Wish I could say I’m surprised, part 2

It’s December 27, and so it has been exactly one month to the day since a neighbor towed me in the Jeep to the single auto repair shop in the crappy little town nearest where I live.

That shop hasn’t been answering phone calls, and I hoped that only meant they had dealt themselves a long holiday. But this afternoon during the slightly delayed Monday morning water run I showed up there in person, to find that the Jeep had not moved a millimeter from where they had originally dragged it.

I’m “on the list,” the manager said.

When I asked if the list was really and truly more than a month long, he answered with a look of surprise, “well, yeah.”

I’m a (possibly) extreme introvert. I detest confrontation, and very rarely raise my voice at another human being. But this was quite a bit too much. I had and rejected at the start of this adventure a chance to trailer the Jeep to another, better manned and equipped shop in the big town about 50 miles away, and now I have leisure to regret my decision. Close associates would not have recognized me in the volume and profanity of my rather vociferous reply. It now seems important to motivate these people, and that’s not my best thing.

D&L are making noises about their poor Jeep (which I’ve been borrowing for more than a month) stuck out in the weather as it currently is…

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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15 Responses to Wish I could say I’m surprised, part 2

  1. Robert says:

    My, don’t we live in interesting times? Sigh.
    Rest assured (or despair) that we urbanites are not faring better, vehicle-repair-wise.

  2. Ben says:

    The poor guy is probably having Supply Chain issues, COVID you know.

  3. Marvin says:

    Welcome to Joe Biden’s Winter of Our Discontent: “Why put off until tomorrow what you can ignore completely.”

    Your neighbors still have that feed trailer and a diesel truck?

  4. Mark Matis says:

    Would an AAA membership with enough towing miles be useful at this time? Be glad to do that if so…

  5. coloradohermit says:

    Maybe you should post the name and phone number of the miserable shop so we could all call and give them hell. My evil inner child is craving an outlet lately. 🙁

  6. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Mark, being the owner of an almost 30 year old vehicle that nobody knows how to work on. The 100 mile towing membership is worth it. You want it transported on a flatbed. When it is repaired they may be willing to deliver it to you for a small extra fee, then you take the driver back. That’s a good road test. Or buy a different vehicle, salvage what parts you can. You sure don’t want to damage their vehicle and have to repair it.

  7. paulb says:

    Some time you need to rattle the cage. If you can work it stopping every couple of days just to check might help. Squeaky wheels get greased and all that

  8. bill says:

    Covid? Supply Chain Issues? …. I have been trying to get work done at my house since February.
    “I’ll call you back tomorrow.” “I’ll start that work on Monday.” I am not a prick to people I hire and in fact am a generous guy. What a crock of never-ending excuses. Near as I can figure is that in my rural area nobody wants to work. I have a sister living 60 miles from me who has 5 grown sons in various construction trades who won’t work even though I have told then I don’t expect a family discount. People come to the post office (small town 1 person office my wife runs) complain about not getting work while asking my wife for a $10 “loan” for a pack of cigs but I see them sitting on their porches doing nothing except getting fatter. I don’t get it. D & L (and other neighbors) are lucky to have Joel always ready to help/work. It is getting to the point that I am ready to hire illegals which I have done when I lived in the big city 20 years ago. So many who are at the gooberment trough and not wanting to screw up that ez payout. Pitiful crap. What goes around comes around in this world.

  9. Ben says:

    “ Covid? Supply Chain Issues? ”. Just in case there was any doubt, that comment was intended as irony. 😊

  10. Mike says:

    Joel, I was dicked around by contractors when we built our home twenty years ago so, I understand what you’re going through. Just remember, even though you’re paying for a service, the guy who owns the shop has the option to turn you away if you become too much of a Karen and ask you to never return. The work will get done. It just takes time.

  11. Oof says:

    Get it to your space and fix it yourself. You have the time. People will help you.

  12. Goober says:

    Generally the best way to deal with this is to ask them when they plan to get to your part of the “list” that you’re on, and decide:

    can you wait that long?

    If not, obviously go collect your jeep and go elsewhere. If so, hold them to it, and if they miss the commitment by even a day, same story. Go collect and go elsewhere.

    Yelling at people has literally never once been a good solution in my entire lifetime. It gets you nowhere, but asked nicely to leave and not come back.

    and bill, the construction industry is absolutely swamped right now. They may be not getting back to you because when you call asking for them to do something, they’re laughing. Most of our local contractors are minimum 8 months out right now, some as far out at 24 months.

    Many of them are just not responding to calls for work, because the quantity of them is oppressive, and they are tired of getting yelled at by Karens who think the world revolves around them AND HOW DARE THEY BE SO BUSY that they can’t get to their work right away!!!???

  13. bill says:

    Goober says: “…and bill, the construction industry is absolutely swamped right now. They may be not getting back to you because when you call asking for them to do something, they’re laughing. Most of our local contractors are minimum 8 months out right now, some as far out at 24 months.

    Many of them are just not responding to calls for work, because the quantity of them is oppressive, and they are tired of getting yelled at by Karens who think the world revolves around them AND HOW DARE THEY BE SO BUSY that they can’t get to their work right away!!!???…”

    I understand they are swamped and they have told me as much. I get your point. But I expect honesty when they tell me they will call me by a certain date/time or that they will start work on this date. As a RN that behavior from myself would have me being reported to TPTB and having to answer for it with my licensure potentially at risk. If I told a hospital patient I would check back within a certain time period and I didn’t follow-up my reputation would go down the shitter. I’m not a yelling Karen. I am an upfront straight-shooting mf.

  14. Goober says:

    “But I expect honesty when they tell me they will call me by a certain date/time or that they will start work on this date.”

    Absolutely, that is not unreasonable at all. It’s actually a failing within the industry, big time. In general, contractors are just shit-tier communicators. Several things within the industry that bother me are completely overshadowed by the phenomenon that I like to call “cooperating willingly and then failing miserably”.

    It’s partially a product of our society’s prejudices about contractors – them and automobile mechanics seem to be the last of the last hold-outs in pretty much any professional trade where people feel like the baseline for dealing with them is screaming at them, and automatically assuming that they’re screwing you. As a result of this, they are very reactively shy about telling the truth, when they think the truth is going to piss someone off. My guys, specifically, tell me that they literally don’t answer the phone because when they tell the truth (I’m 20 months out) it immediately devolves into them getting yelled at.

    That pressure causes a lot of other guys to do the “cooperate willingly and fail miserably” routine, which is essentially telling Karen what she wants to hear, with no intention of ever actually accomplishing the promises that they made. It’s an effort to avoid getting yelled at today, and making the later yelling sessions “next week’s problems”. But at least it gets them off your case now. It is absolutely NOT ok, but it really comes from a societal impulse to yell at contractors, as if that’s a sort of expected baseline.

    I know my guys are super tired of getting yelled at 24/7, though. And the more California transplants we get, the worse the problem is. I literally had a lady yelling at me last week, who moved from Cali with no living arrangements in place, assuming she would just buy land and build a house (it only takes 4 months to build a house in Cali, you see, but around here, we have 4 month SHUT DOWNS due to winter weather, where if you’re not dried in before weather hits, you don’t even want to start. She wanted me to explain to her what she was going to do with no place to live in the middle of winter, as if that is my problem. I helpfully suggested a few property management companies that would be glad to rent her an apartment, and told her that around here, it take 8 months to build a house, IF you time the weather perfectly, which she didn’t, and let her know that IF she could find a contractor tomorrow, that she shouldn’t anticipate moving into her house until this time next year. She was not happy.

    I didn’t tell her that she wasn’t going to find a contractor that had any availability until next fall… She’s well and truly in a pickle, and I stressed to her that she really needs to get an apartment or buy an interim house. Again, she wasn’t happy.

  15. Robert says:

    Goober:
    OMG, yes. You provide a service of any type that I want to give you money for? Great, tell me the goram truth about delivery time, etc. That, I can handle. Dishonesty in service of you avoiding discomfort at my expense? Please don’t; I’m too pretty to go to prison for murder.

To the stake with the heretic!