Stories and thoughts about family and life

Where does the battery go?

on January 6, 2013

2012 was a difficult year for us, financially.  The business is still getting going and while I am making money intermittently, it’s been challenging at times.  For that reason, we put off a major purpose.  It’s one we normally wouldn’t put off more than a couple of weeks, but I have to admit this one got away from us.  About six months ago, we started talking about the tread on the Kia’s tires (the vehicle Louis drives).  A couple of months later, it was “we really need to think about that,” but then there were also now brakes which had to be  replaced.  What do you need more?  Tires or brakes?  Hmmm.

Most families (especially those with kids) can relate to those conversations.  At any rate, we opted for brakes a couple of months ago and then found ourselves with a flat about a week before Christmas.  Thankfully the flat occurred right as Louis was leaving the house, so it was pretty simple to pull back in and just park the truck.  We called AAA to come and change the tire (that’s when you love having paid for something like that–changing a flat on a hill is NOT much fun).  And the spare sat on the truck until today.

With everything going on–the weather, the holidays, etc.–we weren’t thinking about tires.    Oh, and a battery.  The old battery was not enjoying the cold crank mornings we have been having in Little Rock lately, and it would some days just decide it was taking the day off.  A simple jump and Louis would be on his way, but constantly asking your friends and family to pull up and give you a jump isn’t very nice, let alone convenient.

So, we get up this morning and head to Sam’s.  We’re going to put a couple of tires on this truck, and buy a battery.  I was pretty proud that we got a decent deal (because it always seems to be that when you are in desperate need of something a good deal isn’t anywhere around!).  They inform us it will be about 90 minutes and we happily leave them the Kia keys, feeling fairly proud of ourselves and bounding back to the house to finish the laundry.

We had been home about five minutes when the phone rings.  I should have known it was trouble when they were calling my cell phone, after Louis had listed his first on the form.  Nevertheless I hand Louis the phone and hear him explaining how to pop the hood on the Kia.  Oh, this can’t be good.  He finally offers to go back and open it for them.  Apparently we silly redneck southern folks who never really owned a foreign car before are smarter than the mechanics who are supposedly trained in all this stuff!

He comes back in about 15 minutes without incident, and telling me the mechanic apologized profusely and apparently called himself an idiot.  He also told Louis that he was a mere 15 minutes away from being finished and that we should just plan to be back shortly.  I have to admit, I was quite amazed, although the service tech did tell us that ours was the most complicated thing they had on the schedule that day–it was mostly just rotating tires, and oil changes.  With that, I finish what I’m doing, and we leave the house about 20 minutes later.

When we arrive at Sam’s, I drop Louis at the front door and I drive around by the bays, waiting on him to get his keys and come out.  I notice that his vehicle isn’t on the lot, and I round the corner where I have a pretty good view into the garage and see it still sitting in Bay 1.

I wait for a few minutes outside and finally, seeing no activity around the Kia, dial Louis on his cell.  When he answers and I ask him what’s going on, he explains that they couldn’t get the air intake off, and apparently it had to come off before the battery could be changed.    I sat there for a moment, imagining that we wouldn’t be able to correct this and might have to go to the dealer, when I finally said “so what’s the plan?”   Louis said it was fine now, he had removed the air intake for them.

Wait.  What?  YOU had to remove it for them?  So, what kind of a discount are you getting for your having to come up and work in their garage?  OMG.  And sometimes I worry that I might not have all the answers for my clients, or that I might look a little foolish.    Of course, we received no discount, but I’m preparing to engage the Waltons on their website and relay our story.  I’m afraid to have much more complicated work done here.  I mean, can you imagine if we had asked them to work on the transmission?  Holy Cow!


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