Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Old Buick - Highland Auto Repair Shop, Chandler, AZ 85225

3 days that car has been at that shop.
I had no idea what to expect when I got there today.
I walked up and saw my old car sitting there, hood up, engine running.
I wondered how long it had been running.  I asked the owner that if they did get it running, just let it sit there and idle - for hours if need be.  That's what they do anyway with vehicles that have had running problems, they turn them on after fixing them and walk away from them.  I watched that the other day, a car sat there idling for over 2 hours.  
Well, Virgil was busy with another customer.  I had no small amount of trepidation.  How much is this going to cost this time?  The fourth time in in a little over a month, I knew the towing bill was at least $50, the mechanic the first day I was there with it had spent a couple of hours on it.

Well, Virgil gets up and goes and moves around some vehicles.  He comes back, gets out a notepad, writes down a phone number with the name of an electrical shop and hands it to me.  He says: "If it has problems again, take it here".  Virgil's a good guy.  He is a rare breed in any realm of customer service in terms of whatever kind of business it may be. Certainly, you don't get such honesty in many auto repair shops nowadays, most of them are going to rake you under the coals and take every last cent they think they can get from you.

While standing there, I listened to his son having a conversation with a person on the phone.  He was telling the person that his vehicle needed a new timing belt, but also needed new fan belts and other stuff.  He told him that now would be the time to replace them since they were cracked and not looking too good, because, he said "We are already going to have to take all of that stuff off anyway to get at the timing belt, there will be no extra labor charge to replace it".  

How many shops would get on the phone and say that you need a timing belt and you need this other stuff and yes, there is EXTRA labor charge for the  other stuff, even though they already have to take it off the engine to get at the timing belt? You can bet your sweet @$$  that there are a plethora of shops out there that will do that.

What I am saying in all of that is that I figured whatever I was going to be charged, I was not going to be raped.  I definitely also was thinking, my gosh, I have dumped no small change into this car and I have bills to pay.  I would NEVER say that to them, but I was sweating this one.

Well, it turns out, the owner's son - Jeremy - had given the car over to Bill - one of the shop's mechanics - to look at it.  I have also watched Bill - the man knows what he's doing.  He does just about ANYTHING a car needs.  I have a lot of respect for this shop, it's owners and it's employees.  I asked Virgil how long the thing had been running?  We walked over to where Bill was working on another vehicle, he said that this time, it has been sitting there running for about an hour.  Before that, he thought he had it sitting there running for about 3 hours.

You see, I don't CARE how much gasoline was going to be wasted, I definitely wanted to know if this thing was going to work or not, if not, what do we do next, Virgil had already given me the next thing to do if it needed anything else, we're good.

Well, instead of walking back to his desk to tally up the hours spent on the thing - turns out the mechanic - Bill - had cleaned some wires that go to the computer that was replaced last week and that (hopefully) was it all it needed - Virgil starts walking to my car.  I asked him how much it was going to cost.  He just shook his head, no, nothing.  I would have none of that, they had spent considerable time on it plus the towing fee.  Nope, he said, nothing.  I insisted that I at LEAST pay the towing bill.  He flatly refused my money.  I'm totally serious, I TRIED to give him SOMETHING for the time spent, I mean, the man's running a business and I don't want to turn into a sore spot with a person and a business that I fully intend on taking my vehicles to from here on out.  He just wouldn't take it.  I told him I didn't feel right about it, he couldn't help me.

WHERE, in this day and age, do you find ANYTHING like THAT?  GOOD LUCK.  This is old-school - the way business used to operate in a different day and age.  Nothing bad about it, I'm just saying, when you find something like that you treat it like gold.  Yup, I'm propping Highland Auto cause' - it's worth the prop.  Not that they need it, they have plenty of business, but if you are fed up with being ripped off and live anywhere in the Phoenix Metro area, this is the place to take your vehicles.  They have vehicles brought in from ALL over - Wittman; Scottsdale - everywhere. Even up north people come into town and bring their vehicles there.

As for me?  I got home and the relief was palpable. I didn't have to spend more money on that old thing, though I was fully prepared to.   Caleb's mom's car (we're divorced) - a new thing that is only like a year old - a tin can on wheels is what I call those little cars - isn't running.  They were coming to tow it as I went over there to get Caleb to take my newer Buick back with him to her house.  I am going to drive this old thing for at least a couple more weeks.   He has a car to drive and they have something to get around in while her car is at the dealer's - it's under warranty (must be nice!).

Thursday 11/11/2010


Folks coming for Cafe World information, well, this is just an entry into my blog that has nothing to do with CW.

I'm not blaming Carnival cruise lines - yet - for whatever happened. Though now, a tidbit more of info came when the ship's captain said a diesel generator's casing "split" open which caused the fire. I'm guessing the fire must have taken out the computers and electronics that make the engines run, cause to burn up those engines in a fire? I figure the whole ship would have had to burn down. 

I can't wait to see the interviews, lol. You just KNOW there are going to be over-exaggerated people who thought it was the end of life.........I bet a whole world's worth of media is waiting for their arrival out there.

Meanwhile, Obama is spewing forth useless rhetoric towards North Korea in an apparent "warning" to them. That's nice. North Korea and the rest of the world also know it's a spineless statement that has no teeth to it. Nothing will be done while this president is in office. The latest report is that NK is "exporting banned nuclear and missile technology to Iran, Syria and Myanmar."

Great, let's get the whole world full of nuclear weapons and see who fires first. The destruction of mankind as we know it should serve as at least SOME kind of motivator to DO something about this nation that doesn't care what anyone else says or thinks, the only thing they are going to care about is action. NK has BEEN warned over and over, sanctions up the ying-yang and what has it done? Made a nation of starving people as it's government could care less. 

Well, anyway, there's plenty to do in today's, tomorrow's and even Monday's truck routing system. In fact, Monday, I am driving to a construction site near the U.S./Mexico border. In fact, it's some kind of installation being built for the Federal Government. What? Dunno yet, but it should make for some interesting photo ops if nothing else. Why do I finally get to make that kind of trip?

Because, the semi downtown has been "commandeered". There is a million dollar project that has to have pipe delivered on a daily basis. The pipe has to stay on the truck's trailers. It can't go on the ground until it's in the ground. Meaning that semi has to be used twice a day to move trailers full of pipe around and it can't be sent on trips anywhere where it won't be back in time to be able to move those trailers.

I'm guessing our company doesn't want to rent an extra semi - times are still very tough for our company, we are making money but they are counting pennies. Well, dollar bills, probably more likely, still, renting a semi is not cheap and will eat into profit margins on that job. Which, thankfully, opens up opportunities for me to take loads out that they normally would be taking out.

I don't know if they won't ever rent a semi, but apparently for right now, it is not in the workings, otherwise, I wouldn't be getting that run. 

My Thanksgiving week off looms closer and closer.........



Decatur, Alabama. Got there last night - decided I didn't have enough hours to offload - about an hour and 15 minutes on the clock, tak...