Internet, it’s been a long week.
In the last four days, I have worked 50 hours.
I have done laundry, washed dishes, even made lunches.
I have quieted the midnight terrors of a toddler. Headed off the 4 a.m. diarrhea explosion of a dog. Cleaned up not one, but three ooey, gooey piles of cat puke – after stepping in them.
I have stood in front of forty people and conducted a focus group of sorts (have I ever mentioned my fear of public speaking?).
I have written till my fingers ached, edited till my eyes crossed, and researched till the words blurred in front of me.
All while never once sleeping the night through.
And you know what? I still managed to keep my cool (mostly).
After it was all over, when I was supposed to be on my way to a much need rest (and an even more deserved glass of wine), I decided not to blow off the appointment I had made and actually show up to get my oil changed.
Something the universe was quite clearly encouraging me not to do.
First, there were the red lights. Twelve of them, in fact. Every single light on the way to the oil change place encouraged me to stop. But I didn’t.
Then there was the line. The line to simply hand over my keys. The looong line, presided over by an aggravated mechanic/supervisor who had apparently forgotten that a single smile can make up for a multitude of frustrations.
And then? Then there was the “mechanic” who looked at me with out a trace of light in his dull eyes and said, “alright, we can take you, but I don’t know how long you’re going to have to wait. It might take a while.”
“But I had an appointment.”
“I know. I know. Look, I’m not even the one who’s going to do it. It’s just, well, you’re going to have to wait a while.”
Doing my best not to clench my fists, I asked pseudo-sweetly “well, should I call someone to pick me up?”
“Nawwwwh. Just go wait over there. Or, you know, if you want to take a walk, we’ll probably call you or something.”
So I sat. And I waited. I waited while a family with six, very antsy children fielded countless questions about “why aren’t they done yet?” and “mooooom, I’m hungry.”
I waited while a well-dressed man with a Lexus swooshed in, then out again, all before his butt managed to heat up the seat.
I waited until the supervisor came over and said, “ma’am? Does your car need synthetic? Or is it just regular oil?”
That’s when the first threads snapped.
“I don’t know. Doesn’t your computer tell you that?”
“Ma’am, I really need you to find out. It makes a big difference,” he responded, rolling his eyes.
“Fine. I’ll call my husband.” And so I did.
And he said, “they don’t know? They should know. You know, you can go ahead and walk out…”
Unfortunately, at that point my car had no oil. So I was stuck.
So I walked back up to the customer service desk. And waited. And waited. And waited some more.
The “supervisor,” he was on the phone with a customer. A customer he apparently couldn’t get rid of. A customer he talked to for the next 15 minutes. Literally. 15 minutes.
Now, I know you have to be polite to all your customers.
But, you know what? Hold buttons are made for a reason.
All he needed to know was what kind of oil I needed (a fact he should have already known), and they could have plugged it in, meaning I could have been on my way.
But no. I had to wait.
The previously mentioned maybe-not-quite-as-stoned-as-he-appeared mechanic tried to make light of the situation. Tried to entertain me. But I? Just wanted to go home and hug my kid, damn it.
Finally, he got off the phone.
And got someone to put oil in my car (but not before he told me what a hassle it was to have to get it off the shelf).
And then he took an interminably long time to ring me up. Without ever once smiling or acknowledging my wait.
And the bill? Was 90 fucking dollars.
I don’t have 90 dollars to spare right now people. Couldn’t he have told me how much that synthetic oil was? I may have made a different decision.
That’s when my head exploded. Silently, of course.
One of these days, I’m going to learn to yell at the people who deserve it.
Until then? I have a blog.
So, fuck you, Pep Boys. Next time? I’m going to the dealer.