Monday, February 06, 2006

I don't put up with a lot of bullshit.

If someone is treating me unfairly, I speak up and demand justice..whether this person is a professor when I was in college, a rude hostess at a restaurant, a police officer, what have you. I have no problem speaking my mind and doing whatever possible to get what I want.

Except, of course, when it comes to mechanics working on my car.

Now, i know absolutely nothing about how my car works. I can just about manage to pour in windshield wiper fluid when neccesary and even then I feel very hardcore when doing so. My friend Jenn once tried to teach me how to check the oil, but I wasn't really paying attention becuaue quite frankly it is boring, and I can always pull into a gas station and ask for help.

And I feel like this problem of mine is exacerbated by the fact that I am a woman. So when I walk into a mechanics', I already have them figuring I don't know what I am talking about, and then lo and behold, I don't!

So for the past week or so my car was making kind of a tinny rattling sound when I started it. The sound would continue for about 2-3 minutes after ignition and then stop. So to me, if a noise stops it means the problem is gone, right? Not so much. Because late last week the noise began to ocur NON stop and was much louder. So I had to suck it up and call a mechanic and is there anything more cliche then having to describe a weird noise your car makes over the phone? I think not. So I am like "its kind of a weird tinny noise, like if you banged on something metal with a wire brush repeatedly?". The mechanic was nice enough to say he was pretty sure he knew what it was and it was not a big deal, based on my quasi-accurate description. So I endured a white-knuckled ride back to Quincy from work, sure that at any moment the noise my car was making would erupt into an engine fire.

Thank god I finally got a cell phone.

Anyway, I made it to the mechanic in one piece and dropped off my car. I had told work I would be in either late or not at all depending on the diagnosis. So Adam and I went off for dinner and shopping and I nearly forgot about my poor baby at the shop.

At 10AM the next day Mike the mechanic called me to say that what he had suspected happened, had indeed happened and I needed new brake pads. Nothing to worry about, just normal wear and tear (coupled with the fact that I am the hardest braker on earth and a car with a normal driver would not have needed this kind of service for another 5,000 miles but you try braking in 3 inch stilettos). So i tole him, go ahead with the new brake pads.

But of course it is never simple as that.

"Well, Sarah, you there is the right way to do this, and the other way to do this...the right way would be to replace your rotors too and blah blah blah something I don't understand blizzy blah."

"Well what's the other way?"

"Just to do your brake pads but I can't say I reccomend that option"

Now, I don't even know what a rotor is, but I did know it would double the cost of fixing my car to replace them. And he couldn't give me a straight answer on if there was even anything wrong with them.

"Oh and not to mention you need to replace your air filter and your whooziwhatsit and some new wiper blades wouldn't hurt either".

At this point, I knew that I was probably getting screwed, but the fact of the matter is I needed my car fixed. So I gave him the go ahead and immediately regretted it. The only term I recognized in his spiel was "wiper blade" and i knew that alone wasn't what was making my repair total teeter on the $500 mark. So, I called in the big guns.

My mother.

I explained to her that I had no idea what was happening with my car but I had the distinct impression I was being dicked over. My mom was basically like "Oh no they didnt!" and within 15 minutes we were off to the mechanics in her bright orange VW bug.

And you could almost see Mike's eyes light up when we got out of the car. You could tell he say my mom less as a big gun, and more as the wallet with which I was paying for this service. "Ladies" he greeted us.

"Hi. Let me see the bill" my mother demanded.

He handed it over, a little confused, and my mom went over it line by line, questioning everything, "Why does this cost this much?" "Why was this needed?" etc.

At the end of our little adventure in itemization..the bill totalled about $300 and my car was completey fixed, brakes and all.

And Mike was a still a little confused.

And my Mom was smug.

So, even though I live on my own and am perfectly capable of taking care of my self and my car..every now and then a girl just needs to lean on Mom for support.

Especially mechanical support.


Nicky said...

I had an adventure in $500 break pad & roter replacement a couple years ago. More recently, I needed a new battery, windshield wipers, and to replace all my belts. Which are now squeeling horribly. I have to take it back, but I'm procrastinating. I don't even want to deal with mechanics. Can I borrow your mom? LOL...

The Sarccastik Variable Why said...

mom came in "wreckin' shop" didn't, why you bullshiting...can i borrow your mom for my raise? post