Regardless of the industry, when dealing with the public, we often come across certain characters that we wish we hadn’t. At least they give us amusing stories to laugh about after the fact. The general public is well immersed with people (characters, as we will call them) that can make our jobs more difficult, but the same people provide us with entertainment, albeit sometimes painful. As a provider of mobile mechanic truck bodies, we have gotten the opportunity to hear some tales from the road. Here is a compiled list of people almost every mobile mechanic will meet at some point in their journey and probably wish they hadn’t.
Bob knows exactly what he is doing, and you do not.
The person who knows more about fixing vehicles than you, yet they called you for assistance…
It’s a sunny day and you exit your mobile mechanic truck to a pay a roadside visit. Immediately upon exiting your vehicle you are met by a charming individual who gives you the diagnosis.
“The alternator belt is torn to hell.”
Ok, you say to yourself. Let’s take a look.
Upon examining the engine, you notice that there are at least 3 problems, none of which are related to the alternator belt. You return to the individual to notify them of the repairs that will need to be done and give them a time and cost estimate.
“I have had this thing for 10 years, and I’m telling you all you need to do is switch out the alternator.”
Well, actually no you don’t, Bob. Your alternator belt is just fine but you have a massive problem with your radiator.
Bob now stands over you to let you know that you are looking at the wrong problem.
Bob tells you about how his uncle was a mechanic, and how he knows what he is talking about because when he was a kid his uncle could fix a vehicle in 15 minutes; any make, any model.
Bob will tell you how to do your job.
Bob does not know how to do your job.
After the job is complete, Bob will tell you how outrageous his bill is. Bob will not thank you.
Jill is your worst nightmare.
The individual that thinks they can negotiate every detail to the penny…
In this scenario, Jill has called for a road side tire repair.
Jill seems nice enough upon arrival, scrolling through her facebook feed as you try to switch out her tire so she can get back on the road.
Jill seems like a normal road side call, until it is time to settle-up. Next comes a rapid fire serious of questions that are equally as disrespectful as they are ignorant.
“Why does labor cost x amount per hour?”
Well, Jill, if you factor in me driving out to this desolate location to change your tire for you, and performing a task that you do not have the ability to, it is sort of justified.
Jill responds by informing you that she just got new tires and the man at the tire shop only charged her __ amount. Jill wants to know if you can match it.
Um, well Jill, no I cannot match it because, again, I drove my mechanic truck out here to fix this issue for you. Remember.
Jill wants to know why there is a tire disposal fee. Her tire guy has never charged her a tire disposal fee.
Well, again Jill, I cannot just throw this chewed up tire in the woods and hope no one sees me because, this is sort of my job. I cannot just make this tire disappear. Mechanic, not a magician.
Jill wants the tire disposal fee taken off of her bill because she thinks you have already over-charged her for labor.
You then decide to pay the tire disposal fee yourself because you would rather eat glass than continue to justify yourself to Jill.
Jill is awful.
Its been 10 minutes, and I don't understand what the hold up is.
The person who has 1000 places more important to be at this very moment
Perhaps the worst of the worst.
After a long day, they always seem to be the final service call.
You have taken a solid 5 minutes to make an initial assessment of what their issue may be.
Then, like an air horn in the middle of a deep sleep, they hit you with this question, “So how long do you think this will take?”
You have yet to identify the problem that has rendered this vehicle inoperable.
Dave presses again. “How long do you think it will be?”
If you would, perhaps, not talk to me for five more minutes, Dave, I may be able to tell you.
You figure out the issue and get to work, to which Dave begins to tell you about how he has to be at someplace somewhere an hour ago.
You pretend not to hear, and Dave gets bored and walks away.
It is not 10 minutes later, and just like a dog begging for food, Dave is back at your feet, wondering how long it will be before he can get back on the road.
Dave continues this process, every 5 to 10 minutes for the next two hours.
While Dave doesn’t complain when paying, Dave is still the biggest pain in the ass the world has ever seen throughout the entire repair process.
Dave makes you wish you didn’t know how to use tools.
**Please note that all characters have been given fictionalized names, and are not actual reflections of anyone named Bob, Dave, or Jill. There are a lot of swell people named Bob, Dave, and Jill***
What types of characters have you met on the road? Please comment your favorite roadside repair story!
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