Friday, July 28, 2006


I had a rather surreal experience this afternoon. Upon leaving the office, I noticed that one of my tires was rather low on air. So I headed for the closest service station where the lovely little clerks will reinflate my tires at no cost. Putting air in car tires is one of the few things I dislike doing myself due to a nerve-wracking little incident with a rotten tire years ago.

The young man checked all my tires and when he got to the flat one, he tried to inflate it, then stepped back and said he couldn't because there was a hole in it. Drat. I went round to where was and you could actually hear the air escaping from the tire. There must have been a weak spot right around the valve and when he pressed on it with the air hose, it let go.

So, while the car was still driveable, I hightailed it to my lovely neighbourhood tire store, where I have always enjoyed very efficient and friendly service. Until today. (Wrath alert! Don your flak jackets and helmets!)

It was late on Friday afternoon and their parking lot was packed. Only two spots left, both around the side of the building. It didn't look good. I parked my car and proceeded to the reception desk. There was no one at the desk at the time. There was a Gent on the phone in an office and a Limo Driver in with him. Another customer sat in the waiting area. After a moment, another man came through the door that leads to the service bays, walked behind the service desk and more or less glared at me. Not a word did he speak. Not, "Good afternoon, Ma'am, and how may we help you today?" Not, "Do you have an appointment?" Not even, "What!?!" Total silence.

Being the sharp little cookie I am, I quickly realized that this transaction was not going to proceed any further unless I spoke, so I said that I had a tire that was leaking so badly you could hear the air escaping. He still said nothing and just stuck out his hand for the keys. I was so surprised, I handed them over. He stomped back through the door to the service bays and a moment later drove my car into one of the bays. It was immediately raised up on the hoist, the wheel with the offending tire was removed by a mechanic, put on the tire remover thingy, the tire was popped off, something mysterious was done to it, the tire was put back on the wheel, reinflated, the wheel reattached to the car and the hoist lowered, all while I watched through a large window, and during which the Silent Dude returned to the reception desk.

The mechanic opened the door to the reception area. He didn't say anything either, just glared at Silent Dude. Silent Dude then finally spoke, not to me but to Office Gent and all he said was his name. Office Gent went into the service bay, climbed into my car, backed it out of the garage and drove it the 5 feet to the reception area door, turned off the engine, left the driver's door open and stomped back into his office. Still nothing was said to me and by this time I was just curious as to how long this could go on, so I said nothing. And you know what else I was thinking, right? Right. Blog fodder!!!

I looked at my car. I looked at Silent Dude. He ignored me. I looked at my car and contemplated walking out, climbing into it and driving away. I looked at Silent Dude. Limo Driver came out of the private office and said something to Silent Dude. He answered.

I walked over to the reception desk, thinking that perhaps closer proximity would prompt him to speak to me. Nada. I looked at my car. I looked back at him. I was having trouble not laughing at this point. Finally, Silent Dude intuited that I am not a visitor from the planet Telepathia and that he was going to have to speak to me whether he liked it or not. He picked up my invoice and said, "I guess they patched your tire. That'll be $19. 45, please."

I resisted the urge to shout, "It speaks! Halleluiah! It's a miracle!" and instead politely said something about being relieved they were able to patch it, paid my money and left.

What a strange way to do business. And that tire better still be inflated when I check it in the morning.


Blogger Aunty Marianne said...

When he finally did speak, did he have the sort of really embarrassing voice that may have accounted for his silence?

July 29, 2006 at 2:33 a.m.  
Anonymous Bryn, North Wales, UK said...

Some people are just rude & arrogant from birth, and need slapping down until they learn better and apologise ....
Was this ******* just a junior grease nipple, or was he "management"?
Either way, I would fire a letter of complaint as far up the food chain as I could, detailing precisely what happened and how it made you feel. Depending on what response you get, you then either give them another chance or take your business elsewhere - and tell as many local people as you can about your experience.
This sort of rudeness will thrive unless stamped on - hard.

July 29, 2006 at 11:41 a.m.  
Anonymous TC said...

That is odd!

I'd have ben tempted to say nothing, get in the car and leg it! Ha!

July 29, 2006 at 12:57 p.m.  
Blogger Anna said...

Hi there, just read your comment about rootbeer popsicles on the white bear's blog and wanted to say thanks for triggering several lovely childhood memories!

Will add you to my blogroll if that's ok.

July 30, 2006 at 7:49 a.m.  
Blogger methel said...

that is just the best - gives a whole new meaning to the expression "quietly efficient" - a bloke that doesn't need to tell you how wonderous he is, amazing!

July 30, 2006 at 6:56 p.m.  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

Aunty Marianne - Nope. Perfectly normal voice.

Bryn - That's the odd thing, these gents have always been just that - perfect gents. Makes me think something else was afoot.

TC - Oh, don't think I didn't consider that option!

Anna - A fellow Canuck is always welcome around here. Of course I don't mind and I shall return the favour toute suite!

Methel - It did have that lovely aspect about it.

July 30, 2006 at 10:32 p.m.  
Blogger Misty said...

I think a parallel dimension must have opened, as there's a place near me that operate in the same manner...


July 31, 2006 at 7:48 a.m.  
Anonymous Ricardipus, tired said...

Was this Canadian Tire? If so, how did you avoid the obligatory "free front end inspection and by the way ma'am your wheels need aligning and you need a new radiator, that'll be $8,000 please" treatment?

Just wondering.

July 31, 2006 at 11:03 a.m.  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

Misty - That's very likely. It could explain several things.

R'pus - It wasn't. That's why I got off so lightly. The last time I did anything car related at Canadian Tire, I was given the wrong engine coolant. Cost me $75 to get it flushed (NOT at Canadian Tire) and the right one added.

Never, ever, EVER take your car to Canadian Tire.

July 31, 2006 at 11:52 a.m.  
Blogger Scaryduck said...

Could have been worse. You could have ended up at Kwik Fit, my useless workshy arch nemesis...

July 31, 2006 at 8:01 p.m.  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

Yes, at least they didn't throw me out of the parking lot. Of course, in order to do that, they would have had to speak to me.

August 1, 2006 at 5:03 p.m.  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Well heck. Now I feel guilty for having jammed a screwriver in your tire in the first place...

August 2, 2006 at 6:50 a.m.  
Anonymous Ricardipus, still tired said...

It was you, mr. fabulous? Whew. I'm glad, I thought Dawn might have run over one of my caltrops.

/points over to other post about parking

August 2, 2006 at 12:45 p.m.  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

[lower lip quivers]

You jammed a screwdriver in my tire? Why, Mr. Fab? WHY???

*channels Nancy Whats-her-name*

Hang on to those caltrops R'pus. I may have use for them yet.

August 2, 2006 at 1:39 p.m.  
Blogger zoe said...

it sounds a bit like my surreal friday - nobody was talking either. freaky.

August 2, 2006 at 1:50 p.m.  
Blogger Jim C said...

I had a recent experince at my local NTB..which I had never veen to before. Pulled in...ONLY ON THERE. Valve leak from passenger tire. No sweat get ot fixed. Sauntering aroound wasting time..look inot the service bay. The dude has the driver's sdie tire off. I know the sign says Do Not Enter but I go in trying the benefit of the doubt routine. "Did you rotate the tires?" "No". "Then you're fixing the wrong tire."

Long story short - and the cruncher- they charged me for both repairs and wouldn't budge. Remember that - NTB - never go there.

August 3, 2006 at 12:47 a.m.  
Blogger Tai said...


What a bunch of bad days happening there huh?

August 4, 2006 at 8:51 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like K**ns B****e A**o to me- have had similar experiences there...

August 16, 2006 at 12:51 p.m.  
Blogger Ordinary Janet said...

so how's the tire holding up?

August 17, 2006 at 12:24 a.m.  
Blogger merlinprincesse said...

Strange... On Saturday July the 29th, just on the eve of my 2 weeks in Vancouver, I had a flat tire! And I had to go to Canadian Tire, cause on Saturday, this is the only place that is open... Even in a big city like Quebec. DAMN! I never go there... But I had (to my surprise) a very good service... BUT (I will not ya all my story) the clients were rather strange... Two clients almost killed each other.. Hehhehhe! Funny word! :)

August 21, 2006 at 4:40 p.m.  

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