And that’s how a brain explodes.

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).

But then.

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.





5 Comments on And that’s how a brain explodes.

  1. Erica
    May 24, 2012 at 10:45 pm (4 years ago)

    Another reason I don’t do car stuff!

  2. Andi
    May 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm (4 years ago)

    The Hubs had a horrible experience at Pep Boys a few years ago regarding a return of a $10 item. He wrote the corporate office, sent receipts of how much money he had spent at Pep Boys over the last few years and told them they were not getting his money anymore now because of the horrible customer service he had received. I think they sent him $10 off an oil change coupon. Never redeemed it and still won’t shop there.

    Remember, corporations, customer service is EVERYTHING.

  3. Lady Jennie
    May 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm (4 years ago)

    I have days like this, and they are awful!

  4. Linda M
    May 31, 2012 at 8:48 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh what a day you had. Sending you a hug long distance from MI! The guys there really were jerks because I think that since you put synthetic in your engine, you have to keep using it. But the upside is you don’t have to change your oil for almost a year.

    I had a similar situation happen to me back in January. My car starting driving really rough and almost back firing. So I immediately called the shop practically across the street from my house. Made an appointment for 10 am. Stayed home from work. Walked home. At noon they still hadn’t looked at it. At 2 they still hadn’t looked at it. At 4 they didn’t realize that I needed the car back today (and yes, still hadn’t looked at it). Um, hello, why did I make an appointment (that obviously means nothing), if I didn’t need my car back? And why have I been calling all day to check on the status of my car? So they gave me a loaner. Not a good sign. They finally called me at the end of the next day to tell me that it would be $1400 because even though I brought it in for the misfiring, they did a complete system check and realized that some else was about to break, which cost $1000 and no they couldn’t in good conscience just fix what I originally asked them to fix, knowing that my engine could blow at any time. Poor design and unfortunately not a recall. It took 4 days to get my car back in total! First and last chance Auto Medics of Shelby!

    Needless to say that when my car had a problem here a month ago, I found a place that was highly recommended, and still the first question out of my mouth after explaining the car’s problem, can you have this done – today?

    Customer service is by the way side right now. The companies won’t hire enough help, and the consumers are suffering. Sorry, got a little long winded there. Hello Kerner’s Auto. Awesome service!

  5. Charlotte
    June 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm (4 years ago)

    Wow. You have the patience of a saint. Though I probably would have done the same. I’ve never been very good at asserting myself in these kinds of situations. And how do they not know what kind of oil your car takes??


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