I feel like I just dodged a bullet.
My history of car ownership has been a long line of used cars. This last go-round I decided I was done with the drama of dealing with the endless parade of things breaking on a used car and got myself bright, shinny new car.
For the past five years I’ve enjoyed trouble free, worry free driving. All of that came to an end on Saturday.
So, while my car was in the shop, yesterday, I was chewing my nails wondering how badly I was going to get screwed, how much was wrong with the car, etc.
With me, putting the car in the shop is like going to the doctors. They never find just one thing wrong. It’s this and that and that over there and this thing here and then they give you the cost of fixing it which is usually so high it gives you a nose bleed.
Doctor, ‘So, can I put you down for that brain tumor removal and heart bypass?’
Me, ‘Ummm… and you’re saying there may be a risk that if I don’t do this I could get sick?’
Doctor, ‘Sir, it’s not that you may be a risk. You could die in the next ten minutes or 10 weeks.’
Me, ‘Hmmmm… sooo it’s a pretty small risk and I’ll be fine if I get more sleep. Got it.’
Doctor, ‘You’re leaving? But, surely you can’t put a price on your own life!’
Me, ‘I wouldn’t have thought so either, but here we are.’
The garage would call me to tell me what they did and were about to do. Each time it would be that they hadn’t found anything wrong, and it would cost this much to take the next step. Each call was costing me more and more. It was a lot like getting called by a phone sex hotline. I was getting screwed, but it wasn’t nearly as fun.
Finally they thought they knew what it was and would call me as soon as they had determined the fix. They didn’t call. Two hours later and they continued to not call. After four hours of nothing it was time to leave the office and drive by the garage to see what was going on.
When I got there I saw my keys on the front desk and spotted my car in the back. Doors closed, hood down, and tellingly, not in a work-bay. The guy, Mike, who was working on it was out but expected back “soon”. He’d call me and tell me what the status was. I was hoping to have more than that by the time I left the garage, and it would be almost two hours before I got the ‘Mike’ call.
Being a guy I automatically know about cars, so when a garage knows they’re dealing with a guy they can’t give you some bogus excuse about what’s wrong with the car. Not like what they do with women. From what he explained to me, and I’ll try to keep the confusing technical details to a minimum, it appears that one of the gnomes that turns a crank and makes the roundy-turny thing work had died and they had to replace it. And it was my lucky day because they, just so happened to have a spare gnome.
There’s a lot more but it’d only bore you, being that it’s, you know, guy stuff. The upshot is that it didn’t cost nearly as much as I had feared, but it was an unexpected expense that I hadn’t budgeted for, so, as much as it pains me I’m taking your Christmas gift back for a refund and using the money to pay for the repairs. I knew you’d understand.