The Antiguan mechanic is a special breed.
Now I’m not saying that all of them are the same, but there are quite a number of them who make me wonder why they didn’t choose another profession, like meteorology. Because everybody knows that the weatherman’s job is all about prediction.
Truth be told – full disclosure and all of that – I am somewhat acquainted on a daily basis with that side of the car industry, but there are instances when I can’t get my problem solved close to home. So I seek the counsel of an “expert”. Of which there are many.
But I (or really my husband), is amazed at how some mechanics can stand twenty feet away from his vehicle, while blindfolded and tell him that the compressor for the car’s air conditioning unit is faulty. And the vehicle’s engine isn’t even on.
I’ve heard of human diagnostic machines – mechanics so good at what they do that they can tell you that you need to change your engine bearings, just by listening to your car run. But I haven’t met them yet.
Sometimes though, it takes putting several heads together to make a diagnosis and it’s funny when no two of them can agree on what’s causing the problem. That’s when I think that I might be in some serious trouble.
So similar to an interviewing process, I have to decide whether to go with the one who is the most vociferous in his belief, or the one whose solution costs the least amount of money – in the short term. Because in the long run it may cost more when the cheaper guy discovers that it wasn’t the problem that he thought it was after all, or maybe it was – but he found something else while he was in there.
Probably what the other guy who I didn’t go with, said.
Since I’ve already committed, I purchase what I’m told is necessary. Which sometimes is not as easy as you would think.
So it’s particularly annoying when I’m told quite nonchalantly that this part doesn’t quite fit and could I get another one. Like it hadn’t taken me a couple of weeks to get the last one.
I begin to dread it whenever I see my mechanic’s number on my caller id because I already see the dollars floating out of my wallet before I even pick up.
It takes several more weeks of backing and forthing before I realize that he hasn’t even begun to work on my car.
And then the mechanic moves from being a person who predicts, to a person who promises.
…That my car will be finished by the end of the week, every week, for the next six weeks.
So in order not to continue to throw (more) good money after bad, I just cut my losses and buy a new car.
And consider my old car his payment for services rendered.
This one’s for you, my hubby.