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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Auto Shop Snark

Sitting at the desk, filling out invoices, I noticed a woman walk in from the sidewalk, and my motion detector went off. The woman stood still, about twenty feet inside the shop, looking around from wall to wall. She turned when I left the office and shut the door behind me. Dark brown hair hung loosely around the lady’s face, and she wore a navy blue pants-suit with slate gray knee length coat. Her age could have been somewhere between the late twenties to early thirties.

“Hi, can I help you?”

“I moved in around the corner on Dale Place, and I’m looking for a good mechanic,” she explained. “Your shop’s kind of dirty.”


“Yea, it’s an old building, and I have trouble keeping it spotless, or even near spotless. My comic shop you walked past when you came in was completed only a few years ago, and it’s spotless inside.”

“But you don’t fix cars in there,” Ms. Shop Snark points out.

Ouch. 0 for 2.

“Your lighting in here isn’t very good either."

Ouch. 0 for 3.

"It’s almost like a cave when you first walk in,” Shop Snark adds. “I read on the internet when looking for a mechanic, the customer needs to check the general appearance on the inside of a shop, as well as the outside.”

“I’ve read that too,” I reply, since I’m having trouble disputing anything she’s said so far. “I have a lot of customers on Dale Place. If you ask around, you’ll find I make up for my shortcomings in shop appearance with…”

“I did ask around,” Shop Snark cuts me off with one of those smiles best left out of the family photo album. “You do have a good reputation in the neighborhood, and you’ve been here a long time. I notice though you don’t even have car lifts in here.”

Ouch. 1 for 5.

“Yea, I do everything with jacks and stands. Because the building beams are so low, lifts were not feasible when the prior owner outfitted the shop. I don’t do tires here, so I can manage pretty well with what I have for everything else. My electrical and computer diagnostic equipment is all up to date, as is my informational database repair software and tooling. I do everything here except for transmission rebuilding and alignments.”

“And tires,” Shop Snark finishes for me. “Could I have one of your cards? I’ll keep you in mind.”

I give the Shop Snark a card, and she leaves. Wow, I’ve had better times with the Bureau of Automotive Repair inspector. :)


Bernita said...

Was always told one needed to be on good terms with one's banker, one's lawyer and one's mechanic.
Especially one's mechanic.

BernardL said...

She was right, Bernita, and I don't carry a grudge. Maybe she'll bring her car into the 'Bat Cave' in the future. :)