Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day From Hell - Part 2

I returned the next morning as promised with my faithful intrepator, A, in tow. His English is at 99% and his Spanish is 100% so I was set!

As I approached the mechanic, he greeted me warmly and asked what was up. Evidently all traces of the conversation the day before erased from his memory banks. I told him I was there to discuss the car window. He immediately called the body guy over who, incidently, had headed to the back of the shop when he saw me. So he trudges over and says "What!".

Long story short. Not only would he not admit to ever even touching the window, let alone somehow breaking it, he refused to even look at it! By this time I was really frustrated and the window had long since fallen inside the door panel. I could not even secure the car if I couldn't get the window rolled up. When told this, he basically said it was not his problem. I'm not sure what all she said because A would not translate it for me. I could tell from the tone that it was not too nice though. So I said, ok, hasta luego, and we left. Never to return or set foot in that place again. Even though the mechanic probably had nothing to do with it, it was still his employee and he was condoning the behaviour. Besides, I am positive that the car was being sabotaged each time so that I would have to return to get yet something else fixed.

I remembered seeing an ad for another mechanic posted at the licensing bureau when I renewed my drivers licenses last week. I drove over, wrote down the information and off we headed to this shop.

Those guys couldn't have been nicer. They said they could look at it right away. I explained that I had to drive A to work but would return immediately. They offered to take him to work on their motorscooter so that they could get right to work on the car. We declined and I did then return within 20 minutes.

Two hours later I had new inner workings for the window, it rolled up and down with ease AND the door speakers got hooked up. Evidently somebody had disconnected them when they fixed the door handle for me a few weeks back. Same person who didn't break the window handle.

So it looks like I may have found a decent replacement for my former mechanic. I'll know better next time something goes wrong and I go to him to fix it.


Jamqueen said...

The whole situation is terrible--glad you were able to find another place on the island to get work done--hope it works out!

Anonymous said...

I dont have a a car, but whether it is the plumber, electrician, mason or shoemaker, no one does any work on anything I own unless I am standing on top watching every move.

el oso

Sue said...

I am sorry to hear about your car problems. I have to say that our experience with golf cart repairs has been similar - not sure it's sabotage but they use old wires, they tape things that should be properly connected, and they fix one thing while leaving another obvious problem intact for the next time. Miguel is the one dealing with these guys so I don't think it's case of 'gringo-itis', it might be a case of needing the work. I don't know, our mechanics are nice guys and always willing to come at the drop of a hat - just rarely is our cart fixed for more than a week or so.

It's possible that neighborhood kids broke your window - there are a lot of them around here with nothing to do but hang in the streets and throw trash. But the mechanic should have taken responsibility for damage to your property while on his property - another cultural thing that probably doesn't apply here.

Hopefully you've found a good replacement - I will keep my fingers crossed for you.

Jackie said...

I hope this newmechanic works out for you and you don't get ripped off. How frustrating that ordeal must have been for you.

Calypso said...

Reads like those hombres are getting 'Americanized'. I suppose all a person can do is bone up on their car maintenance to be able to ask good questions.

I went through a real saga with my BIG Ford truck here in Xico. Truck did not run for almost 5 months - had three sets of Mexican mechanics that simply gave up.

I found a Forum on my particular vehicle where owner enthusiasts were able to trouble shoot and help me get it running.

Find a Forum and ask a lot of questions, but a tool box and rely on NO ONE except yourself.

Sorry amigo.

Life's a Beach! said...

Sounds like that shop thought they could pull crap like that because it's an island with a group of captive customers? I wonder if there's much of that kind of revenue generation going on where I live? Makes you think. I'm glad you found another place to take your car.

Steve Cotton said...

Given enough time and patience, everything works out.

Anonymous said...

Ya know, it wasn't that long ago that I posted a comment on Bob's Board about how it's commonplace for the natives to rip off the Gringos, given a free chance, and received a Large Raft Of Shit for my "unsympathetic viewpoint."

We'll let it go at that.

O Robert

IslaZina said...

A novel concept: Service from the service industry here.