Thursday, August 02, 2007

All or Nothing

In Resort Town, we're either stampeded or abandoned.

In the height of summer, everyone needs their bike instantly. They may not have looked at it for the past ten months, but now they want to use it. Or maybe they're in one of the many organized rides and want or need some vital maintenance. The ones who can't diagnose and treat their own mechanical problems will ride until the eve of the ride and then present themselves at the repair shop door expecting that we can accommodate them.

It seems like it will never end. But, to quote a bad joke, "in two week it fall off."

Typically, once the local triathlon passes in mid-August, we start to have some desperately boring slow days. By mid September we'd love to see a few pushy vacationers demanding instant miracles.

The pattern can change. We were busy late in the summer last year.

Meanwhile, rising population in the area has led to uglier rush hours. Yesterday morning, a pickup truck blowing a yield sign almost took me out. I shot the gap between its front bumper and oncoming SUVs because I was pulling high twenties coming down with the traffic on one street when this big, black, shiny truck lurched from the converging street like a startled hippo lumbering from a wallow. I got clear ahead and pulled to the right.

Looking over, I expected to see the usual big-balled redneck making a vulgar gesture at me, but the driver was a smallish woman with a cell phone plastered to her face. What a disappointment. She wouldn't see me flip her off, and I could only express myself verbally to her if she had call waiting.

At work I found out that the Marine is leaving after Sunday to take a job in law enforcement. I will be the only full-time mechanic through the end of the summer rush. After that it doesn't really matter.

After work I had to sprint home to get to the Zoning Board meeting. At one intersection, I hovered, waiting to pull out, when a slightly battered, large black sedan cut in sharply on the corner. The driver saw me, widened his line and actually said "sorry!" out the open window. It was all he needed to do. Acknowledge the error. That's so rare, especially from motorists.

Cars should be able to change color as rapidly as squid do, to reflect changing emotions of the driver.

By taking time to write this, I am now late for work. But, as I have observed before, by following slightly behind the worst rush for 9 a.m., I find much safer road conditions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As an avid/addicted slightly OCD cyclist I emphathize with the person who appreciates superquick service. I realized this is not always a practical expectation and therefore, I do my best to back-stock consumables and buy tools I deem practical purchases. My desire/need to ride when I want to ride is so intense that I am the proud owner of a fleet of bicycles. I want what I want and need what I want when I want it.

What bugs me about shops is that, when they are overwhelmed ,they drag their asses (sometimes) when the job can be done in the time it takes me to explain my neurosis to them. And then there is the "parts problem". As I see it, it is an excuse to buy time when the order is not place within a moment after the need for the part is discovered/requested.