is stuck permanently on AM." They gave me an appointment for 8:00 a.m. the following Saturday, which happens to be today.

I might mention here that I do not normally get up anywhere near as early on weekends as I do during the week. However, the Nissan dealership is across the river (where all of civilization is) whereas my job is on the uncivilized side of the river, so although both places require me to be there at 8:00 a.m., I actually had to get up even earlier today than I ever would on a normal workday in order to arrive at 8:00 a.m.

But I did get there exactly on time—two minutes early, even, because I'm responsible like that. I then proceeded to stand around shivering outside for the next 45 minutes before they spoke a single word for me, because apparently they're not smart enough to schedule appointments a time when they're actually going to be available; they scheduled at least seven people for 8:00 a.m. and there was only one cashier, who for some reason was stationed in a little tiny telephone-booth-shaped-thing outside, so all the people with appointments had to stand in line in the 36 mile per hour wind (I looked it up on just now) for 45 minutes before being allowed to go seek shelter in the warm indoor waiting room. As each new person got to the front of the line, the cashier, who seemed to double as a mechanic (or at least think that he did), would leave the booth and go fiddle around under the hood of each person's car for five or ten minutes while all the other customers stood around shivering, before handing the car on to a real actual mechanic and sending the customer to the warm waiting room at last.

When I got to the front of the line, of course, he got to fiddle around with the radio instead of under the hood. He turned on the CD player and played my Rufus Wainwright CD. He attempted to skip a track. "It doesn't work!!!!" he exclaimed. Yes, Mr. Brilliant, that's why I'm here. "The radio buttons don't work either," I answered. He attempted to switch to the radio. "I can't make it stop!!!! I can't make it shut off!!!!" he exclaimed, referring to the CD player. "Yes," I said, "the only way to turn the radio on is to eject the CD." So he ejected the CD. "The FM radio doesn't work!!!!" he exclaimed. Yes, Mr. Brilliant, that's why I'm here.

"Oh," he said, "You won't have to stay here very long. We'll need to replace the radio, and we don't normally carry any radios in stock so that means we'll just have to place an order and send you home again."

You can tell he paid attention during the training sessions about phrasing things positively. "You won't have to stay here very long?" No, of course not, if you're not going to fix anything. But I do have to come back next week and endure this all over again.

Let's think about this. I told you on the phone that my radio and CD player buttons didn't work. You gave me an appointment to have it fixed today. Upon my arrival (subsequent to the 45-minute wait in 36 mph winds), you made the brilliant discovery that—guess what!—my radio and CD player buttons don't work. You then informed me that you can't fix that: you have to order a radio first and give me a new appointment next week.

So exactly why did you not order the radio first, and give me an appointment to have my radio and CD player fixed at a point in time when you actually had the necessary replacement parts with which to fix what I made an appointment to have fixed?

Did you think I just made up a story about my radio and CD player not working, because I just so much like standing around enjoying your conversational talents and developing frostbitten ears?

Did you think I'd just never owned a radio or CD player before in my life, or was too stupid to figure out how to push the AM/FM button?

Seriously, now. I wasted two valuable hours of my weekend time at an extremely inconveniently early hour of the morning, in 36 mph winds, for an appointment that served absolutely no purpose except to confirm in your own mind that I was telling the truth about my radio and CD player buttons not working. I want to know why.
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