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The Hangover

The Christmas until New Year’s holiday season usually brings a hangover or two to your local mechanic. Yeah, I know what you are thinking but this is a different type of hangover. It is the one induced by a car not the ‘spirits’ of Christmas. This does work in two ways though.

The hangover in mechanic speak applies to that vehicle that ends up at your shop pre Christmas and for whatever reason it just does not want to be fixed. Very often it belongs to a traveler/relative just up for Christmas and New Year’s. They have time constraints, we have time constraints. It is the 24th and we have Christmas shopping to start.

As Christmas approaches we, and I assume most shops are trying to clear out their bays in anticipation of a few days off. This is when a good customer or customer’s relative shows up with a broken car. The fix is generally not the problem but it can be.

More likely it is circumstance and Murphy’s Law ganging up on your mechanic. Diagnostic testing shows the need for a new foofoo valve. Check the local parts supplier and there is no foofoo valves in stock. A parts store in Revelstoke shows that they have one. Phone call to Revelstoke. Yes, they have. How to send it? Today is Friday. No regular freight. What about the bus? Yeah, send it on the bus. We will pick it up at the depot and fix the car on Saturday even though Saturday is a day off.

Then Murphy starts to get involved. Saturday morning check the bus depot. No package. What? Put a trace on it. Looks like it went to Prince George. Okay get it switched around and heading for Trail. Not going to be here until Monday. I guess Monday will do.

When you are dealing with winter freight and the Christmas season freight has a way of getting lost. The companies are as busy as they get during this season. There is usually extra staff and what can go wrong does go wrong. Not to mention the trials and tribulations of winter roads and cancelled flights.

The foofoo valve shows up on Monday as promised. Murphy has conspired against us again. The part box has fingerprints on it and extra scotch tape. Boxes with fingerprints and extra scotch tape mean those parts have been returned before. Sure enough open the box and the part is the wrong part.

Time to search again. The nearest part is in the east. Did you hear about the ice storms?

Let’s try our neighbors to the south. We can get one from a dealer in Los Angeles. Good because for whatever reason freight from California comes fast. No part until after Christmas though. There is now a vehicle spending Christmas at the shop. The hangover. The foofoo valve will be here next Tuesday.

If all goes well the part will show up Tuesday as planned. The car will be fixed before the new year. No New Year hangover if all goes well. Murphy is still in control though. What could go wrong …?

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