Oh, finally! My mom’s car is DONE!
Also, as I didn’t have to go anywhere early in the morning, it was actually daylight when I started my rounds, and I could get some photos. I always start with bringing fresh water to the cats, and topping up their food bowls.
Beep Beep was, of course, just sssstttttaaaarrrrvvviiinnnngggg…. 😀
The little greedy guts! 😀
I was also able to get a picture of the area by the old kitchen garden.
All that churned up snow? It extends through the trees in the back, as well.
That’s all from deer.
We never see them, here. Most of the windows facing this way are either blocked or covered with insulation. There are still tiny frozen fruit on the ornamental apple trees that the deer are trying to reach. From how dug up the snow is, I’m guessing they are also digging to reach fallen apples, too. I’m glad those tiny little things still manage to be a food source!
Once I was done my rounds, I called the garage and explained the situation with my mother, and asked if I could have a printed bill to show her. They were good with that, so I headed into town soon after.
The work on the car was in progress when I got there, so I was able to get a few photos to show my mother, as well.
Including the old brakes.
As the invoice software wasn’t designed to include much information, he even let me take a photo of his note pad, where he keeps track of vehicle information, and an itemized list – with costs – of parts needed. As we chatted, we worked out that I would come back at 4:30 to pay the bill and pick up the car.
Printout in hand, my next stop was to pick up prescription refills for my husband. That done, I phoned my mom from the parking lot to tell her I had what she asked for, and could come over with it.
She was not happy.
First, she would have to miss out on her Tuesday afternoon bingo; one of the regular activities organized in her building. Then she was upset because she’s already spent over a thousand dollars on the car a year ago, so it shouldn’t need more work. I remember that; my brother was the person helping her with her car back then (it was really more like 2 years ago, now that I think about it). It was an electrical problem, and a very difficult one to track down and solve. She didn’t remember what work was done, so I mentioned to her that it was an electrical problem but, in her mind, if she already had that much work done on it, it shouldn’t need any more done – even though it is completely different work. Then she was unhappy because, what’s the hurry? It’s not an emergency. Why do it today? I had to explain to her that the car has been taking up space in the garage since it got there – once he took off the old serpentine belt, he wasn’t going to put it back on so he could drive it out again. Her response to that was that she hoped he wasn’t going to charge her for this (the space). *sigh* I also had to explain to her that they need to be paid for their work, and it’ll be done today.
Then she said that she would get me to drive her to the post office. Which was her way to telling me she was okay with me coming over, I guess.
Once there, I went through the bill with her, explaining the different parts of it as best I could in a way she could understand. I then showed her the list that had all the individual prices on them, and the pictures I took from under the car.
It didn’t take long for her to start dismissing what I was showing her – it was a bit overwhelming for her, I guess – but she made it clear that she thought she was being over charged and cheated. Because that’s what all garages do to old people and women.
Then there was trying to explain to her that they don’t take checks (that was a simplified explanation, but as much as she could handle). That led to my explaining that most places don’t take checks anymore, because it’s faster to do it electronically, and too many people were writing bad checks.
Or course, the people writing bad checks part is what she leapt on, and she started telling me that I should explain to them that they should make an exception because she’s old and a Christian, so she wouldn’t write bad checks.
I managed to head her off when she started going on a racist rant about scammers.
At one point, since she needed to go to the bank anyhow (and I was already going to be taking her to the post office…), she would just give me the cash.
She kiboshed that idea herself right away, because that’s a lot of cash to be walking around with.
I explained to her that the fastest and easiest way would be to write a check to me, I would deposit it either with my phone or by bank machine (if I went to the bank in person, they would freeze the funds for up to 5 business days; the banks really want people to do things electronically!), and then I could use my debit card to pay the garage.
Which is what we ended up doing, but my goodness, it was like pulling teeth.
Then I got a lecture about how I should be encouraging my daughters to move out, get “real” jobs and live on their own. Like “civilized people.”
All I can really say, though, is that it could have gone much worse. 😀
Plus, I was able to help her run some errands, even though it meant she had to clamber in and out of my van to do it. My mother is very small. My van is not! She did all right, though, which is good.
By the time I was done with all that, I had enough time to drive home, drop off the prescriptions, update the girls (who were busily baking bread), snag one of them, then go back to town.
The car was done by the time we got there, but he had some bad news for us.
While he was installing the brakes, he found one of the calipers was completely seized. He had to replace it before he could finish installing the brakes.
Thankfully, he was not only willing to give us a deal on that, but he’s okay with us paying for it later, when we bring our own van back to do the front brakes.
I’m going to find a way to pay it off earlier, though. He’s been so very accommodating and patient in dealing with my mother’s car, I hate to not pay for the extra work he had to do on it!
I am glad he didn’t find that problem until later, though. If he’d found it earlier and added it to the bill I brought to my mother, making for a higher total, she would likely have refused to pay any of it.
I’m just happy to finally have the whole thing over with!
My mother, meanwhile, plans to talk to my brother about the car. I don’t think she believes anything I’m saying in regards to the work needed and the costs. I’m just a woman, after all. *sigh*
So now, the only thing left is to actually drive my mother’s car for a while. He said to bring it in to any garage after about 150km of highway driving to get the tires all torqued. Normally, I wouldn’t be driving that much on my mother’s car within an entire month, unless she had a doctor’s appointment, so I’m going to have to go out of my way to get that mileage in so I can get the tires torqued.
I keep looking forward to a day when I don’t have to drive anywhere, but the way things are going, that might not happen until next week! 😀
Oh, I’m getting so spoiled. When we were living in the city, it wasn’t unusual for me to be out two or three times in a day, every day. Now I’m whining over going out at all! 😀
It may be a pain in the butt, but really, it all went about as well as it could have, so I’m not actually complaining. It just is what it is!