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I dropped my car off at the dealership today for a routine checkup. I have been on a roll with the cars this week, taking Kris' car in on Monday, nearly taking the S2000 in yesterday (Heather needed it an extra day, so that'll happen next week), and the new car in today.

When I arrived, a dealership employee did a visual inspection of my car, marking down on a sheet where there were scratches and dents on the car. I believe this to be a record for them, so that customers can't complain of scratches, claiming the dealership made them. I wonder how many times that happened before they started this procedure.

I also wonder how long until they start taking pictures of the incoming cars' scratches.

After my dents and scratches page was filled out, I wandered into the service area, and stepped into line behind the woman at the end of the line. As I set my bags down (gah, I'm such a bag lady), I rested my car dents and scratches page on the table next to us. The woman immediately leaned over and started reading my page.

"What the?" I thought, and flipped the page over during her mid-read. Why she thought it was okay to look at my paperwork, I'm not sure. After a moment, I looked at the page, and realized there was a big S on the front dash. "What the?" I thought (I'm full of these this morning), and wandered out to look at my car. Turns out, one of the scratches was dust, which I was able to rub off. The D dent, well, yeah, that one exists, though it's actually puncture holes in the bumper. The garage vampire bit it a year ago in Katie's garage.

When I walked back into the service waiting area, and back into line, the woman in front of me asked the service rep behind me what the dents and scratches paper was. He said it listed all the scratches on the car (like, duh, did you even read the top of the page with the legend that says, "Scratches, dents, dings?").
"Even all four tires?" she asked.


"All four tires?"


"Can you show me? I don't believe this," she continued, and stepped out of line, and out the door with the service guy.

Just after they left, the guy in front of me finished, and walked away to the shuttle waiting room. I paused before stepping up, wondering if the I-have-a-scratch-free-car would miraculously dash in with perfect timing and reclaim her spot in line.

She didn't, so I stepped up, and started the paperwork for my car (they couldn't find my appointment, couldn't find my car, was I the legal owner of the car, when was it last in, etc.).

Just as the service rep is about to hit the save button on my service order, the I-have-a-scratch-free-car woman comes bursting through the door, completely huffy.

I'm guessing she had scratches on her car.

Just as the service rep is about to hit the print button on my service order, three seconds after he hit the save button, the I-have-a-scratch-free-car woman declares quite loudly how inappropriate and unfair it is that she lost her place in line. She then starts on a rant about how she has to go to work, and she had to go discuss the non-existent scratches on her car with the other service guy, and she shouldn't be penalized for having to step away to show him how she doesn't' have scratches on her car.

When she started her rant, the service guy helping me, and the other one paused in what they were doing to listen. After about thirty seconds, my service guy reached over to the printer and grabbed my paperwork. I signed the paperwork during the woman's rant sometime.

If she had just shut up, and stood there in line behind me, she would have been helped within 15 seconds of entering the service area. Instead, she wasted my time, the two service guys' time, the other customer's time and her own time.

As I sat in the shuttle waiting room, waiting for the shuttle to take me to the train station so that I wouldn't have to walk home or to the nearest Starbucks for wi-fi, I couldn't help but think, "Good lord, woman, look! We're all here waiting for the shuttle bus. Even you! If you had been in front of me, you would have sat her an extra 5 minutes. Joy! See how much time you saved?"

The shuttle took about 15 minutes to show up, at which point there were six people waiting for it. The shuttle was an Audi SUV, which held five people, including the driver.

As I was busy putting my computer back in its bag (the bag lady, remember?), I was the last one outside. Therefore, I was the least likely to manage a ride at this moment. Several of us were wondering what do to with this scenario (though, two people were not - they jumped into the vehicle, ready to go, even though one was the last one into the shuttle waiting area). One guy told me I was in the shuttle waiting area before he was, so I should go, but the shuttle driver found another car to drive me (and only me!) to the train station. Custom service.

Now, and astute reader (or a non-dementia Kitt, depending on when I read this next) would notice that I mentioned six of us were waiting for the shuttle, but,

4 in the car + 1 riding solo = 5 patrons

Interesting number there.

As I was waiting for the car to drive around to take me to the train station, the I-have-a-scratch-free-car was talking the ear off a guy that looked like the head of the service department. I heard snippets of, "... I shouldn't have to wait..." and "... car falling apart after five years..." and "... takes too long to drop off car..." and many, many Is.

Many, many of them. Did I mention the number? Lots.

As I stood there for the five more minutes for my solo-shuttle car to arrive, she kept talking this guy's ear off. Talking? I meant complaining. Oh, lord, was she complaining. I couldn't help but think, aw, crap, am I this bad in my negativity? I don't think so. Maybe I am. I'll ask Kris and Megan. They'll let me know.

She stopped complaining when her car was pulled around. I looked at the license plate, a 4W something plate, so the car was originally purchased early 2001. Note to self: the I-have-a-scratch-free-car woman can't do math. She drove off just behind my shuttle car as it left the dealer's lot.

My driver was initially a bit quiet, but loosened up when I mentioned I needed to go to Starbucks (for the wi-fi). He needed to go to Starbucks, too, but for the coffee. What a morning! We had the hardest customer this morning!

"Oh!" I exclaimed. "The woman complaining about the scratches on her car?"


"Why was her car done so quickly? Did she need a part you didn't have?"

"No, her headlight went out. We just replaced the bulb."


*blink* *blink*

"The bulb?"

"Yeah, the bulb."

"All that complaining. For a light bulb."


"You need a Starbucks."

"I do."