By now we’ve all forgotten about Paul ordering new tires for his new old car. And I won’t blame you, as it was a pretty dull subject to begin with. Heck I forgot until Kuga Greg called and told me the new shoes for my Honda were now in Stock, (You just can’t hear that often enough.) Monday morning I arrived at the Goodyear store and am greeted by all the guys, I’ve been going there for 16 years, I’d hope they remember me.
Out from the showroom races Lucille, to inform me that their Credit Card thingy is off line, and I’d have to pay in cash. I smiled and explained that I’d just drop by tomorrow and pay the bill. Okay, Sir Paul, then we’ll install the tires then? Well no I’d really like them installed today, as I have other things to do tomorrow. But sir you can’t pay today (I’ll assume the fault is mine). Okay; here’s where living in and understanding the Philippines comes into play. Rule 1; get angry you lose! She has her job to do and I’m putting a wrench in the gears. I know Lucille has a strong desire to help me, but I must find a way to let her. I’ve known her for 10 of the 16 years I’ve been trading there.
“Lucille, I’ll leave the credit card with you and my wife will come by in the morning and sign and pick up my card.” I explained. The head scratching stopped, a smile graced her face and I knew all was going to work out well. Until I saw that small look of hesitation on her face, whoa, this is not working; I need to call in the “Big Gun”. I grabbed my cell and called Ate Mayang and handed my phone to Lucille! My wife and Lucille chatted for a couple of minutes, discussing exactly what Lucille and I had just discussed, and the road was now paved thanks to that phone call, everything now was going to plan. Lucille is happy, Paul is happy, and a grin appeared on the grill of the Honda. Remember my friends, the power of your wife is absolute; never hesitate to call on the “Force”. Swallow that useless pride, and just do it. You won’t be sorry.
Next I’m put into the able hands of “Kuya Greg” el Jefe, the manager of all things tires and repair, or as I like to say, “The WD-40 of Goodyear Olongapo”. Now for something I didn’t know, my new shoes (Tires) are not steel belted, and I wanted steel belted (Hey, I wanted whitewalls, and how’d that turn out?) Greg said, these are better tires, Goodyear “Assurance” premium tires Kevlar belted, quieter and five times stronger than steel (As per Greg’s other helper). Do you think that’s true? I feel better now if someone tries to shoot at my tires.
Greg and I go back the whole 16 years I’ve been using Goodyear, Back to my days with my owner jeep. Which BTW; was the first owner jeep, in my area that was with equipped with real roll up windows, air/con, plus power steering & power breaks, tilt steering wheel, and all four wheels with coil springs? He was my mechanic then, and the only guy that ever worked on my car, with his well trained helpers/henchmen named Jhun and Tony. They all have been to many parties at my house with their families. Honor thy mechanic.
The clock hit 10:00 hours; all the new shoes are back on the car balanced and ready to roll. I have places to go and people to see.
Tuesday morning, Mayang stopped by the Goodyear store as we had promised; you see this coming don’t you? The credit card thingy, still doesn’t work. I’m not surprised, and neither is Mayang. We have the new tires, Lucille has my credit card, the moon is resting in the third house of Jupiter, and all is as it should be on the beautiful Island of Luzon. No muss, no fuss, no worry! The bill is now paid, the total cost was P 15, 175.00 and my credit card is back in its undisclosed location.
We choose to live here, it makes us smile, it’s just the way it is here, when you live in the Philippines, please; don’t change it too much, and just like Master Card, don’t leave home without your sense of humor.
Who else could get 700 plus words out of buying a set of tires?