‘My appointment was for 8am, this is getting ridiculous.” Guy Doesn’t Want A Woman Working On His Car So The Shop Gets Petty Revenge
by Trisha Leigh
There are stereotypes in every industry, but personally, I bet auto repair is one where most people are still taken aback – at least a little bit – to see a woman pop the hood or slide out from under a car.
Most of us, though, would probably shrug and roll with it (or give her a thumbs up), because as long as they’re a qualified mechanic, they can have my car.
OP is the mechanic in this scenario and is a busy woman.
Many years ago, I worked at a car dealership. The attached service garage was small and I was the only licensed mechanic.
I would occasionally have issues with male customers— they would second guess my diagnoses, watch me while I worked on their cars from the bay door, double check my work in the parking lot, etc.
I didn’t deal with customers directly and would often get my apprentice to pull cars in and out of the shop for me.
This morning in particular, we were busy. The lot jockey and apprentice were occupied helping wash cars for delivery and driving to a customer’s house.
So, when she heard a man in the waiting area demanding a male take his car, she shrugged and went on with her day.
The service advisor left a work order and keys at the parts counter, and I went out the front through service to get the car. It was in for a service campaign, which was an update done with a scan tool. It takes about 10 minutes.
The customer was planning on waiting and was sitting in service. When he saw me with his keys in my hand, he immediately stood up, alarmed. I was hustling so I walked right by him and out the door. I missed the following conversation, according to the service advisor (also female):
Customer: “Who is that chick? Is she going to be working on my car? I don’t want her working on my car.”
Advisor: “The other tech is out at the moment, so it’s going to be quite a wait until someone else can look at your car.”
C: “That’s fine. I’ll wait for a guy. I don’t want that chick touching my car.”
A, politely: “Understood.”
The advisor comes to let me know, and I pull the car out and put the work order and keys back on the counter, nonplussed.
What she and the receptionist knew was that it would be a long, long time before any qualified male was available.
Half an hour passes. The apprentice is still away, and I am happily working on something else, bringing other cars in and out.
The customer is now watching each and every person who comes through the door.
The high school co-op student comes in to get something signed. The customer’s keys are still sitting on the desk. It’s been about an hour now.
C: “Hey— why hasn’t my car gone in yet? Can’t you get this guy to do it?”
A: “No, sorry. He’s just a co-op student so he is not allowed to drive the cars due to liability and insurance concerns.”
C: “Just get someone else to bring the car in and he can do the work. This was supposed to take 10 minutes.”
A: “Sorry, sir. He’s just a high school student doing his co-op; he’s not approved to perform warranty work. Only licensed techs and apprentices can do the recall.”
The man got more and more agitated as he waited, and waited, and waited. The receptionist explained the situation.
The car jockey returns. The advisor hands the car jockey a different set of keys, and he brings yet another car into the shop for me. The customer is becoming incensed.
C: “I’ve been sitting here for over an hour and I’ve watched 5 cars go in before mine. My appointment was for 8am, this is getting ridiculous,” blah blah blah.
At this point he says that he literally doesn’t care who does the recall, but that it has to be a guy.
The service advisor starts listing off the names of the men who work in the dealership, then saying why they can’t perform the recall.
“Well there’s Herman, but he’s just the car jockey. He doesn’t know how to work on cars. Then there’s Jeet, but he’s about 17. I wouldn’t want him doing the recall, personally. I guess we could ask Mike— but Mike is the parts guy— he doesn’t know how to use the scan tool. The detailers are men, but they know NOTHING about cars… ”
When the manager explained and suggested he go elsewhere, that’s what he did.
The customer is fuming at this point, and demands to talk to the service manager.
The manager comes out of his office, and guides the customer into the garage. He’s pretty old school… lights up a cigarette standing at the end of my bay, and points at me.
“That’s my best technician. Those guys take orders from her. You can either wait for her to finish what she’s working on, and then you can ask if she’s still willing to do your work, or you can take your car somewhere else.”
The guy was pretty shook up at this point and he took his car and left, two hours after he’d first arrived. I don’t think we ever saw him again, which was not much of a loss, all things considered.
That manager in particular ALWAYS stuck up for me and took my side. The service advisor has this very deadpan sense of humour. She knew full well it would easily be an hour before the apprentice would return from his errand, and that no one else could do the recall. This was not the first s**ist we had encountered.
A sweet moment of support for OP for sure.
I can’t wait to get Reddit’s take on this one!
The top comment wonders how anyone unable to fix their own car could possibly judge who can?
People do think she’s lucky to have a boss that will stick up for her.
They say they cannot believe people are still out there thinking like this.
I mean, think of the Queen!
I hope one day we won’t hear stories like this one.
It’s way past time.