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'twas two days before Christmas and the repair shop was busy

Feeling the heat

(Conversation with man in his 40s at the front counter of the repair shop, a vehicle we had diagnosed months ago)


(Woman in her late 20's shows up at the front counter, very nervous, has been in to our shop before but not for several months. She explains she's getting a noise and vibration when she is putting on the brakes. I check the vehicle in for a brake inspection, the tech takes it on a quick test drive before putting it into the bay, comes back after just a minute and is white as a ghost. Tells me what he found. I ask her to come to the front counter.)

********NO, RELAX, I DID NOT DO THAT ... but it did cross my mind. Here's what I really did.


(Woman in her 30's at the front counter, checks in for an oil change, speaks to the tech who takes the keys from her, then hangs around the front counter for a few minutes watching them pull her car in for an oil change. After several minutes she gets a cell phone call. The conversation with the person on the cell phone becomes heated. She begins pacing, speaking louder, waving her hands, obviously agitated. The oil change does not take long, although she is still on the phone when it is time to ring her out. It is about ten minutes before closing time. I wait a few minutes to see if she will reach a point where she can get off the phone, but I do not see a way to politely interrupt her conversation, so I just get within her sight and wave at her.

She comes to the front counter to pay, still on the phone. She does not listen to me going over her invoice with her, just signs the slip, still speaking on the phone, stabs her name with the pen on the credit card slip, and bangs the pen down hard enough that it rolls off the counter. I hand her her keys and she leaves. She drives away from the bay but into a parking spot, still on the phone. That does not strike me as unusual because if she was in a tense conversation, better she stay parked in a safe parking lot than get on the road. We finish up at the shop and begin closing. She is still in the parking spot.

I count the money, do the deposit, shut off the lights, and lock the doors. I walk out a door towards my car. Then, whoosh, her car zips out of the parking spot and she cuts me off as I'm walking towards my car. My blood freezes and my thoughts turn to armed robbery and I start planning how to escape. She gets out of her car, just then hanging up her phone and throws her phone on her car seat, then turns to me. I'm braced for a weapon or a threat of some sort, but not this.)

Two days to go. God bless us, every one.


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