Monday, January 4, 2010

Ho Ho Ho, Wait... what?

What's the difference between Santa and Tiger Woods? Santa stopped at three hos.

Gotta admit, I really like that one.

This is just a maintenance post. I've put a couple of new books on the Safari bookshelf and will engage in some ranting below.


Can someone please explain to me how one hour becomes three hours in less than five minutes? Let me illuminate you.

This past Sunday I called the local Canadian Tire (mistake #1 but I knew they'd be open) and asked how long I'd have to wait to get a set of snow tires put on my car. The person on the phone said "About an hour." Wow, one hour? That's almost unheard of so I confirmed with them. "One hour today? If I come down now?". They confirmed an hour and so off I went; book in hand.

I arrived at the service counter and asked again about the wait. "One hour. There's only a couple of sets ahead of you." Perfect. Set me up, put me in line and let's go.

An hour and a half later, I notice that the same truck that was on the lift when I arrived, is still there. I begin to feel a deep sense of foreboding. I also get my first look at the kid who will be doing my tire replacement; the person who literally, has my life by the snowtires and the quality of job he'll do. My sense of foreboding deepens. By deepens I mean picture yourself peering into the inky blackness of deep ocean crevasse and imagining yourself trapped in a small submarine, running out of air, kind of foreboding.

To say the young man in question was lazy would be unfair. Thick-witted? Possibly. Unkempt? Definitely. Slow? Like cold molasses in frozen crystal. Able to complete multiple tasks simultaneously? Not a snowball's hope on a hot day in hell. What he was was thorough. Painfully, sluggishly, anal-retentively, obsessive-compulsively thorough. I mean, how else do you begin to fathom a person who takes 15 minutes to change a set of windshield wiper blades on a pickup? Not the whole wiper arm assembly; just the blades.

Apparently (let's call him) Jed was the only tire-guy on that day and I think that rattled him. Every wheel that came off a vehicle and had either a tire fixed or replaced with a new tire, was given a two minute session with the portable power washer. Yep. Every single one. And, rather than clean all the wheels on the vehicle, he only did the one that actually came off and was put back on. Only had work done on the left front wheel/tire? Only the left front got washed. Weird. Notice how I italicized the word "portable" a few sentences back? The power washer was the gas-generator kind mounted on wheels. Rather than bring it to the tire station to wash the offendingly dirty wheels, Jed would open the bay door, back out the vehicle, park, lope over to the next bay door, open it, head back to the vehicle, drive in, get out, close both bay doors, do his ever-important washing of the one dirty wheel, open the door back up, back out, park, close the door, open the other bay door, pull back into the tire station, close the bay door and get out. He'd then shuffle to the desk, scribble on the work order and file it. Then he'd re-open the bay door, climb in the vehicle, back out, stop, get out, close the bay door and go park the car. Then he'd walk back to the service desk, pick up a new work order & keys, go wander around the parking lot aimlessly looking for the next car to work on, find it, drive up to the bay door, park (in one actually shutting off the car), walk in, open the bay door, back to the car and pull in. He did this every single time with every single car!

I won't give you the complete three-hour hour journey for my two snow tires. However the door/washing procedure was only slightly less absurd than Jed's obsession with his tools. I'm a neat person. I put my tools away when I've finished a job. However, if I know I'm going to be hammering nails all day long, I keep my hammer in a belt or at the very least, close at hand to the project I'm working on. Likewise, if I need lots of tools but only once or twice during a project, I'll put them away as I use them. However...

Changing/mounting tires in a shop requires four hand-tools: 1) an air-driven impact wrench, 2) appropriate size sockets, 3) a pry bar 4) some soapy water solution stuff with a brush. It also require a bloody big, hydraulic machine that apparently is designed to put tires on or off rims as a side effect of scratching the hell out of the rim's pretty, metal finish. Now, if you are going to be doing the same job, all day long, would you not keep the tools you need (in this case four of them) as close to you as possible and then put them away at the end of the day? I know I would. Not Jed though.

Nope, our boy Jed put away his sockets, his impact wrench, his pry bar and his soapy water after every, single, damn job. Seriously. Then, when he'd find his way back to his workstation with a new work order, he'd look around, scratch his head and go about searching for his tools. Apparently, surprised every time that they were in their drawer or holder or wherever stupid people put their tools.

Anyway I wasted three hours at Canadian Tire, gave them $200 for my trouble (and two new snow tires) and a meagre "sorry" when I question how I could be told "One hour" and end up waiting for three.

1 comment:

Caryn Ouwehand said...

Wow. Mental Illness at its best I would have to say. OCD all the way.