First, I had no intention of posting almost everyday when I made my official return to writing last week. I thought I would be doing good to maybe get out one post per week, if even that. Nothing had inspired me at all to write and I figured I might need to be gone another month just to save up topics for a few posts. This almost daily posting then is a fluke, and I just don’t want you to get used to it okay…
With that said…my planned uneventful Monday turned into an interesting and rather fruitful Monday instead.
I scheduled a regular car maintenance appointment for 9AM and said I would be waiting at the dealer, anticipating that the service wouldn’t take too long. I was very fortunate on my first service appointment. This dealer was quite speedy so I anticipated much the same, even though the service needed involved a bit more this time. My guess was that I would be out in about 90 minutes.
Two hours in I had the privilege of eavesdropping on a cell phone conversation between another customer and her friend. In my defense I wasn’t the only one hearing her side of the conversation. The waiting area wasn’t huge and she was talking as if she didn’t give a damn who heard her. Apparently the friend was in some sort of dire straits, needed money and had asked the woman if she could borrow from her. A long back and forth ensued with my person consoling the other. Most of my side heard repeated short exchanges like, “Stop…I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t want to,” or “Don’t be embarrassed. I understand how hard it is to ask,” or “Do you realize how many times I’ve been fucked over myself…” I struggled with getting up and walking around just to not hear her words. It felt awkward and uncomfortable being in the midst of this conversation and I think the others there felt the same way. Fortunately, our side didn’t have the friend on speaker.
At 11:37 I went to the desk to inquire when my car might be done. This after seeing at least four other customers who had come in well after me getting their cars and going on their way.
I was told that the car was just done being washed and should be out in moments. A word of advice if you hear those words and the minutes drag on without your vehicle appearing: It may be a stalling technique. Now I like this dealership. The service team have been nothing but nice and friendly and competent in the past. Be aware though, if you hear those words and then you begin to hear hushed conversations, and see numerous employees gaze toward you as they are literally running between the service area, parking lot and service desk, all the while trying to look as if this activity was normal, that something might be up, no matter how great your service team is.
At some point, probably around 12:05 or so, I was finally apologized to and informed that, while my car was indeed finished with its scheduled service and washed and sitting in the pick-up area, they were having some trouble locating my key. During this entire time I had surmised on my own that they were obviously stalling, that there was obviously an issue, but really, I had been rather enjoying the hysteria that was growing among all of these men. Literally two service managers, all the desk crew, service team members, and the lot personnel were involved in looking for my key and they had tried desperately to keep this problem quiet.
When they finally had the balls to admit the problem I just sort of laughed and mentioned that good compensation for this error would be to simply give me a brand new model, then it wouldn’t matter if the key was lost. I’m not sure they found that funny, but I thought it was worth a try. For some time prior to their admission I guess they were even attempting to check surveillance video to see if they could spot who parked the car. I really wasn’t all that put out by the issue, especially since I didn’t have other keys on the same ring. Really it was only the inconvenience of spending most of my day there.
Long story short, the service manager finally just had a new key cut and programmed. Profusely apologizing again, he handed me the new key, told me that if they found the old one they would call and handed me an envelope saying “Have lunch on us.”
When I got home and opened the envelope I found two gift cards to a local restaurant, each for $50.
As the service was part of my maintenance package and not charged, I think I scored pretty well. I wonder if they will ever find the key. I also wonder if someone will be facing reprimands or worse over this. I hope not.
Maybe I should take the offending service person to lunch. He might appreciate eating some of that $100 lunch that’s likely coming out of his paycheck.
Late update: I just received a call from the dealership. The key is alive and well and was taking a vacation inside a loaner car. I hope it enjoyed its brief adventure. I will be picking it up later today.