Tyre-fitter - or tire-fitter as my American friends write.
[Today I made my second trip in about four years to a tyre business to get a dodgy tyre replaced. I remembered writing about it at the time so I reproduce it below.]
Today I embarked on a hazardous trip to lands not previously explored (by me) with nothing to guide me save my trusty Sat Nav.
It was with some trepidation that I entered that mysterious land called Mid Devon Tyre Services. I looked around and saw I had achieved my object and tracked down an alien being called A Tyre Fitter.
I'm not used to this car business having been spoiled for years and years by having a company car. It was all done for me. A nice man came around at work and checked the tread. If a tyre needed replacing, it was replaced.
Since leaving the company, the dearly beloved has sorted out all my vehicle-related needs. Except today. He's too busy. He had done his usual check of my car and announced I needed a new tyre.
"But I've got three perfectly good tyres!" I tell him. He looks at me as if I have crawled out from under a stone wearing a hat with the label BIMBO in the brim.
"Yes, sweetheart, tell that to the nice policeman when he stops you and to the magistrates when they fine you £200 and put three penalty points on your licence." He can be VERY sarcastic when he wants to be.
So I drive into this tyre-fitting place. I don't want to appear as if I'm a know-nothing woman who they can rip off. Even though I AM a know-nothing woman who they could quite easily rip off.
So I nonchalantly walk up to the desk, put my arm across the counter and look the assistant in the eye and say, "New tyre, please."
"No problem, madam, what do you want?"
What does he mean, "what do I want"? I've just told him. I want a new tyre. He looks at my puzzled face and reels off a list of options. I still look puzzled and he says he'll send someone to look at my car and see what tyres are already on there, then they can fit the same type. I blame the dearly beloved for not arming me with sufficient information.
So that's all sorted and I settle down to wait. But I realise I am losing the "I know what I'm doing" game so I wander over to the coffee machine - then they will know I have some mechanical skills at least. I don't know what I did but the coffee machine resolutely refuses to produce a beverage. Nice man comes over from behind the desk, presses a few buttons and I have my coffee.
I go back to the bench to drink my coffee and read a magazine dated June, 2011.
I'm half way through the quiz, Are You a Tomboy or a Girly Girl? when I'm told my car is ready. Now I shall never know whether I should be wearing oil-stained jeans or a flowery, floaty dress.
Man behind counter tells me how much I have to pay - one arm and one leg, it sounds like. There are lots of extra things on the bill like balancing, alignment and VAT. I blink, wonder briefly if I should query anything - but it all looks official. There's nothing on there that says "know-nothing woman rates apply", so I pay up.
I leave the tyre-fitting place feeling strangely and misguidedly proud of myself. I have an alien world and emerged intact
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If you are a cat lover - especially a lover of the grumpier members of the species, this is the book for you, written by Toffee who, despite her name, is the least sweet cat you can imagine. The world according to Toffee exists to serve her and woe betide anyone who forgets it. Paperback on left, Kindle version on right.
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