Friday, 12 November 2010

Service with a scowl

My phone rings and it's Jez on the other end.  I've never met Jez, never had the opportunity to ask him face-to-face whether Jeremy would be more fitting for someone in his position.  I suspect the question would not get a positive response.  Jesus is never going to want Jez as a sunbeam.

In fact, I've only ever spoken to Jez on the phone, when booking the car in for its service at the garage that employs him as their Service Manager.  Well, I'm sure it says "Service Manager" on the sign on his desk.  Probably because "Automative Judge, Jury and Executioner" wouldn't fit.

This is why I know it's Jez ringing.  I can sense the grief through the telephone line even before I pick up.  He tells me the car is ready.  I thank him.  And then I wait.  For this game has hardly begun.

"We needed to replace your brake pads."
"Oh, I see."  I resist the temptation to tell him how surprised I am, given that I prefer not to use the brakes if I can avoid it.
"And the brake discs. We've had to replace those, too. And the fluid. You might want to watch how you go with the brakes for a while, to let it all bed in."
"I see," I mutter.  I think I'm getting a telling-off.
"We also had to sort out your washer jets."
"Oh?" I begin to believe I can sense what he's thinking with each sentence.
"Yes, they really weren't spraying very well."  How?  How in the name of all things holy did you not notice these weren't working, you idiot?
"Well, that's just as well," I say, "given all the crap on the roads this time of year."
"Ye-ess." Had you actually cleaned your car in the last six months, you lazy git?  We could have ploughed it.
"Anything else?" I ask.
"Your radiator grill needed re-setting.  It seemed as if it had been pushed slightly out of place."  Honestly, I don't know what the world is coming to.  The people that they allow to drive our cars these days...
"Blimey, I don't know how that happened."
"Then there are your tyres. The rears are down to 2 millimetres of tread.  And your fronts aren't much better either." Although if you were to skid off the road at high speed and make contact with something concrete that wouldn't be a major loss to humanity. "We would recommend you get those replaced sooner rather than later, sir." 
"Wow, er, OK, thanks, Jez, I'll get them seen to straight away." 
"That would be wise, sir, what with winter coming in." Seriously. No major loss.
"Is there anything else."
"No, I'm arranging for the car to be delivered back to you now." And if you can manage to keep it in one piece for the next 15,000 miles, that would be peachy.

If it wasn't for the unavoidable fact that he has a point, I might be insulted.

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