Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Monday Mumblings

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Monday, August 4, 2008

It's car week here at the Manor. Last week Paul got a new set of tires and an inspection on the truck; this week it's my turn for tires and registration. I forgot to mail the registration in, so now I get to wait in line. We went on Friday, and the place was overflowing. We get a three-day grace period, but I don't want to wait any longer than I have to. So, after the lunch hour passes I'll head out for errands and registration.

I'd hoped to hold off on tires until next month, but I'm taking it on the road soon, and I don't want to have a blowout on the road in these temperatures. The car also needs a front end alignment.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate dealing with mechanics and the like? I'm not stupid when it comes to cars (I've pulled an engine, rebuilt a carburetor, changed my own oil, and so on), but I guess the blonde hair and boobs make me an attractive target. Attractive as in potentially ripping me off, not attractive as in looks. Obviously. I think they see me coming. There was once a mechanic who, while doing a state inspection, tried to tell me that my car had "about" three mufflers, all of which needed to be replaced. I took it down the street, where all they found was a dead bulb in the tail lamp, which the first guy - in his zeal to sell me triplet mufflers - missed.

It's the same reason I hate getting the oil changed in my car. They want to sell me crap I don't need, and they refuse to note service I've had elsewhere in their computer. Instead, they just look at the total mileage and tell me that this is "what the manufacturer says." Funny, when I check the car manual, it recommends different service intervals.

So I just play along with the dumb blonde routine and tell 'em I'll tell my husband about it.

This morning I reserved a set of tires online and set up a service appointment. Five minutes later the phone rang. It was someone from the tire place asking why I ordered those tires. Grr. Here we go. It turned out that the tires I wanted were special order and they had some the same price that they keep in stock. Okay. Fine. But could he blame me for getting defensive?

I'm going in on Wednesday. Then I'll have to find a place to get the alignment. I'm not going back to the last place I went since they always seem to "find" something else wrong, and then overcharge for basic services. I don't think they did a very good job on the last alignment, anyway.

Lunch hour is over, so I guess I can head out for the car registration.

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Filed under: Life            


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