Thursday, November 18, 2010

Carlos the garage man

Last night, around 12:30 a.m. I went to the garage to pick up my car after work and drive home.  There was a huge, enormous scrape all along the passenger side rear bumper.  I have had problems with the garage dending, dinging, and scraping the car before.  I point it out to them, first a little irritated, and then progressively more irritated each time the car comes back with new damage.  I always point it out to the same guy, who always says to me, "It was like that when you brought it in.  We didn't do that."  Now, I drive the car home, and park it in the driveway.  The next day, I turn around and drive it back to work and park it at the garage.  Unless someone is sneaky rubbing white-painted cement poles on the side of my car while we're sleeping, I'm pretty sure I know where the damage is coming from.

Last night, I totally lost my temper on the "we didn't do it" man.  I was sarcastic, and yelled at him about "playing bumper cars" at the garage.  I can try to blame it on New York, but as you know, I haven't gotten much sleep, work is stressful, and this was pretty much the last straw.  It was really just me, losing my temper.  Finally, "we didn't do it man" says to me, "It's not my problem.  Talk to Carlos."  Carlos?  Apparently, Carlos is the manager.  I yelled something about how Carlos is there during the day and I have a job, thankyouverymuch so I can't just be trotting over here to chat with Carlos.  Then I drove away.  And squealed my tires.  I know, not my finest hour.

One of the reasons it bothers me so much, other than a deeply-rooted respect for all things automotive (thank you, Dad) is that we drive a '99 Jetta.  Not a BMW.  Not a Mercedes.  Not a Lotus.  (For real, there is a Lotus that parks at my garage.  It's yellow.)  I do get the sense that these "better" cars are treated with just a teensey bit more respect than our little Jetta.  No one likes to feel irrelevant, especially because they drive a '99 Jetta and not a 2011 BMW.

So this morning, we spoke to Carlos.  Actually Kathy spoke to Carlos, I was not to be trusted to keep my temper, so I stood there and nodded.  Carlos said what I wish Alvin (aka "we didn't do it" man) would have said last night.  "Oh, that's really bad.  Jeeze.  Fill out this form, we'll get it fixed for you."  Now, I realize that Alvin probably doesn't have the authority to say that.  But still, a little, "oh wow sorry" goes a long way.  So.  We were pleasant with Carlos, and now the car is going to get fixed.  Hooray!

(This is our garage form.  You think a '99 Jetta is bad, check out that ride.)

All this goes to show something I already knew.  You catch more flies with honey than with "What the f*ck is wrong with you?" 

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