August 11, 2004
Dealership Koan

A woman walks into the shop area of the dealership. "My car is broken, it won't start, it doesn't run right, and it never has."

"Did it make any specific noises? Smell funny? Have any vibrations?" the tech asked.

After a long, blank look, the woman says, "I don't know. I don't remember. All I know is it's broken and it's been that way a long time."

The tech calls up her record, which has entries like, "no gas in tank", "oil not changed for 12,000 miles", and "no air in tires." So the tech asked, "Well, was it working right after we fixed it the last three times?"

Another long, blank look. "I don't remember. But it is definitely broken now and has been for awhile."

The tech glances over the woman's shoulder and sees the car sitting quietly in the parking lot, with nothing obvious wrong with it. "It'll probably take a day to diagnose it. I'll let you know how much it will be when we find out what's wrong."

An aggrieved look comes over the woman's face. In a tone that strongly suggests the tech should not speak this way to people obviously injured by the incompetence of the tech and his staff, she says "I just don't understand why my car causes me such trouble." Then, switching subtly to an "I-know-damned-well-you're-screwing-with-me" tone, she says "My husband's an executive at an airline and he says cars shouldn't act this way."

Idea shamelessly stolen from IFOC.

Posted by scott at August 11, 2004 10:09 AM

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