Oil Me Up
I’ve had the displeasure of working as a mechanic for the Wal-Mart Tire and Lube Express (TLE) attached to our local Wal-Mart for about a year now. Yesterday, this 40-something year old lady came in driving a 2009 Nissan Altima, beautiful car, very nice, 32k miles, pretty much brand new. Trouble is, I heard the engine knocking the second it pulled up, and I was in the bathroom in the lobby. She gets out and gives me a huge ditzy grin and says “I think I may need an oil change.” It takes me a second to process that statement as I sit in awe listening to the poor motor knock, tick, scrape, rattle, and make every noise a motor shouldn’t make. I checked her oil level, and the dipstick was bone dry, save for a few jet black, crumbled bits of burned up, dirty, ancient oil, and more metal flakes than an Ozzy concert. I looked in the cab and clear as day, the NO OIL PRESSURE light was on, the grim little red oil can that serves as a suicide note for an engine. I asked her how long it had been since she had had an oil change, still trying to process how such a new and supposedly reliable car was so desperately trying to commit hara-kiri.To my shock and awe, the lady says “Oh, I’ve never had the oil changed. I bought the car new a few months ago and the change oil light didn’t come on until just now.” I stared at her and asked her if she meant the little red oil can of death. She giggled and replied “Yeah that’s it, isn’t it amazing that they can tell you when to change your oil now?” When I informed her that that light means no oil pressure she just shrugged it off, saying that it was no big deal. Right on cue, there is a snap and a pop and the motor dies in a horrible, metal rending schreech. Long story short, me and the customer went back at forth, her screaming at me for accusing her of being incompetent, me trying to explain in layman’s terms why her car is dead and how it’s all her fault while wearing my best customer service smile, and it finally ended with her calling me a rotten bastard for making her feel stupid and that I should rot in hell. My reply? “Look, lady, this ISN’T rocket science. Your engine NEEDS oil or this is exactly what happens. It’s YOUR responsibility to maintain your vehicle, and to know and understand what each light means, and if you’re too much of a pretentious c*nt to figure that out, you REALLY have no business on the road, much less buying a brand new car.” I got a verbal warning, my manager was too busy laughing to fill out any written forms.