Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Smog Check Fairy

A few weeks ago, I went to AAA to pay our car registrations (it's the most wonderful time of the year with those due now too!) and it was the first time I actually opened the entire form. Oh look, we both need smog checks. And I'm already here. Curses to one and all. So, I pay, for validating the trip, and get the list for AAA-approved smog check locations.

Fast forward a week and I make my appointment for Wednesday at 12:30, to go during my lunch hour. It should also be noted I'm driving Scott's truck today because we're picking up couches and because the smog check will get done. I arrive, tell them I'm Erin with the 12:30 appointment and am met with,

"Oh yeah, you're the 12:30."

"Yep, that's me."

"The mechanic went to lunch. I guess he forgot you were coming. Well, here let's fill out some forms. I'm not really sure how much it is." WTF? There is a giant sign behind him with posted pricing. Truck smog check reads $65. And why did the mechanic go to lunch?

"Well the sign behind you says $65 and when is he due back?"

"Yes, but we like to quote $100, just in case. And he should be back soon." WTF part II. And famous last words. He's back just as soon as your forgotten about entree is entered into the system at the Macaroni Grill.

"Umm, I'm not okay with that. It's posted as $65, why are you quoting me a $100?"

"It's just what we do."

I should note again I have a tendency in these situations to sometimes lose my grip on the fact that this is wrong, BUT I have certain people I channel, kind like a What Would Scott/Kerri/Krissy/Do. They are my benchmarks for not standing for idiots and idiotic behavior.

So, the little front desk man (I really hope it was his first day) went to the back to find someone and appease me from the back. Said man appears, apologizes for the mechanic's absence and tells me to go see Chuck down the street. Awesome, let's hope I can find Chuck with the directions you just gave me.

By now, I think there is a camera crew following me.

I find Chuck, walk in, he greets me with a smile and I tell him the story above, and he laughs.

"I don't take a lunch." I also notice he's pretty much always open except for the sign posting not so on The Lord's Day.

"Give me ten minutes."

I sit down, expecting him to come back when he's ready to start and when he does, he tell me I pass.

"You're done?!?!"

"Oh yes, all done."

"They told me it would take an hour!"

He smiled at me like Mr. Miyagi and went on to tell me how healthy I was because I smiled so much (well no kidding, he just took 10 minutes, quoted me $10 less than first people, AND gave me a $10 discount. It was the stuff dreams were made of.)

I thanked him, told him I'd be back the next day with my own car, so he gave me a $15 discount coupon. It all seemed to good to be true.

He left me with what could have been an ancient Chinese proverb. "A happy heart is a healthy heart."

God bless Chuck for running his business in a manner that makes sense. If you are local and need a smog check, he stocked me well with those coupons.

1 comment:

Mrs. ummmmmm......Brownell said...

I LOVE that I am the level at which you freak out! haha. :D