Like most good things in life, even cars have their downside. Gas is not free. Traffic and other drivers are the worst (you can read all about my traffic thoughts in THESE POSTS). Any sort of service, or repair, is the most inconvenient thing I’ve ever had to do on multiple occasions. Car commercials set up FALSE EXPECTATIONS which is disappointing. And it takes a minute to get all the settings adjusted perfectly. Especially if you drive a newer model, it’s almost like setting up a computer. So many choices, so many buttons, so many console options, so many seat adjustment levers – ugh.
Unlike some people, I enjoy driving. It’s thrilling. It’s always an experience. It’s a high risk situation that requires focus. I do not, however, enjoy riding. I’m a terrible passenger. There’s not anything to do but look out the window and judge how close the driver likes to ride the line. Car karaoke is fun, but there’s less pressure as the driver. If you suck, blame it on the fact that you’re paying attention to the road, not on your future singing career. As the passenger, though, you have zero excuse. If you’re not about to belt it out like Carrie Underwood, get out. Someone once asked me how I embodied the restless spirit and I told them to just drive me around. Are we there yet? I’m that passenger.
None of that is really relevant, but here we all are. Having read that paragraph just wondering how it relates to the rest of this post. It doesn’t. I probably won’t tie that loose end up. Not sorry. Anyways … let’s talk about the most annoying / frustrating / time-consuming / expensive (pick your adjective) part of having a car. Having to visit the mechanic. Zero part of that process is convenient. First, you have to schedule a time to either drop off, or wait, on your vehicle. All of the car dealers put baby computers in the cabin now, yet the schedule service form is from the first round of the Internet last century. Why?
After finally figuring out how things used to work and getting an appointment, then you actually have to go. Which is arguably worse. Wait, nope, it’s definitely worse. Your car, and your freedom, are indefinitely gone. If you’re waiting, well you just have to find something to do on your phone, or sit alone with your thoughts, in the service center. Indefinitely. If you drop it off, you need to find a second vehicle to accompany you so you can get back home. Then someone, maybe that same person, will have to take you back to the shop to pick your car up after waiting for it to be serviced. Indefinitely.
That’s a lot of time not knowing what kind of quote they’re going to hit you with. It’s a guessing game, not a fun one, but one nonetheless. Is it fine, or is it ready for the scrap yard? Will my multi-point inspection pass? I came in to get the tires rotated, but is the alignment all jacked up too? So many questions. No answers. It’s a fun time. Whatever it comes back as, I have yet to meet one single person who enjoys spending their money on car service. I most definitely do not. One oil change could get me a night at an AirBnb. Replacing the front brake pads are a couple of party kegs for the weekend rager. Having to get the bumper replaced because the texter behind me forgot they were driving doesn’t technically take my money, but mental energy wise I could have performed at a music festival.
Then, just like that, you get your keys back! Oh, sweet glory! You are now free to roam anywhere your heart desires again. No road? No problem! Hop up in that 4×4 or risk it in your front wheel drive if you’re feeling a bit hellish. No one can stop you. You’re a lean, mean, driving machine! Except … oh, what’s this? Your seat is too far back, the AC is 10 degrees too cold, the console lighting is now on the opposite side of the color wheel, the seat warmers are turned off, the steering wheel has been lowered, your rearview mirror is no longer helpful, and your side mirrors currently show you the ground.
How is it that the mechanic who had to make the super long drive from the shop to the front of the store where you were waiting felt it was appropriate to adjust everything? Who do you think you are? We’re not road tripping this thing. It’s not a delivery drop off. No one asked if it was acceptable for them to fix the functional part of my car but totally destroy the aesthetics and comfort parts. This, to me, is a bit rude. If someone trusts me with their vehicle, I wouldn’t even think to change everything so I could be temporarily at home. I would accept my brief time of discomfort so that the next time they got in, it would be ready to go. Besides, the transport time here has to be a minute max.
Imagine if you went to bank and while they deposited your money (after you figure out the PAPER MAZE) they also changed all of your account passwords and security questions for fun. Or if you went to a restaurant and while they made your food decided to come over and completely redesign the table layout and seating arrangements so everyone was eating alone. Or if you went to a tailgate (RIP fall sports) and while you were getting food someone got in your car and changed every single setting. Cause they were sitting in the trunk and didn’t like the mood lighting color choice. None of that would be acceptable and you would definitely not be tipping. So how is it allowed at the car dealers? I don’t know. We may never know. But it’s our harsh reality at the moment.
Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!
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