I took my car, my dirty, seven-year-old Mazda to a local garage on Thursday to have it inspected--yes, March is the inspection month for me. I had noticed some oil stains on my carport--I haven't ever had oil stains before--so I asked the guys at the garage to take a look.
I had a cracked oil filter housing. I don't know how long it had been cracked. My last oil change was 2 1/2 months ago; my next oil change was scheduled for March 19. Good thing I had it checked. I was down two quarts.
So the old guy at the garage said he'd call Mazda and get the part and fix it today, Friday. Except he couldn't get the part today. Mazda had to order the part--overnight it--but it wouldn't get to Mazda until 10am today. The truck that comes to Coushatta from Shreveport leaves S'port at 7:30am. The soonest they could have the part here would be Monday.
No good for me. I could have cancelled class on Monday--I'm sure my students would have been thrilled. But I wouldn't. So I drove to the dealership today and sat there for1 1/2 hours and spent over two hundred dollars for a $17 part. Because they couldn't just replace the part. They had to do the 105,000 mile maintenance on my car (which actually has about 108,000 miles on it).
Again, this stiffens my resolve to NEVER take my car back to the dealership. Even if they had just replaced the $17 part, they would have also charged me for an oil change and labor--to the tune of nearly $100. I can have my oil changed for about $35 at other places.
I can't understand the shipping schedules. Wouldn't it be better to expedite the shipping to have the part arrive before the truck leaves every morning? It doesn't seem to be that difficult. Planes fly all the time. Trucks trundle up and down the highways. But maybe I'm missing something.
Coushatta isn't the end of the earth. But I'm amused, and a bit put off, when companies act as though we're a thousand miles away from civilization. Gasoline is at least 20 cents higher here. Don't those trucks have to come down the highways to deliver gasoline to other places along the road? Do they increase the price of gas by every extra mile they have to drive? I don't know. It doesn't make sense.
What makes less sense to me is that my family members say they don't come to my house because it's "too far to drive." I tell them, "I drive it to come see you." "Yeah," they say, "but you have to come to Shreveport to work. You're coming this way, so you can come see us."
I think my friends think I live down some unpaved, muddy road. I live, actually, two doors away from the town hall and the police station. I do have nearly an acre, but I'm not out in the woods. A highway runs in front of my mailbox. It's a paved highway, too.