Thursday, August 18, 2011

A blonde walks into a car dealer service dept.........

A great beginning to so many jokes....
This one, however, has a twist to the punch line. Bear with me. A couple (few) months ago the check engine light came on in the Sequoia. R took it to the local "Car doctor" they ran diagnostics, nothing wrong. Turned lights off on dash (there were two others on too) "that'll be 90 bucks sir."
The next day on the way to Orlando, lights come on again...wow, it has been a while. That was before our seasonal passes blocked out for Disney. So I figured "hey, just checked yesterday...it's fine." R says he'll make an appt @ dealership. He doesn't. Recall notice comes in the mail. Sounds like it may have something to do with the other two lights that came on, so he finally makes an appt. After all, it's a recall, so fixing it will be free. RIGHT?
Fast forward to today. Noon. I drive up to service dept. Three kids, books bags, Wendy's lunch. (Don't judge me. Kid with CF. high fat, high salt is health food)
Young guy (see kid, child, embryo...he called me maam, and I don't think it was southern politeness) meets me at the service dept driveway. We go through the whole schpeel. I ask how long it will be, he gives me an "estimate". On time, not cash. As I get out and hand him the keys; as I'm opening the door to the backseat, I throw out there "BTW, I have 3 children that will be waiting with me and if I think this is taking too long, I WILL let them run through the showroom cars, honking all the horns." That was my first "...Uh, yes ma'am" (he almost saluted)
I pile my ducklings out of the car. For those of you that have piled 3 kids out of a car with schoolwork and lunch in hand, you know this takes quite a while. At this point, there is a LINE of service techs opening doors, offering to carry bags, etc.
So, my brood and I take completely over the service area waiting room. As we walk in, the other customers scatter. It was almost as if we had signs across our foreheads that proclaimed EBOLA patients! Yeah, yeah, I know, school is back in session and blah blah...its okay. I get it. If they weren't mine, I would've headed for the hills too. Just as well. I announced that the TV had to be turned off just as the last of them were leaving the room.
We ate our lunch. I started school. Employees kept walking through. A lot of coffee was retrieved from the pot...I suspect for all the other customers waiting out in the newly constructed "no children waiting area".
Those who braved the scene seemed impressed by both the kids and the schooling. Not pride this time. I myself was pleasantly SHOCKED at how well they were behaving.
So, it's time for the service guy to come "deliver the news".
This is where it gets unconventional.
Mrs. Dunlap? / Yes? / Well, the good news is your car is not affected, at all by the recall. This is the "good news"? In my head I hear, "So this won't be on the house"
Me: Okay, so what is it?
Him: The check engine light is on because of an O2 sensor problem.
Me: And this means?
Him: Well, the O2 sensor lets the catalytic converter know...blah, blah, blah....(why am I bothering to to go through this explanation with you, a WOMAN, who clearly knows NOTHING about which I speak) blah, blah, blah....
Me: Oh, so it's strictly an emissions problem
Him: (Silence, hear crickets)
Me: This has nothing to do with the safety and mechanics of my vehicle, does it?
Him:..Uh, yes maam, but the catalytic converter blah, blah, (oh shit) blah blah...nods toward my "precious cargo" blah blah safety blah blah...
Me: But, you can actually take a cc off of a car completely and not affect the safety of the vehicle. CANT YOU???
Him: head hung...yes maam.
Me (again): So, this IS only an emissions problem. RIGHT?
Him: yes maam.
Me: And when I lived in GA, I had to have an emissions test to get my tags. (Pregnant pause) I don't have to have one of those in the State of FL, do I?
Him: (head hung low, face red by now) mumbles no maam.
And there is was...Victory.
I'm old. I've mellowed. I needed no more.
Me; Okay, we're here, do it.
In the interest of full disclosure, my father is a mechanic. A jet engine mechanic by his first profession (USAF), an LC hovercraft mechanic by second career (NAVY) and a "drone" QC mechanic guy for a civilian contractor for the third. (None of our cars EVER went to "the car doctor" when I was growing up...come to think of it, no repairman ever darkened our doorstep. The man did everything!) Every mechanical term logged into this old cranium came from him. Ten thousand other things could have been wrong with this car and I would have been clueless. But it wasn't. So, for today, at least...THE BLONDES WIN!!!
(and I know what you are thinking....my hairdresser will NEVER talk!)

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