Heels on Wheels: Fix it, jammit!

Having your car serviced is never a pleasurable experience, but why do some workshops have to make it that much harder for someone just because she is a female?

One of my girlfriends last week had the great misfortune of having her Betty Boop serviced by a bunch of apathetic and indifferent buffoons. Sadly the incident (with a few variations) can basically be described as “a day in the life of the lesser car owner.”

Okay, so by male standards, females are not allowed to know anything about things automotive, electrical or equipped with eight legs. Luckily, I have seen many males who fake this knowledge most of the time simply by using nods, grunts and blind luck.

However, the minute a female walks through the door of a workshop, the guys act as though they’ll be wasting too much of their precious time talking to a lowly member of the opposite sex. Between chatting on the telephone and munching their crisps, the mechanic usually points to an exposed area on his desk, indicating where you should leave your keys. You are then promptly dismissed with the universal raised eyebrow, while your “favourite” mechanic continues chatting to Philip about “what Christine said to Liz”.

Imagine my friend’s surprise when, after collecting her car later that day, she found that the initial problem had actually been aggravated, rather than fixed. Imagine too, her pleasure when she promptly took her car back to the workshop, where she was directed to another surly staff member, and accused of having known about the (new) problem all along.

Incidentally, when she collected her car the second time round, she was told that it had not been taken for a road test, and the problem had not been not fixed because the part was unavailable.

Of course, the dealer principal and regional complaints receiver have been assured in no uncertain terms that the particular service centre will never be honoured with the presence of her little Betty Boop again!

But is it standard practise for these “gods with tools” to treat all females with anything other than disdain and contempt while trying their utmost to rob them of hard-earned cash usually reserved for secret Twinkie stashes?

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to at least appear interested by making eye contact and smiling occasionally. After all, they are being paid to do their jobs; they don’t have to act as though they’ve been commanded to cough up their kidneys! –

Article written by

CAR magazine