Bent Words

Bent Words

May 15, 2010

There are these long days. Long weeks. Like this week.

Last Saturday, during the absolute chaos of our auction where I somehow became the cashier for all things won, a customer called and wanted to order tires. He had prices and part numbers at the ready so I expedited the call which I didn't have time for and simply plugged away the numbers. Credit card number taken, tires ordered. The man came in on Wednesday to have the tires installed. When we came out with his wheels, he looked at them and said,

"I wanted white walls."

I began to explain that that's not what he ordered when our service manager, seeing my frustration, interrupted and said we'd get the 'correct' tires.

"Well I need them by the weekend."

"Don't worry -- we'll get them by the weekend," replied our service manager.


The tires were in Nevada. To have them overnighted, it cost us over $220. Not to mention that the price of the white walled tires were more but we still had to sell them for the price of the original set of tires -- which was at least twenty dollars under our cost since we whore out tires in the first place. On top of that, we had to eat the cost of the second install.

Whoever looked up the tires originally was wrong. Assuming the customer even specified that he wanted white walls. Never did it occur to me, while placing the order, to ask the guy if he preferred white walls over regular, straight up black tires. Why? Because I haven't sold a set of white walls in almost a year and people spending $300 are usually a little more specific when they actually know what they want. I don't even get paid for selling tires. They are a waste of my time. The only benefit to my selling tires is that, perhaps, I'll get a couple of tubes on the list if the wheels are spoked.

And I firmly believe that all of this (the money wasted) could have been avoided if only someone would have listened to me for two minutes. It is what the guy ordered, after all. Why overnight a set of rubber when he could have easily waited two more days for better weather? Why not just explain the situation to him, with our sincere regrets (despite the fact that he was wrong), and see what comes of that before offering to hand over $350 unnecessarily?

But I just have to let it go.

Nobody wants to hear or trust in what I have to say now but later the issue will come back up (with the bill) and someone will grill me as to why I didn't speak up or they will just say fuck it and lay all the blame on me.

It's the same thing with the new service techs in the back. They're nice kids and all but they have a thing or two to learn. And they would be wise to take my advice once in awhile instead of simply blowing off what the girl has to say...

Pushing out bikes two weeks ago from the service area and I warned Jake to put up the kick stand. I told him not to rely on the kickstand for support and to trust the bike's balance. I've seen way too many incidents occur on uneven pavement just because a kickstand was left down. The bike can get away from you too easily if the balance gets offset to the opposite side you're pushing it from.

Still, Jake persisted ('cause what do I know?).

So on Saturday he tries to push a GS500 onto the lift with the kickstand down and, low and behold, the thing mini-high sides and falls away from him. I heard the collective "WHOA!" from the parts to service window. The stars were aligned in his favor, however, as Marc's bucket (which doubles as his stool) was directly below the right side handlebar. It literally saved the bike from ALL damage by taking the brunt of the impact. I couldn't believe it. It could have been a question of replacing the whole side panel, a crankcase cover, mirror, exhaust, handlebars -- not to mention alignment -- if it weren't for that stupid orange bucket. And I could have easily said, "I told you so."

But I just let it go.

The other kid, Corbin, was replacing a chain and sprockets yesterday on a GSX-R. He didn't spin the wheel all the way and missed the chain length (too long) by two links. So he asks me if I have any master links handy.

"What kind of chain is it and what size?" I inquire.

"Doesn't matter, I just need the pin to make it right."


You need to have a master link which matches the chain.

But he didn't take my word for it. He asked Marc which master link, of the few he found in back, would work.

"Didn't Laura tell you? It looks like we need to get one on order. You need to have the matching master for the chain."

"Ahhh, she did say that but I thought--"

"Laura knows what she's talking about, Corbin. If she's not sure, she'll ask."

I could have gloated (I did smile -- a lot). But I just let it go.

I guess I'm getting good at that and, tonight, right now, it sucks.

It sucks that I can't tell my stories, vent about my day, revel in my conquests, boast about my fortune or make fun of the new guys. It sucks that no one would get it. It sucks that I can't answer a simple question of "How are you doing?" It sucks that I don't get to say I'm doing shitty or I need a hug or could use a beer. I want to laugh out loud or make someone else, sitting right next to me, laugh out loud. I want to get angry when stupid shit happens. I want to cry when I'm disappointed in myself.

But I just have to let it go.

I capture it all, momentarily, in a flash of written words. The bits and pieces I find of interest. The stories that make up a morsel of my day. The feelings that strike me as I pass through another hour, for the most part, unnoticed. The secrets I hold, the words I whisper. I lay them out here and hope they're seen. I hope they make you smile. I hope they make you laugh. I hope they make you good for making me feel a little less alone.

I just hope you get it.

The parts I can't let go.

Written at 10:02 p.m.