Monday, February 1, 2010

Experts with Clipboards

Did you ever have that experience -- the one where you went to the doctor for some little issue like a scratchy throat, and then the doc starts looking at your chart and notes that you haven't done your colorectal screening, or your PSA test, and you end up in a tiny little gown with your rear hanging out? Did you ever have that experience?

I never have, thankfully. But I did take my 1998 Forrester in for an oil change today. The next thing I knew the service manager, Larry, was standing beside me wearing a white lab coat and holding a clipboard with papers on it. He had the furrowed brow which signifies that either you're about to don a backless gown or relinquish your wallet. I suppose I was lucky -- he went for my wallet.

We hadn't done our 120,000 mile scheduled maintenance! OMG! How could we have let that one slip by? But I am a sucker for authority figures in lab coats with clipboards, so I couldn't just admit that automobile maintenance isn't that important to me. I signed the authorization form and caught a ride home on the dealer's shuttle van.

Sally was the one who had the honor of picking up the car and paying the bill. It was $629.67, but then, that included the oil change I originally came in for. Sally was a bit perturbed when Larry told her that the car was in great shape, and that it needed very little work. We paid $629.67 (less the oil change) to learn that everything was fine, which was what I thought before Larry sidled up to me in the first place.

Oh well. As I said to Sally, when somebody receives the results of their PSA test, their colorectal screening, their MRI or CAT scan and is told that everything is OK after all, they don't usually grouse too much about the bill. I suppose we should keep everything in perspective and count our blessings, including the blessings we paid $629.67 (less the oil change) to discover.


  1. Didn't they fill fluids, replace wipers, filters and all that stuff, too? I stopped doing those "check-ups" after the warranty ran out.

  2. Yes, and they even gave us the partial container of windshield washer fluid. Think of how much that saved us versus buying our own jug for a buck or two!

  3. No...that's good. That washer fluid is about $5/gallon.