This is a question one must ask themselves many times while living here in the Philippines. Is Patience’s really a Virtue? Sometimes I wonder. There are many times when you must bite your tongue during your day to day life here. Not to do so will cause you, unnecessary stress and anger that no one really needs in their life. As I said in the past, so many times, “Without a sense of humor, you are doomed!” On the Ship’s we are taught to ride out the storm, by steering into the waves, and never try to fight them, I had no idea that they were also teaching me about living in the Philippines. But I guess they were.
Last week I wrote “Simply the Rainy Season” and I mentioned that the power window on my new/old car had failed on a rainy day and after I got home I was then stuck at the house for many more days. Which will prove that, into every car some rain must fall, or was that life?
Monday morning, the rain had finely let up to a drizzle, so I took the new/old car to the shop, and while it was going to be there anyway I told the guys to tune it up flush and refill the cooling system with 100% coolant and add new oil and a filter while working on the window.
Foolish, foolish man! What was I thinking? Had I neglected to factor in Mr. Murphy? Yes, I didn’t even think of him. While I was walking through the market to catch a Jeepney home, my pants vibrated, I kinda liked it, and then realized it was my phone. The lady from the repair shop Miss Loleth, needed to tell me something very important; “Sir Paul, they had to take the cylinder head off your car to remove a broken spark and it must be sent to the machine shop to be fixed.” My temper started to flare up, but I remembered that it is not the fault of the young lady I was talking to, so don’t kill the messenger! I went into my polite mode and told her I understood, and to do what is nessariery to fix the mighty Honda. Because, she had gone to college with our youngest daughter, and I’ve known her for over 15 years, I’d be hard pressed to ever get angry with her. That could be why the boss had her call me?
I’m thinking, well, the company is responsible, for the extra work as they installed that spark plug during the last tune up, plus they broke it during this tune-up. See the foolish man part I referred to?
Do you think that’s the way it will work out for me? What the heck am I talking about! Is this, my first rodeo here? Have I forgotten all that has passed before? I know I’m going to be the one to pay for those extra repairs. Why? Because it’s just the way it is, live with it, or head to the airport.
But the dumbest thing I could do is to go into the shop and blow my top, as I know I’d end up with all the parts to my car in a cardboard box, with my car pushed to the curb, and me with a dazed look on my face . You think I’m kidding? I saw it happen to a Pinoy who lost his temper at an auto shop and complained he was being cheated. As a Kano, I might not even get the cardboard box.
Before anyone who doesn’t live here yet, asks about small claims court, let’s sit down over a cold beer and have a good laugh. Even if they had it; and if you won, you’d still lose, remember lawyers?
I’ll choked back any Ill feeling, put a smile on my face, and sit at my puter and write about it, I’ll get it off my chest, After I’ve saved it to my hard drive, then I’ll feel better and I’m ready for whatever may come tomorrow plus I’ll enjoy a nice ice cold SMB today.
So to sum it up, I delivered my new/old car on June 27th to have the power window fixed, I decided to leave the car and have some extra work done, a tune-up, oil change and flush and replace the coolant. During the tune-up they found an over tightened spark plug that they installed 4 months ago, and it broke off during its removal, to fix that extra problem the cylinder head had to be removed and sent to a machine shop. Eight days later I picked up the car. It costs me an extra $100.00, and they’ve had the car for over a week! After talking with the owner, a compromise was reached, we will split the cost of the extra cylinder head work, and we were both happy with that, a lot of smiling and hand shaking ensued.
If it will allow the owner of the shop and the workers to save face, I’ll put up with it, why; because I’ve been treated very well over the past 16 years by them, and this was my first real complaint, it’s a small price to pay.
a. The cost of the tune-up, oil change and filter, flushing the radiator and adding new coolant and least we forget the labor on removing the cylinder head: P. 16,200
b. The new fuse to make my power windows go up and down: P .35
c. The learning experience: That’s priceless!
I choose to live here, and I thank the stars, that my sense of humor came with me.
Disclaimer: No mechanics were injured or lost face during the writing of this article.