Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Words a Riding Girl Should Never Say

With Monday morning dawning, all my mind can think about is where to find the gasket I need for Jade. I have a full day ahead of me. I am training a replacement for work while I’m away. At the same time, hopefully with grace and proper business etiquette, I can call around about a part.

Yesterday, in a desperate attempt to acquire a gasket, I placed an order on-line with one local Yamaha dealer with a note to call me in the morning about the order. I really don’t want to order if they can’t guarantee delivery next day. Nine o’clock rolls around and I am getting antsy. I call them. The “internet guy” is not even in today. I speak with the parts guy available, and he tells me that for next day, I would pay a $30.00 shipping charge. My mouth is hanging open at this incredulity. I tell him “let me speak with my husband first” which is always accepted by people as a legitimate excuse not to complete a transaction just then.

I call the next dealer on my list. They do not have the part either, but can order it for next day. I will have to pay extra shipping. “How much?” I ask. They feign ignorance. I ask if they can call around “in a dealer courtesy” arrangement to see if they can find one locally. “Sure” they say, but an hour passes, and when I call back I am told that no one has a gasket in stock. I break down and order a part with them.

I call another dealer on my list. This one is in Manchester. I repeat yet again to the parts guy what I need. By this time, I feel that I have scripted what to say, without any expectation for positive results. “Yup” he says, “we have one in stock.” My heart begins to race. The parts guy does a physical check. “Yup” he says again. I ask him to put it aside and my husband will pick it up.

I call the other dealer and ask to cancel the order. They tell me I can’t cancel it. I am mentally fatigued at this point and accept that, and ask if I can cancel the overnight shipping. They can do that, and I will have a second gasket next week. I’m thinking “whatever,” but politely I say, “OK, I will pick it up when I get back from vacation.” I guess a spare is never a bad thing.

Now, I am not mechanically minded, and my terminology is not always correct, as Andy’s is not always correct about things computer related. We accept this of each other in the way that comfortable relationships do. That evening Andy and I set out to install the gasket and replace the crank case cover. We had noticed when removing the cover that each bolt is a different size. (Of course I call them screws. Andy doesn’t correct me.) So we don’t get them mixed up we duct tape them near the holes they belong too.

We are having a bit of a time getting the cover on without messing up the gasket. Some of the screws (oh, right…bolts) fall from the cover. We are so intent on getting the cover on right, we don’t notice right away. We think we are completing the task when we notice one screw missing (oh right…bolt.) We are frantic. We hunt and hunt and hunt. We begin to question if it was really there. We can’t tell by the sticky gunk the tape has left on the cover. By this time it is 6:35. I tell Andy I will call the Yamaha dealer in the next town over to see if they are open. “That’s probably a good idea” he says.

I make the call. They answer the phone. My heart leaps with joy at hearing a live voice. “How late are you open until?” I ask. “We are open until 7:00” the man says. “Oh, good! I’m in the next town. Would you mind waiting? I am in desperate need of a screw.” I say. “Lady” the man says with humor in his voice “we never deny anyone in desperate need of a screw.” When I hear my words come back to me, I realize how it sounds and my face turns twenty shades of red. I confess to Andy what I have said. He’s more amused than I think he should be. I stay in the car at the dealership, but I hear Andy and the Parts Man have a good chuckle about it as they say goodbye at the door. OK, I’ll take the ribbing, as long as Jade is repaired. I will certainly remember next time the difference between a bolt and a screw, because saying you are “in desperate need of a screw” are just not words a riding girl should ever use. That is, of course, unless she means it, which is a topic for another day.

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