Friday, October 29, 2010

Defining moments

Everybody has them, usually a few.

That time you wore those thigh high stiletto boots & mini skirt out bar hopping & were the most popular girl in every bar you entered and never paid a dime for drinks all night long & came home with 15 phone numbers.

Or, that time you did all those beer bongs at a tailgate, passed out before the game even started & woke up at half time in the driver’s seat of god only know’s whose car wearing a fake beard and a bra on your head.

Not that either of those have happened to me….just by way of example.

So you can say to your friends when they ask you about a recent experience “Remember the time with the stiletto boots? Like that, but less booze”

An everyone knows what you are saying.


About 5 years ago I paid a repairman $60 to plug in my stove.

That was all that was wrong with it – loose plug. But only the oven wasn’t working. The clock & the burners still worked. Maybe that would lead normal people to check the plug but not me. I assumed since everything but the oven was working, the problem was the oven.  Not the plug.

But sure enough, guy shows up, pulls out the stove, looks behind it at a plug nearly out of the socket (which…how? it’s not like it’s being bumped back there, the stove hadn’t been moved in 3 years) plugs it back in and TADA! Oven works again.

That’ll be $60!

And I have a receipt that says “plugged in stove” under Labor Completed.

This is my defining incompetent moment.

Until now.

I took my car in to get the rotors milled & the engine light checked.

ScifiDad suggested the light might be caused by my gas cap not being on tight. This is such an easy thing to check I ran right out & took off my gas cap & replaced it.

The light was still on.

I did it again.

The light was still on.

The next day I stopped for gas and spent considerable time experimenting with the gas cap & ways to put it on.

The light remained on.

Ah well, SciFi was wrong, but hey, the easy fix is never for me. This was proven by my stopping by Auto Zone for a diagnostic test, where I was told “Um yeah the guy that does that isn’t here right now.”  In my worldview of signs & portents being everywhere, this was clearly ominous.

So I take the car down to the dealership, they take off the brakes & then check the engine light.

Turns out SciFi was totally  RIGHT and apparently I am just utterly incompetent at screwing on a gas cap.

But since I was there for the brakes the labor charge was already included so I didn’t have to pay $50 to be told I don’t know how to replace a gas cap.

I had to pay $200.

$95 for new rotors because it turned out that after mine had been milled they were too thin to meet specs, and $105 for the labor.

Which took 3.5 hours!

Why so long? Well, obviously an hour or so was spent just waiting around for the milling to be done, add to that the 20 minutes spent taking the car for a test drive on unacceptable rotors, just to prove they really were bad, the half hour of taking off & on the tires & brake parts, the time spent locating the new parts & your are still nearly an hour short on time. What happened during that time?

Well…the guy who was originally working on my car began experiencing shortness of breath followed by severe chest pains and they  had to call the Rescue Squad who checked him out & then took him to the hospital.

Apparently my total incompetence with the gas cap literally took his breath away.

Then they had to wait for someone else to  be free to finish working on my car.

The mechanic is fine, they think it was stress. I’m not making light of his situation but you know how an already unpleasant situation then becomes ridiculous and then yet something else happens that tips it over into insanity? This was it for me.

“Oh the engine problem is that you apparently can’t put a gas cap on correctly, oh and those milled rotors ended up being too milled & you need to just get new ones, which probably you should have just opted for in the first place and oh yeah your mechanic had to have the rescue squad come & take him to the hospital for a suspected heart attack in the middle of all this”

I called DH up after the whole debacle and said

“Remember that time I paid $60 to have the stove plugged in? Dude, I have topped it.”


SciFi Dad said...

I mean, I'm happy to be right, but it feels like an empty victory in the grand scheme of things.

humel said...

I was wondering if SciFi would feel like this was a victory! Oh boy, Stacey, you don't do things the easy way, do you? I'm glad the problem is sorted, but sorry it took so much time and money and so many rescue squads xx

Cheri said...

Since you obviously played numerous times with the gas cap, I am now left wondering... just how many ways are there to affix a gas cap anyway? The world may never know.

FallDownBoomGirl said...

So wait, they're making you pay for Mechanic Guy's chest pains? Or rather, the time it too for him to have his chest pains? Time during which they were not actually performing any work on your vehicle? Now that's just wrong wrong wrong....

Beverly said...

I am so sorry, Stacey but I am so thankful for the roaring good laugh you have blessed my day with. Hopefully this one will stay at the top for the rest of your life :)

Andrea Chamberlain said...


I should not have read this today. My car is in the shop getting inspected and getting four new tires on it, to the tune of $450. And they just left me a message about a loose suspension ball bearing thingy.

But my gas cap is on securely! Not to brag or anything.

Rinda1961 said...

Great story! Sorry for the lost time and money, but thanks for the smile. Maybe you should greet said husband in some stiletto boots tonight . . .

Helena said...

My eyes are wide, and I am shaking my head in disbelief. This is exactly what would happen to me.

ridgely johnson said...

This tops my story-- cable tv man comes to the house-- turns the cable on-- i tell him TV in bedroom out,too- he goes in bedroom- turns cable on in there, too. No charge-- I think he thought I was on my way out-

LosingBrownies said...

There is a reason I call my husband Gadget Guy. It seriously could have been me in your shoes. I would have no idea just to check the plug.

Carrie said...

Doesn't seem like you should have to pay for labor of milling when shouldn't have been done - they are the mechanics - they didn't know that? ARG. Well at least just the gas cap and not more issues! Happy Halloween, have a good weekend!

Lori said...

I once took the car in to the mechanic because of a horrible, horrible noise.

Turns out, after putting some oil in the car, I had not put the oil cap back on properly. And bounced around making a horrible racket. Cause things'll make a horrible racket if you let them bounce around an engine.

Fortunately, he didn't charge me a dime.

But three months later he retired.

Is it me??

Comfy Mom said...

They only charged me for the 2 hours of actual labor thankfully

Comfy Mom said...

Sadly those really were not my anecdotes. I don't own stiletto heels. They hurt too much.

Comfy Mom said...

This is why I jumped at the chance when the dealership offered us free oil changes & routine maintenance when we bought the car. I have left oil and radiator caps off when I am in charge of changing them

Comfy Mom said...

I still don't know what I did wrong with the cap. I'm not at all sure it won't happen again when I fill up my tank next