Sunday 9 August 2015


The other day I took our car in for the twelve month check up. Actually, it’s twelve thousand K or 12 months whichever comes first. You can either mark your life by travel or time in the eyes of the car dealerships. This year it was time, but hopefully, next year it will be distance.

When you first check the car in they take all of the pertinent information about the car while some lackey puts in paper floor mats. A plastic seat cover and tops up the windshield washer fluid. The guy came over to me and said “Did you know that your washer fluid tank is leaking?” I looked at the growing puddle on the floor and told him “It wasn’t until you opened the hood.” I turned to the other guy and said “Would it be possible to check the washer reservoir, I think there is a leak.” They marked everything down, took my key and signature and Louise and I went for a coffee.

When I picked up the car later on that day, everything had checked out and I was told that there was a faulty O-ring that was causing the trouble and they had ordered the part in. I would get a call when it arrived and not to worry, it is under warranty. I should hope so, the car is a year old and the washer tank hadn’t seen much action. I’m not sure what I think of a car dealership that has to order in a rubber O-ring. That’s the kind of thing you would think the mechanics would have in a small compartment of their toolboxes. Well, I would think that because I have a toolbox that has fifty or sixty various sized O-rings and I have no use for them at all.

I got a call yesterday that the part I had ordered had come in and I needed to schedule an appointment. I asked when the earliest time was that I could get the work done. He told me that they had an opening at 7:30 AM. I asked when was the earliest time I could get the work done that wasn’t 7:30 AM. He said there was an opening at 9:15AM. “Well, if that’s the earliest you have, that would be great.”

I got there this morning at 9:12 AM and was fourth in line. How many people did they schedule for 9:15? I sat there listening to the radio watching everyone move in unbelievably slow motion, while the world turned on its axis and the glaciers kept melting. I eventually got in and was asked what I wanted to have done today. I mentioned that they had called me and it was something about an O-ring needing replacement. Ten minutes of his pecking at the keyboard and I was ready to head home. “Oh, when would you like the car?”

“Well, I could go have a coffee and be back in twenty minutes.” I told him with a hopeful look on my face. He just smiled and shook his head. “Well, why don’t you just call me when it’s ready?” I figured that I would arrive at home and the phone would ring telling me that the car was ready. Nope!

The morning passed, I had a late lunch and then went out for coffee with a buddy mid afternoon. As every fifteen minutes passed I was sure I would get that call, yet no such luck. How long could it possibly take to install an O-ring? I began to imagine a freak fire or some mad, home grown terrorist that decided to target a Japanese car dealership. I wondered if my insurance would cover mentally deranged psychos, I know it won’t cover an act of God. When we had finished coffee, my buddy dropped me off at the dealership to see if the car would be ready. It had to be…right? The guy said “Five minutes.” and I took him at his word. I think time is measured differently at the dealership, kind of like a “football” minute or a “shopping” minute.

All is well that ends well I suppose, I now have my car back, the new O-ring is in place and hopefully, I won’t be dribbling windshield washer fluid along the streets and avenues while I navigate the city.

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