Friday, December 18, 2009

How Not To Rotate Tires

The tires on my Pilot needed rotating. LK said call the dealership and find out how much it would cost to have it done. I said 'the dealerships always overcharge, I'll take it out to Costco tomorrow morning when I pick up some formula and I'll get it done then'.

If LK took the car in to get the tires rotated this is how I envisioned it would go:

LK: Hi, I'd like my tires rotated please, here are the keys
Flunkey: No problem Sir! That'll be (at most, surely) $50, sign here
LK: Thanks, how long will it take?
Flunkey: We'll have it done in about 20 minutes, have a seat in our complimentary man lounge and watch the game
LK: Don't mind if I do (scratches balls).

How hard could it be?

This is what really happened:

Me: Hi I'd like my tires rotated please, here are the keys
Has All The Power: Did you buy the tires here?
Me: Nope!
HATP: Sorry, no can do, but if you buy tires then we'll rotate the others for you.
Me: Oho, because I'm a chick you're going to make me buy stuff I don't need...
HATP: Maam?
Me:Well you see it's only two years old do you think I need new tires?
HATP: When did you last have them rotated?
Me: Deer in headlights
HATP: Balanced?
Me: Eyes widen in panic
HATP: Could you show me your car Maam?
Me: Fuck
HATP: Yep, you need new tires all right, these here (points to random tire parts) are what we call 'legally bald' which can be highly dangerous (stares pointedly at my two car seats).
Me: Crap. OK, can you let me know how much that would be, and I'll call my husband and see what he thinks.
LK: "Hi, you've reached LK and I'm not going to answer, so don't even try texting 'I need to by 2 tires? help?' You're on your own. Don't screw up."
HATP: That'll be a staggeringly large amount of money. But we'll rotate your other two tires for 'free'.
Me: OK, two new tires please. *sigh*
HATP: Do you have tire sensors?
Me: Is this a trap?
HATP: Because if you do, you'll need new 'graphite/laudanum/diamond' sensors on each tire or your tire sensor won't work.
Me: Whatever, just buy me a drink next time you financially rape me.
HATP: Erm, Maam, there seems to be a problem
Me: (defeated) for the love of God, what now, do I need new tire 'sleeves', 'grommet casings'??
HATP: Your Costco card's coming up for renewal
Me: Of course it is.
HATP: Hmm, it looks like it's a business card, so you can either renew for the entire office where LK works for $gasp, or sign up for your own membership.
Me: My life wasn't supposed to be like this you know.
HATP: Sorry? Anyway, your grand total is eleventy billion dollars. It'll be ready in about 90 minutes. Good luck with those screaming children you have - that little guy sounds mad!


FeatherDuster said...

I've had pretty much that exact conversation. Except for anything having to do with kids.

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Eden Kennedy Onassis said...

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Almost American said...

That sounds like my trips to get work done on the car! I got the comment 'your car won't pass inspection in 6 months from now if it has those tires on it.' Drove it back home (without new tires), DH looked at them and said it probably wouldn't pass BUT there was equally probably 6 months life left in the tires!

OTOH, when I bought my RAV4, I did all my research in advance, figured exactly what I was prepared to pay and then took the children with me to the dealership. When they started messing me around, saying they couldn't match my price, they'd have to talk to the manager and tried to leave me sitting waiting forever I told them if they couldn't match my numbers in under 5 minutes I was going to leave - the kids were already whining appropriately - and I got the price I wanted :-)



chole said...

one of the best things about living overseas is not having a car! i don't miss these conversations *at all*.

i was fortunate enough to grow up spending time in the garage with my dad who did all the work on the family cars. that meant that if nothing else, i was pretty good at explaining weird car issues to him in a "language" (think "car talk") we both understood.

as an adult living on the opposite coast, i took the car in for what was supposed to be a simple repair and wound up with some long, insane, incomprehensible list of crapola. huh.

after a good chat with my dad that evening, i discovered how crappy that list of crapola was. i dressed in my most businessy-bitchy-going-to-kick-ass-and-not-take-names clothes (think "armor") and went back to tell them what's what.

they weren't impressed by my sudden mechanical brilliance OR my clothes but when i continued to insist they make amends for unnecessary and crappy work, they started to hem and haw. for every useless response, i took a step back from the counter so i had to speak louder for them to hear me. when i was standing well into the customer waiting area and practically shouting that they needed to unscrew what they had screwed AND refund most of my money... they started to pay attention.

i eventually won that battle. a good 15 years later, i'm still amazed i pulled that off - no maniacal shrieking (which is what i really wanted to do) - just a loud, you-screwed-me-and-we-both-know-it voice and a steely determination that i was not leaving until i got what i wanted.

who was that woman???