Many of us are viewed as "fair game" by many auto mechanics, who regard it as their bounden duty to extract as much of our money as they can from our wallets.
I have an embarrassing secret. I don’t know whether I should tell you. I'm afraid you will think less of me. What's that you say? You couldn’t possibly think less of me? Well, that's very kind of you to say so.
OK, here goes (deep breath); although I know lots of stuff about automobiles and engines (combustion, electric, and even steam, for goodness sake) at a theoretical level, if you were to slide me under a car and leave me with oil dripping on my head, you'd quickly discover that I don’t have a clue about the practicalities.
Whenever I take my truck in to have its oil changed, the lads are kind enough to throw in a complementary 10,000-item check, and then -- with twinkles in their eyes and laughter on their lips -- present me with a telephone directory-sized list of things they recommend I let them fix, all accompanied by a price tag that leaves my eyes watering.
I promise to think about things, then I screech out of the shop and return to the safety of my office, after which I spend the next few days wondering how many of the items in question are really necessary to my continued survival. Following a few days of procrastinating around the bush (I could procrastinate for the U.S. Olympic team), something else comes along ("Ooh, Shiny!") and I forget all about it until the next time my oil needs changing.
The problem is that, for those of us who aren't on top of things when it comes to cars, we are viewed as "fair game" by many auto mechanics, who regard it as their bounden duty to extract as much of our money as they can from our wallets (perhaps they want to lighten the load on our car's suspension).
The reason I'm waffling on about this here is that I just heard a segment on the radio about a lady called Patrice Banks. Although Patrice was an engineer, she was also a self-described "auto airhead" who hated her automotive buying and repair experiences. Eventually, as you can see in this video, Patrice became disgruntled with male auto mechanics playing off her lack of knowledge and -- since she couldn’t find a female mechanic in her local area -- she left her job, became a mechanic herself, and opened her own garage called the Girls Auto Clinic.
This is actually a brilliant concept -- I know so many people who would love to have an establishment like this here in town -- and it gets better! As Patrice says, before she owned her own garage, while her car was being serviced, she would while away the time at a nearby manicure and pedicure bar. Thus, in addition to the Girls Auto Clinic Repair Center, there's also an accompanying Clutch Beauty Bar.
Even better, Patrice recently authored a book called the Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide. As it says on Amazon:
Do you feel lost when explaining your car problems to a mechanic? Do you panic when something goes wrong with your ride? Have you felt like you were being overcharged or pressured into unnecessary add-ons at the auto shop?
Fear no more: The Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide has got your back.
So many women feel powerless, nervous, or embarrassed when taking our cars in for a repair, and yet we outnumber men both as drivers and as customers at auto repair shops. The time has come for us to grab the wheel and finally take control of our cars.
Filled with easy-to-follow illustrations and instructions, great tips, and lifesaving rules of thumb, the Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide will help take away the confusion and mystery surrounding cars, teach women what they need to know about how their cars work, and what they need to do to keep them running smoothly.
Patrice Banks was once like most of us: a self-professed “auto airhead” who was clueless about car maintenance, yet convinced that mechanics were taking advantage of her. Now she’s an auto pro devoted to empowering women to learn basic car repairs and knowing what to do in an emergency. So whether you get a flat tire when you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere, your car overheats, or a mysterious dashboard light suddenly starts blinking, help is just a reach-in-the-glove-box away.
I just substituted my name in one of the paragraph's above. I now see this as saying: "The Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide will help take away the confusion and mystery surrounding cars, teach Max what he needs to know about how his truck works, and what he needs to do to keep it running smoothly."
Of course, I'd feel a bit silly buying a book called the Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide for myself. Happily, my wife (Gina the Gorgeous) knows little more about cars than do I (she could hardly know less). Thus, my cunning plan is to buy this book as one of Gina's birthday presents. Surely no one could fault me for giving it a quick read after Gina has finished (just to check that all the information is accurate, you understand).