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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Instant Gratification

“Hello…helloooooooo…” a lady called out from the front of the shop as she held a small white dog on leash.

I was in the middle of fastening a gasket onto a water pump with quick drying cement. I acknowledged her with a wave, smile, and nod.

“I’ll be right with you, Ma’am,” I called out. I was wasting my breath, because with a big sigh, she yanks her dog along toward me. We live in an instant gratification society.

“I just want to ask you a couple questions about my car. It won’t take but a minute.”

“Go on back out to the front, Ma’am, and I’ll be with you as soon as I finish setting up this gasket.”

“Can’t I just talk to you from here?” She asked, as exasperation flooded into her voice.

Sure, I’m thinking; because I’m trapped, and can’t walk your butt out to the front until I get through with my gasket task. I made sure she was standing in a safe spot, and ignored her. She talked on, but I have a gift for being able to tune out anything. If I screwed up the setup on my water pump job, I’d be spending a few hours for free redoing it later. The setup only took another forty-five seconds, a life time for the instant gratification crowd. As I finished, I heard ECC light, and 85 Nissan, so she was just now hitting the high points. I gestured for her to walk her very well mannered dog out to the front. When we were past the ‘No Customers Past This Line’ line, I turned to face her.

“So, what do you think is wrong?” She asks, sure I would know exactly what was wrong with her car.

“You have an 85’ Nissan with an ECC light, which is short for Electronic Controlled Carburetor. Anything in the computer system, feeding information to the on-board computer can cause the ECC light to come on. Even a bad diode in the alternator can trigger it. I’d have to make you an appointment to…”

“Can’t you just tell me what’s wrong, and…” she interrupts.

“No,” I cut her off. “You’ll need to make an appointment to leave your car off for…”

“It runs fine. It’s just the damn light,” she interrupts again.

I give up on information, and quote her the diagnostic time to find out the problem. The Pentagon thinks they control Shock and Awe.

“The car’s not worth that!” Ms. Impatient informs me.

“If you think that’s a lot, you should think about another vehicle, because most of the repairs on that system are costly.”

“If I go ahead with the work, will you wave the diagnostic fee?” Ms. Impatient asks with a straight face.

Not a penny.

“No, the diagnostic fee will be in addition to the repairs,” I reply, as her dog looks up at me with what seems to be compassion. “Let me get you one of my business cards so…”

“Never mind,” she sighs once again, turning toward the door. “I just asked a simple question.”

I look up at the clock. Well, fifteen minutes of wasted shop time, but more ammo for my blog. :)


December/Stacia said...

Hey, you're back! Yay!

I love that "But I just want to ask you a question" thing.

BernardL said...

Thanks, D. Unfortunately I have to wait for my blog subjects to walk in. Non-fiction is rather hit and miss, even in auto repair sometimes. :)

raine said...

Rude woman!!

Why do I feel sorry for the dog?

BernardL said...

The majority of people are real nice, Raine, and the others show up here. The dog looked cared for. :)