IMAGE COURTESY OF FLUENTIN3MONTHS.COM
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, USA: Local shop owner Hans Wilsson, purveyor of the Land-Rover-only repair facility known as 'Dead Dog Rover', spent a heroic four hours on the phone today arguing with another man over the insane repair bill on a BMW X3.
Small problem, reports Hans, the owner of the shop, as he only works on vehicles that were manufactured by Land Rover.
"I was a little surprised to get the phone call, as I've never had a BMW in this shop in the entire 29 years I've been open. I don't know how to work on them, and given how incredibly annoying BMW drivers are out on the streets, I'm not entirely sure that I ever want to see one darken my shop's driveway."
"It's bad enough as well that I'm having to fix one supposedly-iconic vehicle manufacturer's horrible engineering, concerning my life's choice to be a Land Rover expert, but I can't imagine the mental anguish and suicidal thoughts that BMW repair shop owners must go through simply having to talk to self-absorbed, idiotic owners of BMW vehicles."
"How in God's name do you explain, to a BMW owner, that you need to replace something as simple as front brake pads, rotors, and brake wear sensors to an entire race of BMW owners who have never figured out, no, make that refused to learn how to operate an easy turn signal switch, or have assessed for themselves that simply turning your head left or right assists a great deal visually in making traffic lane changes?"
The beleaguered Land Rover shop owner continued.
"So here I was, I had just opened the shop on a Friday right before a holiday weekend, so I wasn't even sure why I was there, as I had no work scheduled for that day. There was going to be one questionable pickup of a customer vehicle, but I wasn't expecting the owner to show up, as the guy always pays his bills, but it might be a week or two or five before the guy actually shows up to pay them. I seem to recall that he is a hipster who loves repeatedly telling his friends that he owns a Land Rover, but unfortunately he really can't afford to own a Land Rover, and has to take additional loans out against his house each time he needs me to fix it."
"About 9:45 am, a BMW owner calls about the insane repair bill concerning work that had been done to his 2011 X3....whatever an X3 is, as I don't recall ever having seen one anywhere, and still don't know what one looks like, as I have horrible internet service here at the shop, Google takes something like an hour to load."
"He begins the call by screaming at me concerning an eight-thousand-dollar repair bill just to replace the transfer case. I try to calm the guy down, to tell the guy that I'm sorry, he must have the wrong shop, I don't and won't work on BMW's, and I don't have his X3-whatsit anywhere on the property."
"He then counters by identifying himself as Jim Macklin, Tenured Professor of Semantics with the University of Washington, and that he's far too intelligent to engage in such a one-sided battle of...semantics with a backwoods repair shop owner concerning the insane repair bill on his BMW X3.
"He then claims to understand what I truly mean by what I had just said. I'm sorry, to him, means that I'm really not sorry at all about stiffing him for eight grand."
"He then says, 'The wrong shop? No, I am pretty sure that I dialed the number for the right shop, and I'm also pretty sure that you just billed me for eight thousand dollars. Semantics, sir. I am the tenured expert on semantics. You are not. I shall be victorious!'."
"He went on at that point, saying, 'you don't and won't work on BMW's, do you now? You are absolutely correct, because when I get done dragging your shop's name through the muck, you'll NEVER work on a BMW EVER AGAIN!' It was at this point that I kind of figured out that I was going to be on the phone for a while, because he then followed up with, 'And what do you mean, you don't have my vehicle there? Does that really mean that since I refuse to pay my bill, that you don't have my BMW anywhere on the property? What, did you hide it from me until I pay the bill? I'm Jim Macklin, Tenured Professor of Semantics with the University of Washington! I am far-better qualified than you are concerning what people truly mean when they say things!'."
"...and that's pretty much how the phone call went for the next four hours. I knew that if I had just hung up on the guy, he would continue calling me until I engaged with him in his battle of semantics. I have to answer the phone because it's my business, and I cannot change the phone number, as I've had the same number here for the entire time I've been open."
"So at this point, I just let the guy continue to vent. Any time I attempted to forcefully point out that he had called the wrong shop, he'd simply agree with me that yes, he had indeed called the wrong shop, because had he called the correct shop in the first place, he never would have been stuck with an eight-thousand-dollar repair bill for replacing a transfer case on a 2011 BMW X3."
"I even repeatedly suggested, over the four-hour phone call, that he should simply drive down to my shop, just to verify that his 2011 BMW X3 was indeed not here, and even gave him the address. He countered by saying that yes, he should waste his incredibly valuable time as Tenured Professor of Semantics at the University of Washington by driving to some unknown address just to find out that his 2011 BMW X3 is indeed not there, but the insane $8,000 repair bill to replace the transfer case indeed would be. There really was no winning with him."
"So, resigned to my fate, I remembered that there were other tasks that I kind of needed to get around to doing, so I just started working on them."
"I started by taking care of all of my bills online. I typically chew up an hour or two on Saturday or Sunday taking care of that, and I typically don't have time during the week. I made the mistake of telling the customer that yes, I was listening to him, but I was attempting to pay my bills online and had dropped the computer mouse. He replies by saying yes, I am going to have a mighty debt to society to repay once this mess with his 2011 BMW X3 is dealt with."
"I cleaned the windows. I haven't done that in years. It's the small things."
"I should also mention that I consumed quite a bit of coffee during this phone call, as it was quite tiring engaging in a battle of...semantics with a Tenured Professor of Semantics with the University of Washington. I then panicked a bit because coffee tends to run right through me, and wasn't sure how I was going to continue the phone call while using the toilet. It was also at this point that I had understand a completely-unrelated decision of mine that I had made a few months ago, when I had to replace the coiled receiver cord on my shop phone."
"I never really understood why I had purchased such a long phone receiver cord for the shop phone, but after today i realized that this cord was long enough so that I could talk to customers on that same phone while peeing in the bathroom. A victory for the good guys!"
"The first time I went pee, I was careful not to make a loud 'peeing' noise' by aiming at the side of the toilet bowl, but my irritation had grown to the point by the time I had to make pee trips #2 and #3, I didn't care how much noise I made, so I made it a point to stand as far back from the toilet as possible, aiming directly for the center of the toilet water. Refreshingly loud. I think he caught on during pee trip #3, because he asked if I was urinating while on the phone, and then began a semantics discourse on what that really meant for me to be doing that while talking to him."
The shop owner then began speaking to the author of this story about the remainder of his phone call, how he also took time to clean up the remanufactured core parts pile, watered his long-dead plants, and even took time to rearrange his desk.
I didn't have the heart to tell him that he had contacted the wrong news organization in order to tell his story, as he thought he was calling the Seattle Times, and rebuffed any suggestion that he was contacting the wrong news organization, calling it a 'losing battle of semantics' to continue to suggest that he might be wrong, that he was now an expert.
I should also note that the shop owner chewed up five hours of my time in doing so.
(This is a work of satire. None of this actually happened, nor will it ever happen. Or it might be entirely possible that it just might happen or might have happened at some point, this is BMW owners that we're talking about here. It is not to be construed or confused with any people, businesses, or organizations, whether they be real, or imagined. Any similarities with real people, places, or organizations are pure coincidence and nothing else. Nobody from the University of Washington (nor any Department of Semantics), nor were any Land Rover shops contacted for this story. No individuals, corporations, fully-loaded international shipping containers, or anyone named 'Jim Macklin, Tenured Professor from the University of Washington', shop owners named Hans Wilsson, or 2011 BMW X3's were impersonated. No shop plants, long phone receiver cords, shop toilets, core parts piles, or long-dead house plants were harmed during the writing of this fictional, satirical story.)
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