I answered the phone again with one of those customers I like to call browbeaters on the other end. If they insult you enough, they figure you’ll take on the job you’ve already declined. This technique must work occasionally for someone, because it’s sure been tried out on me enough. The one this afternoon was really laughable. The phone rang, and it was Browbeater.
“How much for a fuel pump job on a 1968 Porsche?”
“I’m sorry, I don’t work on any European vehicles, Sir.” Thank God! For all those who don’t know, the holy European car Gods don’t share well with others when it comes to proprietary information. Also, they ask me to fix the odd Volvo, BMW, etc. only after they’ve been quoted thousands at the dealer, but they want me to just patch it up. Add the fact I only get asked about once every other Full Moon, and no thanks, I’ll pass.
“What!?” Browbeater exclaims with incredulity.
He probably believes I wait breathlessly each day of my life to catch a glimpse of what I’m sure is his classic. To turn down the opportunity of actually touching the blessed chariot of the Gods makes Browbeater apoplectic.
“Is this actually a repair shop for cars?”
I’m smiling; because it’s a familiar song, and I’ve got rhythm. “It has been for the thirty-two years I’ve been here; and I have it on good authority the Nilson Brothers fixed cars and trucks here from 1949 to 1976 when I was hired.”
“Then you don’t work on cars anymore?”
“Not European ones,” I’m not in a rush, so I’ll play.
“I have the fuel pump.” Oh Goody! “I want you to just slap it on for me.”
“No.” A minute ago I was incompetent. Now… I’m so good, with a quick slap, his Porsche will be wearing a new fuel pump.
“I’ll drive over. When you get a look at it, you’ll…”
“Why the hell not?!”
“It’s a European car, and I don’t…”
“Damn it… it’s a classic,” Browbeater persists.
“Look, I’m sure there are European repair shops around here. Why not go through the yellow pages? You can…”
“They want over a hundred dollars just to check it! I don’t want it checked! I want the fuel pump put on!”
“It is the policy of most professional places to only quote a job on a vehicle like yours after checking it out, and they can’t do it for free,” I explain.
I won’t bother typing out symbols for two sentences to relay how happy Browbeater was with me, so let’s just say BB bid me adieu, and hung up.
My friends, it has been my experience, if you are not a vehicle repair shop owner, buying a ‘Classic’ without the intent of doing all repairs needed yourself, is a very bad idea. It may seem like a dream come true; but it’s really a heartbreaker. :)