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Rhonda Herrington Bulmer
Rhonda
Herrington
Bulmer
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July 8th, 2011
I’ll pencil you in
by Rhonda Herrington Bulmer

I think guys working at repair shops sometimes have difficulty with the concept, “making an appointment.”

Or maybe they think customers need to learn that the word appointment really means  “preliminary-sizing-up.”

Here’s how the telephone conversation unfolded.

Me, about two weeks ago: Hello, I’d like to make an appointment for my vehicle. (Explained the make and model. I’ve been there many times before…they KNOW me.)

Desk guy: Oh, okay, sure. What day of the week would you prefer?

Me: Well, I prefer Saturdays, if possible.

Desk guy: Sure, how about 9 am?

Me: Great!

Desk guy: Okay, what’s it for?

Me: It’s the radiator. (Explained the symptoms, and what we’ve been doing in the meantime to keep our engine from exploding–er, imploding?)

Desk guy: Oh, dear…well, that’s not a Saturday job.

Me: Okay,  can you give me a date that’s convenient for you, then?

Desk guy: (I hear the sound of flipping pages and clacking keys.) Okay, how does Friday at 8 am sound?

Me: Perfect! See you then.

FRIDAY, 8 AM

My husband gets up early, takes the car to the shop, intending to drop it off for the day and walk to work. Instead, he returns home by 8:30 to a surprised wife.

Me: Why are you home so early?

K: (Shrugs and sighs. And smirks like husbands do when they know they are about to get a reaction.) They took a look at it and said, “Oh, we don’t have time to do this today—it’s your radiator, you know.” Then, they told me to come back next week. Thursday.

Wha-a?

Honestly…wha-a?

Do I live in some balmy, rum-soaked time zone where plans are fluid and meetings are only suggestions?  No! I live in good-ol’ North America, where Time is the great overstressed God to whom we are all enslaved. And we all like it that way! We know what to expect! I make an appointment, I expect to get my car fixed!

(Cue kettle drums. Scene shifts to a lovely resort pool flanked by lounge chairs and coconut palms.) But not today, I guess. I wonder what will happen next week? Will Desk Guy forget to tell me the shop decided to close for holidays?

Doesn’t matter, cause I’m lying here in my hammock, sipping a pina colada, and I don’t care. The great Time God can just sit in the van and wait.

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