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  • My whole life, I've been wary of auto mechanics, plumbers, and other skilled tradespeople. I always felt I didn't speak their language and was going to end up with a huge bill. Once I had a mechanic yell at me because I pulled up during a rain storm with broken windshield wipers.

    "You should have had these fixed before it rained!" He was exasperated and threw his arms out.

    "I didn't know they were broken until I needed them in the rain." I put on my brave face and threw myself on his mercy.

    "Yep. You need a new motor."

    "Cool. So you can fix it?"

    "Yeah, but it's gonna take a few days to order the part and then install it. I'm all booked up until next Thursday."

    "Next Thursday?!?!?!?!"

    "Yup. You better hope it don't rain." He chuckled and walked away. I wanted to kick his sorry butt, but I didn't. I booked the appointment and drove away praying it didn't rain for the next week.

    Today, I went to have a routine service for my car, Trixie, at the local dealership. It's a pretty place with shiny cars and rows of tires and men running around each with a plastic smile. The waiting room has wifi and coffee and clean restrooms. They also have a toy room for people with kids. The television is always on some court channel, which I find annoying, but I turn my back on it to write on my computer in the cubes they have available.

    Today's service went well except that I have a bent rim. I had to ask what that meant, and he explained that I must have hit a famous Boston pothole or, more likely, a sidewalk curbstone. Okay, so I do that on occasion. Then the service technician walked me to my car, held the door open and told me that I should check some junkyards and get another rim, but not to buy it through the dealership because of the mark-up. He said I could get one on my own and then bring it in and they would do the labor to install it. I was pleased. For once, I wasn't getting screwed by some tradesman who treats me like a dumb woman who hasn't got a clue (even if the shoe fits on sometimes!). Now if I can figure out how to source a rim in a junkyard, I'll be one happy woman.
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