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We have heard it all before

December 17, 2014
By Larry DeHays , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Some comments heard by mechanics probably haven't changed since Romans returned their chariots to blacksmiths... "That whirligig thingy you put on my wheels to shred my opponent's spokes is defective. I lost the last race to a guy named Ben Hur. I want whatever he has on his wheels, and I want my denarius back. I will not make payment for the next one unless it causes me to win a race."

This story was chiseled into a rock by the smithy, but when he punctuated it, he hit it so hard it shattered the rock, so no proof exists anymore.

Letter from a Pioneer heading west, circa 1820: "My Conestoga broke an axle 900 miles west of the Mississippi. It was the one you put in last year in Kentucky, so you owe me for a new axle. Also, we were attacked by Indians while we were disabled and couldn't circle the wagons, so you owe us for the fire damaged piano we were carrying in the back. Also, I didn't have any bear grease for the new one, so I had to shoot a bear to get some, so you owe me for the trip I made up to Wyoming to find a bear."

I paid you $10 for the axle, and a bank draft from you for $500 should settle the matter. This blacksmith needed kindling to restart the fire in his forge, so the paper letter remains no more.

Driver of a Ford Model "T" to the bicycle shop repairman: "My Good Man, You recently replaced a front tire on my horseless carriage with a new one. It had a vibration at 40 miles per hour that was so severe that it broke my windshield. The crack in the glass hindered my view of the roadway causing me to strike the rear of a horse-drawn milk cart, causing a breakage of bottles resulting in the spillage of exactly 47 quarts of milk, and aggravating a severe case of gout in the driver of the cart. Your responsibility for the damages amounts to $10 to the milk man for the milk, another $5 to his Doctor for treating the gout, and you must replace my windshield and exchange my new tire for one that does not cause a vibration. My lost time from my occupation will be calculated when these conditions are met, and appropriate charges presented at that time." The bicycle repairman was of the opinion that horseless carriages would certainly not catch on. Nobody could afford them.

A man has a shop replace his universal joints before he leaves Florida for Kentucky. In Georgia, one of the u-joints comes loose and needs to be replaced again. Instead of having the car fixed in the town in which it broke down, the man rents a trailer to put his car on, and then rents a truck to tow the trailer to Kentucky. He then sues the first shop for the repair costs in Kentucky and also for the U-Haul trailer and truck he used, and his motel bill where he stayed waiting for the rental truck and trailer. His claim is for $1,500. The original repair was for $150 (true story). How would you decide it if you were the small claims judge?

A Canadian customer has an air conditioning compressor replaced on his car in Florida. Later, he phones that the new compressor has failed, at home in Canada, and wants the shop to honor their warranty. The manufacturer of the compressor is willing to provide another one. The first shop offers to provide the part and reimburse the Canadian shop for the labor. The Canadian shop agrees. The first shop ships the part, the Canadian shop then informs them that there is a very large duty, or import tax that must be paid before they can receive the part. The first shop covers the taxes, resulting in a sizable loss on the job.

So to wrap that one up: the first shop loses their labor income (because it was sent to the second shop) and pays the import tax. The compressor manufacturer loses a compressor without getting a defective one back. The Canadian shop works for labor only, no parts sales. And, the customer does without his car for an extended period of time.

You've heard of "win-win" situations? This is a "Lose-lose-lose and lose" situation (another true story). Who, in your opinion was at fault?



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