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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

What would you say?

I guess this is Part Two of my driver's ed thread. We put my Mazda (which I rarely drive unless we need the cargo space, since we inherited Jenna's VW Jetta sedan) into the shop last week. Had been letting a local yokel do inspections and routine maintenance, but no more.

The dealership called Mike with the estimate earlier today...pretty serious brake job and some other issues minor compared to that. When I climbed ( and I do mean CLIMBED) back into the big Dodge dually in town, he informed me of the estimated cost.

Now, we were going to fix it either way, because we like and need the car, it has been paid for for years, and when I make a big supplies run, want to haul passengers, etc., it is the right thing. Still, when I asked him what the cost of the repairs was going to be, he said, "I think the service-writer said $1,005, OR she may have said $1500."

My response was simply to ask, " Well, which one is it?" I mean, I am the one who has to pay bills, balance accounts, etc., so I like to know if there is a $495 higher charge coming my way.

You would have thought I was ripping his full beard off of his face, one hair at a time. To settle him down, I finally had to say, " Well, I guess we are fortunate not to have to worry, either way!"

All I was trying to say to him was that if he is unsure of what someone has said, he should ask them to repeat or clarify it for him. For some reason, he simply will not bother to do this.

I am taking a poll:if you had a repair quote over the telephone, would you want to be clear about whether it was going to be $500 higher or not?

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9 Replies
turkey feather
Senior Contributor

Re: What would you say?

I need to do this some times and I will say it is embarrassing sometimes and the person on the phone is not always able to hide his fustration. Maybe this was it or maybe he thought the the difference was not a big deal?

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Ruby Lou
Senior Contributor

Re: What would you say?

I think I would ask for the name and phone of the person the gentleman talked to so you could get the estimate straight for yourself.  I realize an estimate is an estimate, but you should know before you go into the repair what your expecting. 

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: What would you say?

I am beginning to think this is either male pride, or he is losing his hearing, and doesn't want to admit it. We have the same issue over his not asking for sales tax exemption when he should.

I go to a lot of trouble to provide the 595-E form to vendors and suppliers, to save the sales tax cost whenever it is legitimate to do so. He made a telephone order of a small piece of equipment in November. The sales tax we were charged was $344.50, which we did not owe. When I asked him if he requested the exemption, which only required giving them our number, he got irate and left it up to me to get refunded.

That took one phone call and one fax, so not a huge job to get that amount credited to our credit card, maybe fifteen minutes of work.. I see asking and following up to have been worth $2000 an hour for my time, so well worth it. He acts like it isn't worth his time to nail things down like this.

I let the estimate confusion slide. I just wondered if you would have wanted him to get it clearly understood or not. I always like to know what I am committing to, when I authorize service, order something, etc. is it just me, or does anyone else like to be exact, too?
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wt51015
Senior Contributor

Re: What would you say?

Like you said, it may be his male pride for lack of hearing. Also he has depended on you to clean up his mistakes. What would he do if you weren't able to would be my big question.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: What would you say?

That was the point I was trying to make to him...that he needs to learn to ask people to repeat things. I have done all of this kind of repair estimate stuff for forty years, and he needs to learn how not to get taken for a ride. He just got madder, when. Tried to explain that aspect of the situation to him.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't....
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dairy mom
Senior Contributor

Re: What would you say?

I just hate it when they get unreasonable.  It's been a pretty horrible couple of month around here.  Still having employee problems.  Had another walk away last week. 

Yesterday was a really bad day because he had tractor problems.  Still haven't gotten that figured out.  Put a different tractor on the mixer so now no tractor to haul manure with.

They've also been having trouble with the milking system trapping out and losing vacuum.  Did it this morning during the wash cycle.  I happened to be in there so called hubby to ask him what to do when the strategy I knew about didn't help the problem.  Well all he could do was start screaming into the phone so I couldn't understand a word he was saying.  So I hung up on him.  Then called him back and asked if he was ready to calm down and talk so I could hear something besides the phone buzzing in my ear from him screaming.  Guess he doesn't realize stupid cell phones are like cheap microphones that the closer and louder you yell into them the more they feedback and you can't understand anything.

Anyway by the time I redial he was to the parlor.  Continued the screaming at me in front of one employee and the milk truck driver. When I asked him what it was that we had heard fall if it wasn't the ball in the overflow he quipped "I don't know, you're the one with the bad hearing".  Didn't pay any attention to the employee backing me up that it had sounded like the bleeping ball had dropped.  So after this pitiful look from the truck driver I just walked out.

I realize things have been going rough, but being like that just doesn't help.  Sometimes I have to wonder if it is contributing to the employee problem.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: What would you say?

I can guarantee you it causes employee problems. His disrespect to you, in front of them , is basically treating them like a piece of furniture, when some of them probably really want to come to your defense.

Your husband is a bully. I worked under my bullying father and uncle until Iwas ninetern...and we had to work in tobacco and peanuts from the age of six. I hated my uncle, and feared my father.

They were horrible, and back then, most of the other workers were black, so didn't rise up against their abuse. My BIL who took over the farming from my father finally sold out, and I was told it was a lot because his employees stayed out of the frame because my father kept abusing people verbally.

The worst thing I can say to Mike, when he goes " off", is to call him by my father's first name. It hits him like a slap in the face...I have only done it very few times. My father was very hateful to him, when he did some part-time work for him, during tobacco planting one year.

I despise bullies, mostly because of how I was treated, and saw others treated, growing up. I want to reach through this screen and strangle your husband right now.
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Midwest Farm
Veteran Contributor

Re: What would you say?

" I want to reach through this screen and strangle your husband right now. "

 

Yeah, me too.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Followup

The car had been promised Thursday, so we headed that way on other errands, but one part was delayed. The dealership called my cell yesterday afternoon, to say it was ready, so I asked the caller what the final cost was.

Turns out, the original estimate was almost $1600, but they whittled it down to $1400 and some, so now I know which estimate of the two possibles in Mike's mind was valid...unfortunately, the much higher one! We are headed back that way today, and will be dropping off the truck, for five recalls. (He got peeved when we took it to the local Dodge dealer, who kept it all day and didn't even start.). I hope to ovearhear the cnversation about the additional service scheduled, while we are at that dalership.

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