I’ll pencil you in

I think guys working at repair shops sometimes have difficulty with the concept, “making an appointment.”

Or maybe they think customers need to learn that the word appointment really means  “preliminary-sizing-up.”

Here’s how the telephone conversation unfolded.

Me, about two weeks ago: Hello, I’d like to make an appointment for my vehicle. (Explained the make and model. I’ve been there many times before…they KNOW me.)

Desk guy: Oh, okay, sure. What day of the week would you prefer?

Me: Well, I prefer Saturdays, if possible.

Desk guy: Sure, how about 9 am?

Me: Great!

Desk guy: Okay, what’s it for?

Me: It’s the radiator. (Explained the symptoms, and what we’ve been doing in the meantime to keep our engine from exploding–er, imploding?)

Desk guy: Oh, dear…well, that’s not a Saturday job.

Me: Okay,  can you give me a date that’s convenient for you, then?

Desk guy: (I hear the sound of flipping pages and clacking keys.) Okay, how does Friday at 8 am sound?

Me: Perfect! See you then.


My husband gets up early, takes the car to the shop, intending to drop it off for the day and walk to work. Instead, he returns home by 8:30 to a surprised wife.

Me: Why are you home so early?

K: (Shrugs and sighs. And smirks like husbands do when they know they are about to get a reaction.) They took a look at it and said, “Oh, we don’t have time to do this today—it’s your radiator, you know.” Then, they told me to come back next week. Thursday.



Do I live in some balmy, rum-soaked time zone where plans are fluid and meetings are only suggestions?  No! I live in good-ol’ North America, where Time is the great overstressed God to whom we are all enslaved. And we all like it that way! We know what to expect! I make an appointment, I expect to get my car fixed!

(Cue kettle drums. Scene shifts to a lovely resort pool flanked by lounge chairs and coconut palms.) But not today, I guess. I wonder what will happen next week? Will Desk Guy forget to tell me the shop decided to close for holidays?

Doesn’t matter, cause I’m lying here in my hammock, sipping a pina colada, and I don’t care. The great Time God can just sit in the van and wait.

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