Today's adventure was the opposite of domestic. I went to get my car's brakes checked out. Right off the bat, I viewed the challenge as an opportunity to figure out how not to get screwed. A blonde girl drives up in a BMW and says "something is wrong with my brakes"? This is just a recipe for disaster.
But I like a challenge. So I dropped my car off and the guy who checked me in starts filling out a form, and asks me for my address. I give it to him. He says, Oh I know where you live!
Great....just what I want....a random car mechanic dude making a mental note of where I live. He goes on....and on.... and on..... I learned about his grandma, who owned the condo building across the street, and how she renovated and sold all the units, and then finally her own penthouse suite, for 6.8 million dollars...and how then she bought a ranch in Maple Valley...it's 8,000 square feet....and how he thinks I'm lucky that I own a condo in that area.
“Oh, it’s actually an apartment,” I said.
“You should buy,” he replies. “You get a $10,000 tax break.”
Great. Just want I want. Unsolicited advice on how to invest in the Seattle real estate market from the mechanic at Affordable Brake & Tire. Awesome.
It didn’t end there. I now know he has been with the same woman for 10 years. They had a kid together before they got married. He got married solely for the $10,000 tax break. (It was just a piece of paper at that point.)
I leave, feeling a little violated.
Then I get a call from his colleague, who was actually seemingly friendly and honest. He spent a half hour of his day giving me an educational presentation on the structure of brakes, and what exactly is happening with my brakes, down to the thousands of an inch on my roter. Way more than I ever wanted to know. He told me what I needed, and gave me various options. Generic white box roter or original equipment replacement?
I told him to get screwed. I told him to put my tires back on, and that I’d be there to pick my car up by 5:30.
I don’t know what came over me. It was an impulse. I didn’t even really have a gut feeling with this guy. He seemed nice enough. But see, you NEVER KNOW. As a blonde who drives a BMW and has seen many episodes of 20/20, take it from me: you can’t trust ANYONE. And with no gut feeling, I felt the best option was to tell this guy to take a hike. If my brakes fall off while I’m careening down Queen Anne Hill, then so be it. At least I am in control right now.
I don’t know, I think John Stossel would be proud.