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A little less than a happy high
komos
komos
On my bottom bracket, or, I think I may have missed something
One of the hazards of having my bike serviced in a shop that employs a brace of bike-couriers is that the same surly invincibility they use to navigate city streets tends to bleed out into their customer service. I dropped my wheels off last night for tuning just as the young woman behind the counter was complaining to one of her cohorts about "some crack-head" who wanted to know how much one of their bikes weighed. It didn’t seem that unreasonable a request to me, though the exchange was instructive in that I learned that manufacturers don’t normally publish weights because there can be a significant variance based on frame-size alone.

And so, edified, I approached the counter to ask for a tune and that they check my bottom bracket. Before I knew what was happening, the bike was out of my hands and up on a rack, and I had a tattooed twenty-something insisting that there was nothing wrong with it.

"Well, when I’m climbing or topping out the gears I’m getting a clicking noise."

"I can try to tighten it for you, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it."

"The last time I was getting this noise, I was told I needed to replace it. Please, can you just check it out?"

He rolled his eyes. "It’s a closed cylinder, so there shouldn’t be anything wrong..."

"Yeah, I got that. Look, I’m leaving it for a tune anyway, so could you just have it looked over?"

"I guess... It’s when you’re under power?"

At this point, I was starting to think that the judgement has been made. I’m not of the typical bicyclist’s build, and he’s sized me up for a weekender or worse, a poser. (Heh. I just remembered the pseudo-skaters we had in high school. All the gear, none of the shred.) I know the dialogue in my head is just my own paranoia, but I couldn't shake the idea that he was calling me out. I felt like I wasn't ~enough to warrant his time, and that maybe the things I imagined he wass thinking might be true. I said, simply, "Yeah. It’s the same problem I had last time around."

"Okay," he replied, "we’ll have it ready for you Thursday."

Current Mood: confused confused
Current Music: The Clash, "The Magnificent Seven"

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Comments
riverbank From: riverbank Date: April 15th, 2003 08:56 am (UTC) (Link)
i woulda walked away and taken it somewhere else.
komos From: komos Date: April 15th, 2003 09:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I will give them credit where it is due, though... they do good work. And it's not like I haven't gotten attitude from other places I've dealt with.

I think the ultimate solution is to get the tools to do it all myself and then go back when I can smoke them on the streets.
From: uruz Date: April 15th, 2003 10:00 am (UTC) (Link)
You should've taken it to BICYCLE BILL
komos From: komos Date: April 15th, 2003 10:06 am (UTC) (Link)
That's where I originally bought the bike. They were great at the time of the sale and helped me find pretty much exactly what I wanted at the time. Still, they're not free of attitude either, and I'd have to haul it all the way out to Allston to partake.

There's a new(ish) shop just outside of Powderhouse, and I may just give them a go next time around.
futurenurselady From: futurenurselady Date: April 15th, 2003 10:44 am (UTC) (Link)

Idea!

Put a sticker on your bike that says "To Assume Makes An Ass Out Of You And Me." What a bunch of dorks!

FNL
komos From: komos Date: April 15th, 2003 10:53 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Idea!

Either that, or a sticker showing a duck holding an M-16 flipping the bird.
guitarcries From: guitarcries Date: April 15th, 2003 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I grow frustrated that people seem to think that retail work is for anyone. In the ideal world, people like that would never interact with the customer, except maybe to briefly explain a technical problem with the product. You have to be insanely patient to work in retail, and someone who behaves like that is obviously not cut out for it. I was the same way when I worked at Waldenbooks a few years ago... and that is why I will never go back to retail again.
komos From: komos Date: April 16th, 2003 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I think that's why I tend to be inordinately patient with this sort of thing coming from the various techs I deal with. I don't doubt that he knows his stuff, and that once he tinkers a little he'll figure out what the problem is. Getting him to tinker is the trick.

I think, though, that my big problem is that I then internalize the exchange and attempt to reason what deficiency of my own elicited that kind of response. Really, that's what this was about... the inherent fear I have of being judged.
guitarcries From: guitarcries Date: April 16th, 2003 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think that you should've taken it so personally. As if he could possibly know you or understand the amount of knowledge you have about the subject at hand after knowing you for three seconds. From a former retail worker, when I grew impatient with someone it was usually due to the fact that I had gone through the current scenario a million times before and was sick of dealing with what seemed to be insanely stupid people. Of course these people weren't actually stupid, they just hadn't been working in a bookstore for two years.

I guess what I am trying to say is that no deficiency of yours elicited that response. More... his inherent superiority in the situation at hand, and his history in dealing with people whom he perceives as morons, regardless of whether this is or is not the case.
komos From: komos Date: April 16th, 2003 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Eh, there's no permanent damage. When I record these episodes, it's largely just so I can understand the sort of things I put myself through.
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