The service waiting area at the local car dealership is America’s melting pot. We all sit anxiously awaiting for the door to the service area to open. Alas, the well-trained, skilled mechanic still sporting fingernails outlined in grease appears and takes on the role as the midwife.
How’s my baby doing? The wait can be excruciating. The guy across from me has either mastered the ability to sleep with his eyes open or is dead. The rest of us are a potpourri of attention deficit. Anxiety as to how our respective hoopties are doing is only exceeded by the disgust one has for the many noises emanating from the aforementioned melting pot — minus the dead guy across from me.
Cell phones aside, eating apples, coughing, sneezing, swallowing loudly, sucking teeth, belching, sipping coffee, clearing of throats and sniffling — I swear it sounds like a trip to the urgent care. To say nothing for the chair cushions; when one repositions one’s posterior, a questionable noise escapes. That’s me giving folks the benefit of the doubt. Seriously, it’s horrible. Now I know how my wife feels watching TV at night.
Whose car is next? As the car rolls out of the garage, it’s time for the big reveal. Here he comes from behind the green curtain. It’s time for the Wizard’s diagnosis. I’m usually embarrassed for the others in the room. HIPAA should be applied to the diagnosis of one’s car’s malady. It’s nobody’s business how bad of shape your car is in.
A guy with a real guy name on his shirt like Hank, Ted or Al comes out carrying the official paper work. He sits down beside the lucky one or stands, leaning in closely, speaking into your bad ear, and proceeds to tell you all that is wrong with your baby.
How do my fellow patrons in waiting allow for such disrepair to occur? The list is endless in many cases. You can hear the cash registers in the other rooms ringing up the bill, item by item, as Big Mike rattles off the crimes. He’s speaking in a language that no layperson understands, yet we shake our heads in the affirmative as if we know exactly why the cam shaft and the timing chain fell prey to our lack of attention. The guilt is only outdone by the cost.
This time it was my turn for embarrassment. I was the derelict driver. The diagnosis, according to Henry as he spoke loudly into my left ear, was that “my SES light was on so they ran a system check and found that the DTC P0011 & P0014 showed potential issues. Further my cam position bank 1 intake & exhaust found DOC #2738924 indicating a possible cam shaft end play.” Got it.
How did I let such a thing happen? Everyone was staring at me like I forgot my kid at Chuck E. Cheese. People couldn’t look me in the eye as I left. The guy across from me didn’t move.