Cooling My Heels in the Auto Service Department

BlueJaguarI’m writing this post while waiting for my car to be inspected, the oil changed, the tires rotated, and having it realigned (damn potholes!).   While waiting, I’m doing a bit of people watching.

***

A gentleman who looks to be in his mid-30s to early 40s just walked in, using a cane.  Why is it that a man using a cane looks debonair, while a woman the same age would simply look decrepit leaning on a cane?

***

I  can immediately spot those customers who have been here since the service department opened this morning.  They’re the ones with multiple empty coffee cups and struggling to appear that they are not, in fact, falling asleep.  How embarrassing would that be?  Just imagine it:

SERVICE ADVISOR:  CookieCakes, your car is done.

[no response from CookieCakes]

SERVICE ADVISOR:  CookieCakes, your car is done.

[no response from Cookie Cakes]

SERVICE ADVISORCookieCakes?

[slight snoring sound]

SERVICE ADVISORCookieCakes, wake up!

***

As I write this, I am working on my second cup of service department coffee, for lack of something better to do.  Not a great idea, considering my ulcerative colitis, but at least it will give me an excuse to get up and walk around without feeling foolish.  I mean, how many times can you go and drool over the new Jaguars in the dealership next door when it’s obvious from your appearance that you can’t afford one without winning the lottery?  [But I bet their coffee is better!]

***

FordBack at my dealership, the service department waiting room has two TV’s, one at each end of the room.  I wouldn’t mind that, except  that each TV is running a different channel, which makes it difficult for me to concentrate on the trashy novel I brought along.  It’s hard enough to read with one TV blaring, but two different ones?

Sure, I could have simply dropped my car off and had the shuttle take me home and then bring me back later, but I’ve used that shuttle service before.  The driver is a really talkative older gentleman who seems to enjoy having an old lady trapped in the front seat of the van.  Thanks, but if I want both my ears talked off, I can simply stay home with the hubby!

***

I’ve been here over an hour now, and no one new seems to be coming in, nor are any of the original customers leaving. Perhaps it’s time to start exchanging names and phone numbers, or perhaps organize a game of poker.  Did anyone even think to bring along a deck of cards?

***

From where I’m sitting, I have a wonderful view of the new tire display.  Be still, my racing heart!

The little fish tank is amusing, though.  It has a model car at the bottom, with the car’s hood open.  I imagine a psych major could spend hours trying to interpret the meaning behind the display.  Why would a new car dealership have a fish tank showing a car under water?

***

Getting bored.  I could walk across the street to the new Ford car lot, but that would only be torturing myself since my current lease isn’t up for another year.  With my last car, I came in for the annual inspection and then found myself driving home in a new vehicle – can’t afford that right now, gotta stay away from that new car lot today!

Usually the coffee stand in the service department has cookies or popcorn, but not today. Not that I’m hungry, but watching the popcorn maker work is something to do, at least.

***

Oh, no.  A young woman just walked in with two very young toddlers in tow, one of which is shrieking and the other has a wet-sounding cough.  Not only am I now fully awake again, but due to my immuno-suppressed status, I need to worry about exposure to some kind of virus.

Whew!  Guess they had a ride waiting, ‘cause they just left, and it’s peaceful again in the waiting room.  (Cordelia’s Mom really is turning into a cranky old lady.)

***

TimeFlies

Yes!  The car is ready!  Only took two hours – although it seemed more like two days.

Who says getting your car serviced is boring?

__________

I love to hear from my readers.  You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook page, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com

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Images by: onkel_wart/Thomas Lieser, and Stefan/dailyinvention, and ruby blossom, respectively.

This entry was posted in Road Trips & Cars, That's Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Cooling My Heels in the Auto Service Department

  1. Oh, my gosh! I wandered over here from a post you did over at Harsh Reality, and am really loving your posts! 🙂 Thanks for the smile this morning. Very well timed!

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Cordelia's Mom, Still and commented:

    My how time flies! I first wrote this post in April, 2014, and then purchased a new vehicle in July, 2014. Probably could have saved my money (and time) on the oil change and inspection had I thought ahead just a little bit!

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  3. We used to take in a deck of cards when our cars were in for servicing as they were both Peugeots bought in January in consecuative years. The guys were really good and actually saved us a fair bit of money with special deals that we otherwise wouldn’t have been aware of. Plus we got free biscuits and coffee, so they always made sure they had plenty in. We did have one of their courtesy cars once, and it was dreadful. One of the newer models and no umpf, poor all round visibility and a sod to park. It put us off buying a new one. Then we left Lincolnshire and the dealership here wasn’t a patch on what we were used to. Not just no biscuits, but no coffee!
    We now drive a Hyundai I10 with the first 3 years servicing thrown in. When they do that, we also get a free valet!

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    • With my newer vehicle, I only have to get the oil changed twice a year, so it’s not too much of a hardship.

      My last vehicle (a Ford Focus) was in for service a lot (it was a lemon), and they always tried to give me an F-150 pickup truck for a loaner. Really? I couldn’t even climb up into that thing, much less try to park it. So the first time, they gave me a Nissan Versa, which was kind of cute – and the next time, probably because I was getting really pissed (it was a new car, believe it or not), they gave me a brand new Lincoln MKZ for the two days. That was pretty cool to drive around in.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You must do some mileage then. We do about 8000 miles a year so only require an annual service. We had two identical suzuki altos from new. Picked them up on the same day, yet Hubby’s failed twice within 6 months so it came as no surprise to put both in P/X for my Peugeot 206 in 2005.

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        • Actually, I drive very little – just to and from work mostly – a total of less than 7500 miles a year. Oil changes are recommended for my model of vehicle for every 6,000 miles or every 6 months, whichever comes first, so I usually just take it in every 6 months.

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  4. Paul says:

    Ahh, the smell of a new car. i had a few service garages I used close to my work, but I preferred to have work done at the big stores with garages so i could wander around and look at stuff while I waited. They supply you with a beeper when you come in and when they are done, they beep you in the store. i love the smell of new tires as well.

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    • I’ve learned NOT to walk around the new car lot while waiting for my current car to be serviced. I can’t tell you how many times I took a car in for an oil change and came home with something completely different.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Paul says:

        You say that as if it is a bad thing but your new cars have served you well – I’ve not heard you speak of a lemon or a service issue.

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        • Ah, some day I’ll do a post on my 2012 Ford Focus with the bad transmission. It was leased, and I couldn’t stand to keep it the entire 3 years because it would try to stall out at every intersection, and they couldn’t seem to get it fixed, even though it was a well-known problem in those vehicles. Can’t tell you how many times I nearly got rear-ended because of it. Finally, I gave up and traded it in a year early. It’s worth the extra amount in the monthly payment just to have a vehicle that will take off from a stop sign and keep going.

          Liked by 2 people

  5. So funny. I love the car in the bottom of the fish tank…what are they trying to tell you with that one. ??? Except for official state inspections, we never have a car in for service…the hubby is a really good mechanic, has rebuilt engines, replaced so many parts. We are blessed with that ability. I thank his father.

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  6. candygai says:

    There is hardly anything more boring and less esthetically pleasing than the car service waiting room of a dealership. Their only virtue is that they are generally clean, as are their restrooms, at least compared to the corner repair shop. The question is, where to go, the corner shop, whose services are often wonderful, costs are lower, but often use substandard parts? Or the notoriously overpriced dealerships that seem to be money-making gold mines with too many employees who are surely ovetpaid? And what just does my service advisor do besides sell me things. He or she is surely out to get my credit card and make it hurt, right. And me cry? Can’t I get an oil change at an oil change place?

    At one time your service advisor probably was a former mechanic, who had ambition and people skills. This person understood vehicles and the different types of road conditions his customers face, CM’s being different from someone who drives long distances or all day. Your service advisor respected budget, and the savvy consumer found one and stuck with him or her. Honesty was a virtue. Customer convenience and open communication developed trust and repeat business.

    What does your service advisor do? She or he looks out for you. You may wait longer than other customers because a mechanic, now called a service technician, has been picked by your service advisor that will better address your car’s problems. Your service advisor, if she or he is good, knows the abilities of the staff. To get the choice tech, she or he may have to work around a dispatcher or negotiate with management in another department.

    In this day and age we seem to expect so little of employees and pay them so poorly. Because of this, and perhaps the call of social media, your service advisor may find that despite what the parts department thinks, the item they pulled is not the item he or she ordered for your service. Your service advisor really manages everything about your car repair from start to finish. This blurb might be the fault of the parts department, or the fault of the certified source.

    Parts bought at corner shops and oil changes shops are often not manufacturer- approved. Often these locations will say their merchandise is just as good but, in the long run, what they use will affect the resale value of your vehicle. Your costs to maintain you car or truck and the time it spends at the repair shop during your ownership will sky rocket.

    Should you decide to purchase a car, your service advisor will lose money. Despite that reality, he or she will find a salesperson that best matches your needs and is honest. Ask your advisor whether the sales associate they truly prefer for you is in at a different time. It doesn’t need to be repeated that car sale representatives are sharks. And ask your trusted service advisor what extras you really need to buy. Probably the answer is none.

    If you find or have a person you trust, please know you have a rare jewel. This person is pushed to be dishonest and sell. It is likely that she or he has to mange devious service technicians who will stop work on your vehicle to finish another vehicle that will be more financially rewarding to him or her. Mechanics will lie to suggest big ticket items you dont need, so cross your fingers that your service advisor knows his or her stuff. If your advisor has been in the business long, he or she will had had his base and commission cut so much that to be honest threatens livelihood.

    Your service advisor can tell you a lot about human nature. Like the International CFO who is barred from his office due to road conditions, like Voldy, who arrives before opening on a snow day because his home has no power and he might as well get something accomplished. Or the less than wise individuals with an infant or elderly family member in the backseat who arrive five minutes after the opening time. Both parties expecting the usual ammenities: the delivered donuts, hot coffee and cocoa. Customers who come in two minutes before closing or ask advisors to stay an hour after closing are legendary.

    I’m not a service technician. I know someone who’s been one since he left being a mechanic. A former stock car driver, he has to manage the most amazing situations.

    So if you ever come my way, I’ll hook you up with the best. He is the most moral man I have ever met. He is expected to work 13 hour days, open to close. He is expected to be there to listen to customers if they call or drop-off their cars as well as to hand his customers their keys and explain their service on pickup. Other advisors, those who haven’t built a clientele, will take his customers if he takes lunch.

    One time while I was waiting, I had two bananas with me and helped a woman going into diabetic shock. I suggest bringing lots lots to do, a cell phone battery charger and a snack.

    His car, built in Australia, goes truly beaucoup fast mph. Gotta love living in the NASCAR state. I think it is illegal on others. I refuse to joyride.

    Candy 💚

    Like

    • I lease my vehicles so it just makes sense to take them to the dealership for service. Even before I started leasing, we compared prices for repairs and oil changes, and it turned out our dealership was no more expensive than anyone else. The dealership has mechanics trained specifically for my brand of vehicles. I love my dealership. I just don’t like sitting around in the waiting area.

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  7. We should come up with a list of “things to do that are more fun than having your car serviced.” I’m almost thinking “having a root canal” might be on that list.

    Liked by 2 people

    • candygai says:

      K.E Wilkinson, at least someone pays attention to you and keeps you busy when you have a root canal. The assistant and often the dentist/oral surgeon seems to care about the patient’s level of comfort given the circumstance. Often there are headphones. And insurance might help may. Yep, I vote root canal.

      Liked by 3 people

    • LOL. That would make an awesome post. Feel free to go for it! Just be sure to include getting a PAP smear on that list.

      Liked by 2 people

      • candygai says:

        PAP smears, hehe. Well when men give birth and get PAP smears, I might consider it. Until then, I will leave it to seasoned and talented bloggers such as yourself, CM, and K.E. Wilkinson. I will just study student development theory, cats and pandas. Thank you for the vote of confidence. Root canals don’t bother me. I don’t know why; maybe because I had my first l oral urgery at age five, or because I’ve been very lucky to have had good practitioners. Now a simple blood draw or vaccination, I act like that five-year-old.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Karen J says:

        OhNoes! Not the PAP smear – the “little pinch” they always warn about is anything but “little”!

        Liked by 1 person

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