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Thursday, June 19, 2008


A woman dropped off her 2001 Mazda for an oil change. I began writing information down from the vehicle: mileage, license number, engine size, model, and vehicle identification number. She’s a new customer, and watched this take place with arms folded over her chest, along with unease lining her face. I turned to the woman, who I will refer to as Mye Address with a smile.

“Address please?”

“I’m not giving out my address or phone number,” Mye informed me, bracing for an argument. “I’m paying cash.”

This has happened a handful of times over the years, thanks to the infamous identity theft proliferation, and spammers. The state of California frowns on incomplete invoices, and they do send a guy around to look over invoices periodically. I figure her attitude is a direct result of hearing this from other shops trying to stay on the good side of bureaucratic state agencies. Since I planned on getting her signature on the invoice, I didn’t care.

“Can you make one up for me?”

Mye chuckled, surprised at the question. “Any address?”

“I’d prefer you make up one inside the state,” I add.

I get another laugh from Ms. Address before she gives me something to fill in the blanks on her invoice.

“Did you want to wait for the car?” I ask, after getting her signature on the estimate.

“No, my friend is outside waiting to take me to work. Can I pick it up at the end of the day?”

“Sure, will you call me in a couple hours just to make sure everything went okay?” I ask, handing her my business card and a copy of the estimate.

“I’ll do that,” Mye agreed, and walked out to the friend’s car.

No, I didn’t peek in the glove compartment for her vehicle registration or Google her name. :)


Bernita said...

Sounds like there may be a history behind her reluctance. She may have been stalked by an ex or something.

BernardL said...

Yes, or had her identity stolen, Bernita. We have identity mills in California to supply our burgeoning illegal alien invasion. It must be a hassle for her the way things are set up nowadays. She had the perseverance; but it will wear her out eventually, unless she had a really terrible past experience as in your stalker scenario.

Virginia Lady said...

Ah, isn't the information age wonderful? Opens up entirely new possibilities for thieves.

BernardL said...

In a mind boggling number of ways too, VL.