Childish advice for dealing with a dishonest mechanic
Dear Ely: I think my mechanic is screwing me. I know what you’re thinking: “Big surprise! A dishonest mechanic is taking advantage of his hapless customer.” Well, in my case, it is a big surprise. You see, my mechanic is a guy I’ve known all my life. We grew up next door to each other and we’ve been friends since forever. He was always way into cars, and when he grew up to be a mechanic I thought I was set. I mean, a mechanic I know well and can trust implicitly – that’s a priceless commodity these days. But recently I get the feeling that he’s been overcharging me for his services. I also suspect that he purposely causes problems with my car so that I’ll have to bring it back to him for more work. I hate thinking this way about a friend, but the evidence shows he’s screwing me over. What should I do?
Dear Mechanical Bullshit,
The mechanic / car-owner relationship has always been one-sided. The mechanic is the Specialist, the Expert. You go to him when your car is broken and you can’t fix it, begging for his help. He’ll look over your car and run some mysterious tests on it. He’ll explain to you what’s wrong using esoteric terminology that you probably won’t understand. He’ll give you a seemingly random dollar amount that you’ll have to pay to fix the problem.
The mechanic holds all the power in this relationship. All you can do is take him for his word and fork over the money, hoping that he’s not ripping you off but knowing deep down that he is. Yes, finding a good honest mechanic is a rare accomplishment, and it sucks that yours seems to be turning sour.
You have a distinct advantage over the average screwed-over customer, though. You’ve known your dishonest mechanic since you were kids growing up together. It’s time to revert to some old-fashioned neighborhood justice. Do what you did as a kid when he knocked your ice-pop on the ground or took your bike and wouldn’t give it back: go tell his mom.
Yes, you’ve grown out of your tattle-tale phase, and being a snitch is frowned upon. But his mother is the only person on earth who can reel in your dishonest mechanic’s rogue behavior and make him treat you fairly. Get that bitch on the phone right away!
Peace, Love, and Snitching on a Friend,
PS. If you have any advice for Mechanical Bullshit, leave a reply below!