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Gonzo

Men do Manly things

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Let's talk macho stuff, tough men, do tough things. The tough and rough guy approach, you know that's why, we're men. Men, don't listen to their wives when they're driving the car. Anybody can stop for directions… not real men … why we just drive until the gas gauge reads empty and then stop… while the wife goes inside for directions, we stay outside to guard the kids, and when she gets back she very gently, (Not to burst that huge male testosterone filled ego) explains how to get everyone back on the correct highway. We, (the men) drive off again, proud, knowing the fact that we… (The men)… have conquered another of life's issues.

 

Now why is that? I guess I can't answer that one… wrong body chemistry I guess. But the same thing holds true at the repair shop. Some male patron tend to be in this same mode, they want to "talk to the mechanic" verses talking to the front desk person. Especially if that front person is female. In my case, the front desk person is my daughter. She has seen it all, and is very knowledgeable I might add. Ask her a car question, any question and she'll give you an answer.

The male customer that really bugs me is the phone callers who use the phone to boast about their knowledge or lack thereof. You can tell that's what they are doing by the way they ask the questions to whom they're talking to.

 

The phone rang one day, my daughter answered it.

 

"Good Morning, can I help you?" she told the caller.

 

"What I really want is to talk to tech," said the caller,

 

Being a chip off the old block, my daughter likes to feel she is doing her job and that there is no need to "talk to the tech" because the tech is going to only repeat exactly the same information.

 

"Sir, I'm sure I can answer any question you have."

 

"Look, little lady, get me the tech. I'm not talking to some girl over a car problem."

 

"What, you don't think I can talk cars because I'm a girl?"

 

"Just get the tech."

 

"Ok, just a minute I'll see if he's free." She answered.

 

It wasn't hard to find me; I was sitting right behind her goofing off on my laptop. She puts the guy on hold, and turns to me with those eyes… you know the ones… the "another male chauvinist on the line dad, I'm not worthy enough to answer his questions".

 

"I'll take the call kiddo," I said.

 

She hands me the phone and clicks the hold button off with a quick snap of her finger… then sits back in her chair… glaring at me.

 

"Can I help you," I said.

 

"Sure can, why I was referred to you by another shop, said you are the best," boasting and cheerful, "Got this noise from my engine, the other shop said you would know what it was."

 

"Well, I probably could figure it out," I stayed calm and answered.

 

"So when can you get a look at it,'' he answered.

 

Now it's time for the real fun. "Now, that I can't answer for you sir," let me put you back in touch with the front office. They can give you that information. Hold a sec., while I transfer you back to the front," I said with a grin.

 

"Sure no problem," the caller answered. You could tell he was quite proud of himself I might add. He had that sound of confidence like the football team has after the coach gives all of them the "big" speech before the game.

 

I put him on hold, and looked at my daughter. She was rolling those eyes again. Now, I don't know how to "write" frustration on paper… but if you can imagine the look I was getting … you would certainly understand.

 

She got back on the phone as cheerful as ever and proceeded to set up a time and date that he could get his car in the shop. A few days later, as I was pulling into the shop parking lot, here was this guy sitting in his car waiting at the front door. I waved at the guy and unlocked the front door. He followed me in to the lobby as I was putting my lunch and laptop down in my office.

 

"How ya doing this morning," I asked him.

 

"I've got my car out here," he said, "It's the one I called about that is making that noise."

 

"Great, let's fill out the invoice and get started on it," I answered back to him. My daughter hadn't made it in yet, so it was my job this morning.

 

The repair wasn't a big deal (belt tensioner bearing). The customer waited in the lobby for the job to be completed while my daughter took over in the front office for the day.

 

[/font] All said and done with, nothing was mentioned about the phone call. Perhaps, it didn't need to be mentioned, because, us men took care of business. You know, we men, we do "manly" things… cars… argh, argh, argh, why it's not important if the opposite sex doesn't understand us…because we're men, and men don't need to explain things to each other. Now that statement isn't funny at all. That's the chauvinist response answer. It doesn't set well with me, I may be a guy but I try to show respect to anyone and everyone who shows respect back. It's not a gender thing at all. I have quite a few parts counter female friends that can rattle off a part number for a given vehicle before you can fully describe the part to them. They are just that good. That "sweet" voice on the phone is no indication of knowledge. That's just a voice… put a wrench in their hand and watch out… you may have met your match. But I know a lot more jerks that think "men" are the only answer to car repair. This guy, well, it's safe to say … he made the list.

 

These stories are here before editing for publication...

Comments are welcomed.

visit my website for past stories and videos, games, photos and lots more. www.gonzostoolbox.com

 

 

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Edited by Gonzo

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    • By Gonzo
      Temper – Temper


      The front office door swings wide and a mom holds it open for her son who is carrying in a steering column. The column is out of her sons little S-10. From the general appearance of the column it looked like somebody was trying awfully hard to steal the little truck. Everything was distorted and bent out of shape. The steering wheel was even bent, and the horn pad looked like someone had taken an ax to the center of it. There was hardly a part of the steering column that wasn't damaged in some way or form.

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      The key was still hanging out of the ignition as the column sat on the counter; even though the column was bent and contorted completely out of shape it did somewhat remind of the leaning tower of Pisa with a lot of pieces missing. While the ticket was being filled out I reached for a pocket screwdriver and removed the key and tumbler so that I could install it into the other column. The look on the sons face was pure shock as to how easy it was to remove the key and tumbler.

      “Dad worked on getting that key and tumbler out for hours, look mom he took it out with a pocket screwdriver,” the surprised young man said to his mom.

      The son brought in the replacement column. It had all the correct parts in place and was in fairly good shape except for a problem with the hazard switch. (Pretty much what was wrong with the other turn signal switch) It too had the ignition key hanging out of it so I showed the young lad how to push in the retaining button and remove the key and tumbler.

      Mom was pretty impressed and had a big smile on her face as she watched her son maneuver the key and tumbler into the replacement column.

      “The tow truck was right behind us with my sons little truck. How soon can you have all of this back together?” she asked.

      “Oh, a couple of hours should do it if I don't run into any problems. I'll change out the turn signal switch with the new one you brought since the replacement column has the hazard switch broken off of it too,” I told her, “But how in the world did the original column get in such bad shape if it wasn't from a theft?”

      It was dad, good old dad had been working on the little trucks steering column all weekend and had finally given up on repairing it. Mom went on to tell me the whole story.

      “He came inside the house, grabbed a beer and mumbled something about a sledge hammer. He headed back out to the garage and came back out with a hatchet. He was determined to get it apart no matter what. We all watched as he proceeded to go ballistic on the little truck. The next thing I know he was a cussin' and a smackin' that steering column. Parts we're a flying everywhere and that steering column still wouldn't budge for him. He kept at it until he was too tired to swing the hatchet one more time and then he just gave up, sat down next to the truck and drank his beer,” she told me while trying to hold back the laughter.

      The son had that look of agreement on his face as if this was nothing new with good old dad when it came to something he didn't understand.

      “Dad always tries to fix things around the house and after he gets done breaking things up pretty good mom will take over and save the day,” the young lad told me.

      When I finally got to see the little truck you could tell somebody was really having a go at destroying that steering column. With a few marks in the headliner and some obvious missed blows whacking the dash panel there was no doubt he had made up his mind that the steering wheel and the column was going to come off one way or another.

      The install was no big deal, luckily it was an old enough truck that there was no security system to worry about or any air bag system installed on it. Just bolt it back up, line up the shaft and put all the trim back together. (The trim needed a little TLC though)

      With the replacement column (which was untouched by good old dad) and the original key and tumbler installed the repair was done in no time at all. I gave the mom a call and a few hours later the boy had his truck back on the road again.

      “I told my husband his temper was going to get him, and it sure did this time. He's really a sweet guy, but you should see what he does with plumbing... we keep that number handy at all times.” (Chuckling as if this was nothing new with the family.) “I guess it's a male ego thing or something. He's really sorry about it all, just can't seem to get it through his thick head that he doesn't know everything.” she told me.

      The son then tells me, “Yea, I don't think he's going to try that again.”

      “Ma'am you know it would have been a lot cheaper if you would have brought it to me before it was torn apart,” I told her.

      She knew that already, but like I said, it seems to be the norm at their house. Let dad have a whack at it first until his temper gets the best of him and then call the pros. Well what can ya say, he tried, he failed, and he took more than a few whacks at it… chalk it up to a lesson learned I guess.

       
      The mom backed up sons comment that “dad” has sworn off car repair forever, and wasn't about to try anything remotely like auto mechanics ever again. Well, time will tell about that... temper, temper mister... why don't you take up basket weaving, model ship building, or perhaps some yoga. Maybe it’s time for a mountain retreat to work out your aggression's. One thing is for sure fella; your mechanical expertise is just one big hatchet job. Do me a favor there … “dad”… have another beer…………… but don't mess with the cars anymore OK?
       
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      I am the owner in my auto repair shop and also the service writer as well. At times I feel guilty in a way charging for the small things such as labor to install air filters or cabin filters, or to install batteries or to not charge an inspection fee especially if the customer is a previous customer.
       
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