I get it, you saw me coming.
“We got one, guys,” you probably shouted over your shoulder as you saw a mud covered Dodge Caravan jump the curb into your parking lot.
Instantly, you greeted me at my window. “Welcome ma’am.” Let’s just pause there for a minute. You called me ma’am. As if I’m my 80 year-old grandmother and you’re helping to carry my groceries across the busy street. “Ma’am.” Does that word ever not make a girl feel old?!
Yet, here I am, the ma’am in the minivan. As you stand there, your eyes move back and forth throughout my car. You clearly notice my two carseat bound children. I know you know I am desperate. That I have no other place to take these two snotty nosed angels when it’s ten degrees below freezing without my car. You ask, even though you already know the answer. “Have you ever been here before?” As soon as the word, “No” forms at my lips, I can subconsciously hear you say, “Cha-ching!”
You open my door for me. What great customer service! Not a second later does the granola bar wrapper shoved into the side of my door along with booger filled napkins, cracker crumbs, and that Tic-Tac box I keep meaning to throw away, fall onto the ground and start fluttering away in the wind. “Don’t judge our mess,” I laugh as I clumsily climb down from my seat making sure nothing else willfully comes out with me.
“Your money ma’am.” Huh? I turn around from unbuckling my daughter to see you pointing at the folded five dollar bill sitting in the seat I once was. “Don’t want you to lose that!”
In retrospect, I should’ve bribed you with that five dollar bill. “Make sure that guy in there doesn’t up-sale me on anything, got it?!” Then we would’ve done some fancy handshake and I could’ve sat in peace for fifteen minutes scrolling through my Facebook as my children colored in your coloring books.
“Which oil would you like?” Insert a colorful graphic with seven different options of oil. “The cheapest,” I say with a laugh. “Well, I’d recommend a car with an engine your size to go with the blah blah oil.” (You actually said the name of the oil but I wasn’t really listening as my son was throwing Goldfish crackers out of my purse onto your floor and then stepping on them). Okay, fine. I agree cleaning up tiny orange cracker pieces with the only wet wipe I have left.
“Now it looks like you need some coolant.” Hmm? Once again, a perfectly timed graphic appears on the screen, this time it’s animated with arrows and blues and reds to show me something about something to do with my car. I obviously don’t want my car to explode. Especially not with all my children in it. “Mommy, potty break!”
Turns out you actually had a pretty clean toilet. I know it’s a total stereotype, generalization accusation I’m throwing out right there. But seeing as I had to carry two kids in my arms back through your work garage to get to the bathroom, I was surprised to find it not grimy and greasy. After my daughter had finished her business I opened the bathroom door back into your garage, my daughter saw those yellow painted lines and ran to jump on them. “No No NO!” I scream, grabbing her just in time before she falls below the surface of your garage. “You’re quick” you offer with a wink.
Now the nice man behind the desk conveniently has my air filter. There’s a leaf and some hair and some gray fuzzy stuff in there. He says I need a new one. “Just tell them your husband changes them for you,” I hear whisper through my mind. But then I laugh. Because that is a very funny lie. “I’ll give you half price on them. I don’t want your kids breathing bad air.” So true. Me either. How thoughtful.
No more graphics. No more show and shares. “We saved you $76 dollars today, ma’am.” I grimace at the ma’am part, but still, $76. “Thank you.”
“That will be $120.” Wha?! Crash. My purse and all it’s contents now scattered amongst the Goldfish remains, and my son, finding each one and throwing it further. With the help of another waiting customer who was probably as anxious for us to leave as you were to collect on me, I picked up my purse and was left with a very angry baby who did not want to be held. “Here.” I handed over my credit card, along with my email, my phone number, and probably even my favorite flavor of ice cream and my mother’s maiden name.
I get it. You saw me coming.
After 5000 miles, I’m making my husband bring the mud covered, crumb-filled, Caravan, sans children, to your establishment.
Five dollars his bill is half mine. Deal?
May all your oil changes be unlike mine!
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