Well Mimi is back from the doctor (past post) but she'll go back soon I'm afraid.
Since the first day we've had the scooter there has been an annoying squeak that has just gotten worse with time. I assumed that it was a body panel rubbing underneath, but was never able to isolate it. This was one of the problems I reported when I took her in to the nasty man with mechanic grimy hands. The other was a problem with the seat which doubles as a storage facility. Unfortunately the spring mechanism that opens the seat hasn't been working so well and I wanted them to look at it.
After work that day I took off on my journey to the Piaggio shop to pick up my poor mistreated Mimi. It took me one U-Bahn, one S-Bahn, and one bus to get there and let me tell you that by the time I was stepping off of the bus I had remembered exactly why the ride to and from work on Mimi is so great... there is something to be said for that kind of freedom.
As I walked through the door of the shop I caught sight of a new (to me) person behind the counter. All of these shops have one of these... the "chick" that keeps track of everything. She is the one that maintains some sense of order in the chaos which would normally be allowed to flourish in this masculine world. This model of the token woman was about 25 and channeling Starbuck - attitude, smart-assedness, intense eyes, down to the haircut from the first season.
We'll just call her Starbuck, shall we? Starbuck was working with a few other customers when I came in the door. Let's just say that I was a little anxious as I waited for her to get the "moron family" paid up and on their way. Mom and Dad were paying for repairs to their son's bike. As they were waiting for paperwork etc., Mom was giving the kid (all of 28 or so) the lecture of his life. She was telling him that he needs to be more careful, that the next time he might not be so lucky, blah blah blah.. He was busy looking at the ground avoiding eye contact with her, kicking his left shoe with his right shoe. I was busy looking at the helmet crooked under his arm. There were so many scratches on the surface that it was hard to see what kind of graphic had been painted on it. Yeah Mom... you may be right.
Finally they took off and it was my turn. Quickly I pushed my paperwork over the counter... no small feat as the counter was eye-high to me (I'm a shorty, 5'1" - 154cm). She was rather height challenged too, and we were barely able to meet eyes as the paper was snatched from my hand. "Frau Snooker," she said. "Your seat is working just fine now, the spring was made tighter. The computer also shows that your noise problem was a motor mount that we don't keep in stock. They oiled the area up and hope that makes it better for now, but you must come back in to get the part changed out pretty soon because the oiling won't last forever. All of it is covered in the guarantee, so you have no reason to worry."
At this time she turned on one heel (my imagination, but it looked like that from the way her head twisted, you know?) and took off to the back part of the room, eventually coming back with the keys and the rest of the paperwork. She gave me the bad news, 77.00 EUR (120.00 USD). This price had been quoted when we made the appointment, so I was happy.
The transaction was almost complete when the mechanic dude from that morning came strolling into the room. Starbuck let him know that I had the LX 50, he nodded to her, then came around the counter and moved toward me in an almost conspiratorial way pulling me to the side, out of earshot of the young woman. He leaned into me, looked at the floor and told me that there was a minor problem with that noise in my bike. "But," he interjected looking up for just a short moment, "it isn't too bad. I just put some grease on it and it should be just fine." When I asked about the warantee work he shrugged his shoulders. "No problem, it just needed a little grease. You probably don't need the new motor mounts. Keine Panik." (you guessed it, he told me not to panic). At which time he turned on his heel (yup, I could see it this time - this movement must be used a lot around here) and walked away. My head was spinning, she had told me to get it fixed soon... what is the deal?
After he had cleared the room I gave her an inquisitive look and asked again about the motor mounts, trying to confirm that I needed to get them fixed and needed an appointment. She had read the writing on the wall now, and was backing off from her position. "Well, if you WANT to... but you don't HAVE to."
At this I simply put together my paperwork and the all-important signed and stamped maintenance schedule and walked out of the place headed for Mimi. On my way I passed the moron family as they quizzed another mechanic on why the bike still didn't "sound right". I don't really think they are complete morons, but I was able to see the damage done to his little scooter. It had been in an accident with no question. Not only had that bike hit the ground, but I would almost bet that it had rolled over a few times.
The mechanic had worked miracles on the thing. There wasn't a plastic piece on it which wasn't fractured in some way, (this bike is one of the many cheap scooters available, made mostly of plastic while Mimi has primarily metal panels) and the front end was still a bit crooked although the handlebars had been realigned so that it would work. In my book they are morons because they didn't just get the bike fixed for real... and because they are still paying for the kid's stuff... and because she reamed him in public... and because he's still using a helmet that went through a crash (you're supposed to replace them, especially if there is visible damage).
I just put on my helmet to drown out Mom's voice as she was reaming the mechanic, and rode off into the setting sun thinking about the past half hour. Yes it had happened again. The girl said to begin with that I "must" get it fixed. Then she backtracks after she figures out that bossman told me that it didn't "have" to be fixed. Geeze. "Da Man" did it again. Damn mechanics!
That's OK, I'll get N. in there after them... she'll latch onto him like a bulldog and not let go until the work is done, and done for free! You Go Girl!
To Be Continued...