July 22nd, 2011

Conrunner Kevin

Hard to Pay

This morning I drove my van to the body shop and dropped it off to have them replace the handle. "Do you need a ride?" they asked.

"No, that's okay, I'll just walk home."

They looked at me incredulously, "Are you sure?"

"Yes, it's only about a mile and a half," I said. They looked pretty dubiously at me as I walked away.

Later than morning, they called me to tell me the van was ready. "Do you need us to come get you?" they asked.

"No, that's okay, I'll just walk down there after lunch." Again, their tone was incredulous that someone would walk such a vast distance. "I need the exercise," I told them, which they sort of understood, but I get the feeling that to them, if you need exercise, you drive to a gym and work out there, then drive home. Car culture.

Mid-afternoon, I walked the approximately 2500 steps to the body shop. I expect that the person behind the desk was a "placeholder" who didn't really know how to work the place, because she had a real difficulty understanding that (a) I was here to pay for and pick up my van, (b) there was no insurance involved, and (c) All I wanted to do was pay, get my receipt, and my keys. I think it's possible that my having walked up rather than being brought to their shop by their courtesy van confused her, too. After much longer than you'd expect, I paid the $160, got my keys, and drove home, with a driver's-side door whose outer handle actually works.
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