Thursday, July 24, 2008

A couple of Saturdays ago I was standing in front of the store with the front door open talking to a customer. Suddenly a brown streak passed between us and into the store. I didn't get a good look, but the customer said it was a squirrel. I thought it was strange for a squirrel to run into our store in the middle of the day on the busiest street in the county. We have lots of more natural habitat here in Utah than inside a scooter shop.

The following day I got an alarm call. Having forgotten the squirrel, I rushed to the store to check things out. I didn't find anything amiss, but while looking around I heard the sound of an angry woodland creature cursing from the back room. I put two and two together and decided to lock back up and go home.

On Monday I went in early to meet with CFO-Lee. As we were going over the budget, we heard the woodland creature cursing. When we went into the back room to check it out, we saw it scurrying around behind the shelves. We decided it would be our store mascot, and as a matter of business we appointed it to the board of directors and named it vice president of international sales.

Tuesday morning I was also early. After going over some paperwork I decided it was about time to open up the store for business. But first I had some business to take care of in the restroom. As I approached the door I heard faint splashing sounds. Here is what I saw when I opened the door:

The poor little bastard was nearly drowned. After taking pictures I fished it out and wrapped it in a towel to dry off and get warm. It was surprisingly docile and sweet. . . until it got warm. Then it went all Kung-Fu on me and literally tried to kill me when I stroked it's back with a piece of straw. I had to let it go. Needless to say we are going to be looking for a new V.P. of International Sales.

In other news: I was working on a scooter a couple of days ago that seemed to have a clogged exhaust pipe. This sometimes happens due to excessive carbon buildup. But in this case, there appeared to be dry grass and brush stuck in the outlet of the pipe. After being unable to remove it with a pick, I connected my compressed air hose to the inlet and let it blow. At first nothing happened, and no air came out, but suddenly there was a loud POP and a stinky cloud of brush, seed hulls, and grey mouse-bits exploded from the pipe. There's a fairly good chance I have the Hanta virus now.

This was a scooter that was just in for a "tune-up." In case you were wondering, a tune-up involves replacing the spark plug, cleaning or replacing the air filter, and changing necessary fluids. It does not include removing cooked vermin from your exhaust system.

The sure fire way to know if a scooter needs serious repairs, is if the customer asks for a "tune-up." This generally indicates that the scooter is on the verge of breaking in half or bursting into flames.

In fact, every day I am faced with the difficult task of interpreting the following sentence: "Can you guys do a tune-up on my scooter?" Sounds pretty straightforward right? Wrong. It depends if by "scooter" you mean a motorized skateboard, a scooter, or an electric mobility chair, and if by "tune up" you mean perform routine maintenance, or unload an entire fire extinguisher on your flame-throwing carburetor. (By the way, this really happens sometimes. I have seen two Chinese scooters this year burst into flames when we've attempted to start them. Next time I'll get a picture.)

I do have one other picture to show you. I was up until 2:30 AM one recent night trying to catch up on some repairs. One scooter had no spark and I had the thing all taken apart testing the various circuits and connections when I finally found the problem. The kill switch was wired backwards. When switched to "ON" it was off, and "OFF" was on. I was very irritated. Imagine if your car left the factory that way. How long would it take Toyota to do a recall? But this kind of crap happens all the time with the cheap Chinese scooters. How am I supposed to explain the bill to the customer? "The factory wired your switch wrong. Since the place you bought the scooter from is out of business and there was never any warranty on it, you have to pay half of what the scooter cost in the first place because I had to test the entire ignition system to chase down the problem. Thanks for your business."

I chose a more passive-aggressive route.

1 comment:

Kaerlig said...

Ya gotta photoshop that word out. Think about all the innocent that didn't want to see that.