Pet Peeves 2

Pet peeves, how many are there? Well, enough of them that
one article wouldn’t hold them all.  I have received so many emails,
texts, and phone calls about it that I thought; Why not put
everyone’s pet peeve into a another article and give credit where
credit is due.  You know, to the guys and gals that not only read
these stories, but live and work through these pet peeves as
well. So here we go, in no particular order  are your best picks for
“Pet Peeves 2”

Butch, Pittsburgh, Pa.  – Doing a tire rotation and the owner
has no idea where they’ve tossed the wheel lock socket.  "It’s
somewhere in the car," they tell me.  All their GPS locator gizmos
can't help them this time.

Jack K. - My biggest pet peeve is when the vehicle owner has
to have it finished today or else, so we work extra hard to get
it done putting other cars off and when we call them to pick it
up they say, Oh I will get it tomorrow.

Mark S. Wichita, Ks – People in unrelated professions that
want to tell me how to do my job. Aircraft pilots for example,
find enough time to talk about their car “woes” while they are
in flight. These guys all get together and trouble-shoot their
cars while maintaining a constant glide path.  They arrive at a
diagnosis, a systematic solution including which tools to use and
of course, all of this without any tests or actual knowledge of the inner workings of the systems, just what they think they can surmise as to how the system must have evolved into today’s sophisticated electronic nightmare.

Then they tell me what’s wrong, how to fix it, and just how much I should charge for it. For some reason, they go into a tail spin when I tell them that I have no way of verifying what they have come up with is correct or not.  “We know what’s wrong, can’t you go off that?” they’ll tell me.  I use my best flight arrival voice and say, “Since you seem to know where the landing gear is, why don't you just park this bird on your own?"  or in other words, "Then fix it yourself!” I probably shouldn’t have said that, but after trying at length to explain the process to them, I figure they are going to be nothing but trouble, which is usually how things turn out with most of them. I wonder how they’d take it if a few of us got on a plane and then started making suggestions on how to fly it?

John Z. Tulsa, Ok. – People who call competitors to get a quote on a repair while they’re still in my lobby. There’s always going to be somebody cheaper, always. There’s no balancing act between fair pricing and quality work, it is what it is.  What tips the scales is people’s conception as to what it should cost and shops that don’t do their homework as to what it’s going to take to do that particular job. Someday I’d like to beat them at this game. You know, diagnose a job, then, get a quote from everybody you can think of. That way when the customer tells me, “I can get that done cheaper over there.”  I can say, “Nope, done checked it out.” Not that I want to be the cheapest mind you, I just want to see them try to squirm.  Sometimes I think they are expecting a lower price, but lets compare apples to apples people. 

Sheri, Castle Rock, CO.  Customers who come in without an appointment for things like a discounted oil change we are offering (by appointment only) or some other speciality service we are offering for a short time.  We want to accomadate everyone, so we rush around making room, moving heaven and earth to get them in.  Then you notice that they're complaining about how long it's taking.  One lady started ranting at us over how long it was taking, and I swear it was only 90 seconds since she walked in the door. Argh!

Z. Drummer - A car brought in for diagnostics, repair and or a drive cycle verification for a state inspection....with the gas gauge on "E".

Bob B. Akron, Ohio – The gas tank is always full when the fuel pump goes bad.  Oh, it wasn’t full when they noticed it wouldn’t start, oh no… they thought it was just out of gas of course.  But, adding a gallon or so just won’t do.  Oh no, let’s squeeze every ounce of fuel into the tank that we can by bringing the level up until it runs out the filler neck.

Gary, Idaho – They tell you the hood doesn’t open easily, and there’s a trick to it.  You tell them, “Oh, you mean go outside and tap on the hood once or twice and it will pop open enough to reach the safety latch?” It ain’t a trick; a lot of them do it, but for some of these aficionados of the car world they are completely shocked that you know the secret-never been told to anyone method of opening the hood.  And now you've revealed the secret hood opening trick without the need of a demonstration from the person who thought they invented the entire techinque. 

James, Rapid City, Iowa. – Customers that neglect to tell you that the window won’t roll back up or the hood release cable has been rerouted through the front grill with a couple of nuts tied to what’s left of the cable.  But, let me neglect to mention a charge for something on the bill...... oh yea....

Brian B. Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. It’s a giving rule, when a bolt or tool falls and makes it to the floor; it HAS to go to the exact center of the car where you can’t reach it without sliding under it.  But, if it didn’t make it all the way through the maze of parts and hoses, it’s hidden in a crevice where even the beam from a flashlight can’t reach it.

Al, Almond, Ny. - A typical scenario, customer says, "You know, this is a real easy repair to make.  I'd do it myself, but ______________ .  (Fill in the blank with anything that sounds idiotic, stupid, lazy, or just plain pathetic.)

Jim, Lenoir, NC. -  People who won't go back to the last shop that did them wrong, but will complain to you about how much this repair is costing compared to what it costs them at the last shop. Yea, but let me do something wrong and their back at my door the next morning wanting a refund.  go figure....

Oh the stories we all could tell.  What’s really amazing is it doesn’t matter what part of the country you’re in, it’s the same thing everywhere you go.  At the time when all this is occurring, it may not seem all that funny to you or the customer, but when you take a moment, step back, and then take that second look, you know, it actually is pretty hilarious after all. 

I enjoy the emails, keep them coming.  We keep this up, I’m sure they’ll be a “Pet Peeves 3” in the making.  Happy wrenchin’!

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