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The Car Repair Spiel
Short Story Day 37 of 365
When Terry took his car in to get the oil changed from the QuikLube specialists, they were known for their speed, but with that speed came a high price. That was to be expected. As he waited for the mechanic to complete his inspection, a service manager swiveled the monitor so Terry could see it.
“Sir, would you like to see the maintenance items your manufacturer recommends at this point in the life of your vehicle?’
Terry thought about it for a second, only half hearing the manager’s words because they were bouncing off the garage walls. Besides, it was 40 degrees outside, and Terry was hearing the man with his window rolled down. He had hoped he would go inside while the mechanics changed the oil but it wasn’t an option in the age of COVID restrictions.
Terry had no intention of getting any of the services because his car was 17 years old with 190,000 miles. He kept up with the regular oil changes which prolonged the life of the car. Sure, he changed the battery when needed, the brakes, the wipers, the radiator fluid, and the oil.
It just so happened that those were the same items the manager was pointing out, all with price tags to match the services a quick oil change garage would charge. “$89.99 yada yada this, $119.99 blah blah that, and $59.99 whooptido for that service over there, and it’s free of charge that we’ve already checked this, but you really should consider the $129.99 change which would help the performance.
All told, the recommended charges and changes would come to just over 1200 and would be completed in 20 minutes.
The spiel was memorized and the manager added zero feeling in it whatsoever. He was also a fast talker with a penchant for mumbling. With the words bouncing and echoing off all walls and metal objects, Terry could only see the monitor totals. He long since had ignored the talk, mainly because he couldn’t hear him. He made out the major parts but forget any detail.
“No, thanks. I think I’ll just stick with the oil change.”
“Understand. We will send you the invoice via email along with recommended service items, and the prices for those services, should you choose at a later date, are valid for a full 30 days. More than likely we won’t raise our prices after that 30-day period but you never know what with inflation and all.”
“Yes, you never know.”