Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Canadian Tired

I had a flat the other day. Right when I came out to get my car to go to work, I did a walk-around on impulse and discovered it laying there like a sad poodle. Fortunately I had a jack and spare tire in the trunk and took less than 10 minutes to change that sucker, even though I had to jack it up using my fingers and a spare appropriately-sized twig. Wasn't even late for work.
I dropped the tire off at the canadian tire near my girlfriend's place and they said it would take a full day to patch. How it was flat is even more curious.
Vic and I park differently, I pull in, he backs in. His new tracker had a flat tire on the front left, the farthest tire from the house, caused by a nail dug in. My car had a flat right, rear tire, again the farthest from the house, caused by a nail. Now, we did drive in from Calgary, going over the same roads the whole way, but I can't help but wonder if some of the patrons of the nearby bar maybe thought it would be funny to punch holes in our tires. Excuse me a second, my tinfoil hat needs tape.
The next day, I arrived at the Canadian tire, in a bit of a rush because I was on my way to my sister's place where my mom's cooking (Joy!) and my new baby nephew (Glee!) awaited me. I paid for the patch, and the older man behind the counter asked if I needed it installed (which was weird because they asked when I dropped it off and I said no) and I said no, he could just bring it round, and I'd change it in the parking lot (I jacked a car up with a twig, aren't I radiating competence?). He told me to walk through the shop to leave, but when I went in, no one brought me my tire. The older man told me to pull my car in, and I shrugged and thought, shop jack ought to be faster. So I brought my car round, but when I pulled in, some other mechanic said he would change it for me. "Whatever" I thought, "maybe they'll be faster". It should be noted I also could not find my tire. The mechanic dissappeared and I waited, and waited. Checked my oil and waited...loosened the lug nuts....and waited.

Finally I went out to the front counter and, as murphy's law predicts, right as I asked where the mechanic was, he appeared in the shop behind me so the older counter guy could point to him and tell me to wait, he'd get to me soon, just wait out here.

I wasn't about to leave my baby in the shop by itself so I muttered that I needed to tell him something and fled back into the shop, where the mechanic had jacked up the car. I whipped off the tire and he stuck on the new one, bolting it on with an airgun (so cool). I thanked him and high-tailed it, but I was sort of annoyed. I don't like to make a fuss, but I should have when I first entered the shop, just said, "Where's my tire?" and absconded. Sometimes I am concerned that people assume that as a lady I'd just mess it up; Also there is a difference between "Can't do it myself" and "Don't want to do it myself" because, let's face it, occasionally it's nice to let someone else do things. This was, however, a perfect example of a psychology concept known as "In for a penny" or the commitment-bias. It was never one point where I said "yes change my tire", just a series of small concessions. It's also the same principle as the boiling toad. Put a toad in hot water and it will jump out, but put a toad in cold water and heat it, and it won't notice. (Yah, right, but it illustrates the point). I always get blindsided by this tactic.


Roots said...

I had a similar experience recently trying to get a piece of furniture off a shelf. It was pretty heavy (about 135 pounds altogether) and having already been pretty sore and tired from the gym I decided to take the easy way out and have them wheel it out to my car.

What I didn't bank on was the 20-30 minute wait it took to find someone with a trolley to find their way to my section.

I think stores have a policy of making sure the customer has to wait a predetermined amount of time before they get the service they require.

Andreanna said...

I think it's less the lady factor and more the "It's free" factor. Part of the cost is installation. Why do work you don't have to when you've already paid for someone else to do it. Get your money's worth!

Plus, how embarrassing for them, you're fixing your own tire outside of their tire repair place! Bad for business, young woman. Tutt tutt. =p