Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Can we just skip the vibe, and go straight to us laughing about this?"

Wanna hear a story?

I got into a minor fender bender (not my fault) in November 2008. A week ago I finally took my car in last week for repairs to the front bumper. They finished it today. I went to get it and when I pulled up, I immediately noticed something awry with the front bumper. But since the rest of the car looked awesome, I didn’t think much of it.

When I stopped to run an errand, I gave my car a once over. Because we are regular customers at this shop, they detailed my car completely, inside and out. Because M is friends with the owner, they fixed, completely for free, the back bumper where a Wal-Mart cart had left a bruise and the passenger side where the car seat had made plastic scars. I had been wondering which rabbit they were going to pull out of the hat this time, since previous visits had padded our pockets with the waiving of deductibles and the slashing of repair bills.

I walked around to the front of the car to inspect the bumper. Not only was it not detailed like the rest of the car, still bearing the dirt and buggy grit it arrived with, but it also still had the lacerations and gouges from its unfortunate 2008 mishap.

I called the shop and said “Ummmm, my front bumper is untouched.” They called back and said, “We were laughing because we did the exact opposite of what we were supposed to do – we did to the front bumper what we were supposed to do to the back and vice versa.” My internal dialogue launched into a diatribe of “Glad you think it’s funny. . . my rental won’t be renewed and now I have to figure out a time to get back to your shop and a way to occupy myself while you, hopefully, get it right so I can, hopefully, have it back the same day.”

What’s that expression about “a penny saved”? Oh yeah: “it comes back to bite you later!”

[Title quote is from "Almost Famous"]

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