Monday, February 20, 2006

I can't even remember the witty title I was going to name this post.

When I left work today at 4:00, I saw that my car was covered with bird droppings. Yuck. Since I needed to get gas anyway, I decided to head over to the gas station near me which also has a car wash. Cool plan. (Note: I hate getting my car washed. I'm uncomfortable with those automated things and I'm always afraid I'm going to do something wrong or that something will get screwed up. I don't think I've even gotten my car washed since I bought it last April.) I got to the gas station just before 4:30, filled up my tank, and got in line for the car wash. Damn. I hate waiting in lines. And with the engine running, after I just filled the tank? It's a big scam the gas station has going on, so we'll all burn up all our gas and have to refuel again. Oh, well. So I finally got to the front of the car wash line at nearly 5:00, then I drove in when instructed to, and stopped when instructed to. I watched those cool brush-things come up and wash the car, feeling mildly happy that the bird shit was getting washed off of my lovely, pretty car. And, since I'm uncomfortable in these things as I said, I kept my eye on the light-up sign that gives the instructions. I was aware that the thing was still in the middle of washing the car, and it had not been rinsed at all yet, when the brushes stopped but didn't get away from the car, the bay door opened, and the sign WENT BLACK. C'mon. What's going on? Come on, sign, light up and tell me that the rinse cycle is about to start. Come on. Nope. Here comes the guy. He goes into the little control room thingy near the exit and motions me to drive up there. I did and rolled my window down and he explained that he's sorry, but the machine needs to be reset (it apparently fucked up), and he'd print me a new ticket and I'd have to go back through the line. Fuck. Ok. So I drove out (soap all over my car) and drove to the back of the line, and the kid came out and handed me a new ticket. I will mention that he upgraded me from the $7 regular wash to the $8 super wash. Whoopee. Now I'm waiting in line again. Now I'm hungry. Now it's getting dark. Now I want to be home. But since there's soap all over my car, and I don't have a hose or even know where the spigot might be at my apartment building, I wait patiently in the line to go through again. And while I'm waiting, I have time to think. What if it happens again? Nah, it won't. It can't. And if it DID, I'm NOT waiting a third time. I'll make them hose the soap off my car so I can go home. But all the other cars in front of me go through the process without incident. Cool. Everything will be fine. So I go in again. And this time, I've got the upgraded wash, so it sprays this really cool, really pretty multi-colored foam soap (which it didn't before) and then the brushes come and scrub the car. Then it goes into the regular cycle and begins the regular wash. And then I notice that the brush-thingies are spending an awful lot of time at the rear of the car. Still spinning, but not moving up and down the car any more. And then they stop. And the bay door opens. And the sign went black. WHAT. THE. FUCK. I am not doing this again. It's 5:30. I've been here for an HOUR. It's now DARK OUT. So the guy comes, but it's a different guy than before. He tells me that it needs to be reset and he can get me another ticket. I start to explain that I already had this happen, and I've been here a long time and I don't want to do it again. He cuts me off and says, "well, then go inside and get a refund. I can't help you".


I drive out and drive up to the store-part of the station. With what had happened, I was rather annoyed and not happy. But when that kid spoke to me that way, I became so angry that I could no longer trust myself to speak civilly and express myself clearly. I was fuming. I walked into the place and asked the two people at the counter if either of them were the manager. They said no, but the woman said there was an assistant manager there. I explained that I was having a problem with the car wash. She started to say, yes, they knew they were having a problem with it...but I continued to explain MY problem. I had gone through it, and it had gotten stuck and needed to be reset, and the guy was kind enough to give me another ticket and I had to wait in line again and go through it again, and now it just got stuck a second time, and I am not waiting here another half an hour to go through it again and I just need somebody to go hose my car off so that I can go home, and the guy outside was just VERY rude to me. The guy (the nice counter guy, no the asshole guy from the wash) went to get the assistant manager for me. I apologized to the nice lady for my anger, and told her it wasn't directed at her, but I was just frustrated at this point.

So the assistant manager guy came in and asked how he could help me. I explained that I was having a problem with the car wash. I had gone through it, and it had gotten stuck and needed to be reset, and the guy was kind enough to give me another ticket and I had to wait in line again and go through it again, and now it just got stuck a second time, and now my car is covered with soap and I am NOT waiting here another half an hour to go through it again.
The "assistant manager" (I'm using quotes now, because I cannot believe that someone who truly had such a title could possibly continue that way this man did) said to me, in a rather disbelieving way (as in, what is your fucking problem?) "so you can't just go through for a $6.00 rinse again? You can either go through it again or get a refund".

Me: No. I've been here for an hour. I am not waiting in that line again to go through a 3rd time. You expect me to be here for an hour and a half for one car wash? I just want to go home now, but there's soap all over my car.

"Assistant Manager": So how are you going to get the soap off your car if you're not willing to go through the car wash again?

Me: That's what I want you to tell me!

"Assistant Manager": Well, we have a hose, we could hose it off for you....

Me: Yes! That that would be great. I don't even want a refund. I just want the soap rinsed off my car so I can go home.

So he walks into the back room, and I wait. And wait. And I wonder if he's blowing me off. Then he comes out and says that if I'll bring my car over to the side there, the kid (the asshole kid from the wash) has a hose over there and he'll hose it off for me. And so I did, and he did.

And then I drove away and went to McDonald's and got their new spicy chicken sandwich, and came home and ate it, and I'm really disappointed, because if they think they can compete with Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich, you are sadly mistaken, and now I really, really wish I'd gone to Wendy's instead. But I digress.

Ok, I understand that shit happens. I really do. Machines fuck up and need to be reset, and the car wash line is set up with curbs and stuff so once you're in the line, you really can't get out, and I understand why I had to go through the whole line again. And I think I was really good about it the first time. But when that asshole started to tell me I'd have to go through again, and then didn't want to listen to me, and hastily and rudely told me to go inside for a refund if I didn't want to go through again, and he couldn't help me, I really got pissed. But what is really blowing my mind is that the "Assistant Manager" did not seem to have a clue as to why I was upset and refused to go through the line again. I explained that I'd already been there an hour waiting in line twice. Is it really so hard to understand why I was adamant about not doing it a third time? I truly am amazed that he could possibly be an "assistant manager" and not have a clue as to what I was upset about.



allison said...


You need to tell your story to the company that runs that gas station exactly as it occurred. And when they offer you free car washes, kindly decline their offer, as you DON'T WANT TO GET STUCK IN THEIR PIECE OF CRAP MACHINERY AGAIN WITH SOAP ALL OVER YOUR CAR!!!

Then graciously accept the years' worth of free gas they should offer you.

Jenn said...

Yeah, just cut and paste and edit a little into a letter (more oomph than email) and let loose!

CosmicAvatar said...

Gosh. Did you do something nasty to that machine in a previous life or something? Sounds like it had a serious vendetta against you.

Wankerous staff are, however, universal and nothing to do with karma, I'm afraid...

Jess said...

I mean, c'mon, if washing your car were a hobby for you, why would you be at the car wash instead of polishing it lovingly at home? Idiots.

Helen said...

Unbelievable. That service from the first guy was good, but the second guy and the Assistant Manager? Jerks.

Grrrr on your behalf.