Everybody is in a hurry these days including yours truly. I drive a car (Olive) with a little age on her (130,000 miles and counting). I’m determined to have the oil changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. When the oil warning comes on I can hear the words of my Dad echo in my mind, “You take care of your car and your car will take care of you”. Sound advice from a sound man. Thanks Pops!
Unfortunately I’m a real pro (as in procrastinator). I’ve been riding around for weeks knowing I need an oil change. That’s the difference between my Dad and me. He would’ve had it changed the first Saturday after the light came on. Me, I tend to think there’s better ways to spend my valuable time. It’s not like the car is going to stop running tomorrow if I don’t get the oil changed today.
Yesterday was almost the day. A Kwik Kar Lube close to my work had been on my radar. Because of its convenience the decision was made to stop in. Little did I know my good feeling about crossing this chore off my list would soon be dashed, a victim of false advertising. Excuse me for thinking Kwik meant the same as Quick. I’ve seen brands spell their names in a funky way to take advantage of an alliteration or make the name more memorable (as in Kwik Kar). Not once did it cross my mind they were just too stupid to spell it correctly!
When I pulled in, the place was busy. There was no line but all the bays were full. I’d been to a variety of quick lube places over the years. When there’s no line, getting in out, in an expedient fashion, is typically a slam dunk. On this particular day that was not the case.
I sat and waited for less than a minute when some guy (I think he was the manager) stopped by my car and informed me that Miguel would be right out to take care of me. Five minutes pass and Miguel saunters towards my car with a short form on a clipboard. If he said hello I didn’t hear it. The first words out of his mouth were, “Have you been here before?” followed by “Please complete this form”. He handed me the clipboard and by the time I looked up he was gone. Back into one of the bays. At least he was quick at something…
Another 5 minutes go by. Then another. I’m getting to that critical point where I’m thinking I’ve invested almost 15 minutes – should I stay or should I go? I want so badly to cure my procrastination blues but I’m starting to get irritated. I remind myself that the world is not going to end if I get my oil changed tomorrow. I was irked by the slow service but it could have been salvaged if there was some perceptible indication that they cared. If you are going to have Kwik in bright lights on your building, you better have some sense of urgency. I thought about making a u-turn and flinging the clipboard out the window just to make a point. I was much more polite than that. I saw the manager guy that approached me initially, called him over and handed him the clipboard. I bit my tongue and told him that I couldn’t wait any longer. His response, “Sorry about that” and I drove off.
Is it me or is there a quick lube oil change type of place on every other street corner? I know that’s at least the case in Dallas. I probably drove past 3 or 4 on my way to work that morning. I randomly chose Kwik Kar. Unfortunately they blew it on all fronts.
Miguel could have said something like, “We are a little busy today sir, are you able to wait about 15 minutes or would you like to come back later?” Or, about 8 minutes in, they could have had someone run out and give me a status report. “I’m sorry for the wait sir, we have a car that will be off the lift in about 5 more minutes…) Or they could have salvaged it at the very end. The manager could have genuinely told me he was sorry and given me a $10 discount on my next visit. If they had made that small gesture I would’ve been writing about a brilliant save by the manager. It appears this particular team needs to be reminded, no matter how you spell it Kwik means Quick!