Creative Endeavors, The Home of BoxcarOkie.com

February 25, 2013

Gas Shock Wipeout

 “You don’t have to give them service before or after the sale, all you have to give ‘em is the best possible price.” …  Quote from Modern Day Economic’s Professor.

Finding parts for a 30 year old bus, is often for lack of a better word, a challenge.  Today was such a day, I went to five auto parts outlets, one parts supplier, and eventually, later on in the afternoon, the Internet.  Never did find the part.  I found a lot that were “similar” in size and shape, but not THE part I was in search of. 

That is often the way it goes … First yo’ muny … And then yo’ clothes.  The owner of a second-hand bus knows how hard it is to drive a bargain.

The thing that is often so frustrating is standing around at the parts counter, while two guys work the parts and the customers stand around in the background waiting to be helped.  If things are this busy, you would think they would have more people working the counter.  

Everywhere I go these days, I either see some poor slob who is over-worked and under-appreciated working his butt off.  Or I come across small groups of people standing around waiting on the next smoke break or the non-sanctioned hackey-sack tournament in the parking lot at 10 A.M..  

 Then there is the ever present question.

You show them the part, and they say to you … “What does this go on?”  You say, “An 83 Model Eagle Bus.” and then they want to know what is an 83 Eagle Bus might be, and of course, “where do I look it up in the book?”  You in turn say to them, “it won’t be in a book” and try to explain to them the nature of the beast.  

 They reply with “everything is in the book.”

At one place, I stood there for a full 12 minutes while this guy talked on the telephone, in the mean time, people who work there, zombies with little name tags on their shirts, are walking around and acting like I am invisible or something.  Back in the old days, they would inquire of you, “I am sorry, have you been helped?” but that dog doesn’t seem to hunt any more. 

No such animal I am afraid.

I did find the part on the Internet but I could not figure out by looking at the photo’s, if it was the right part, and at $41 and some change each (I need two) I enquired by email on the items.  No soap.  They answered the email alright, within the hour, as they had promised.  But confusion ensued, which is often the case with emails, and I found myself reluctant to commit without specific information.  

They in turn steered me via email to the home page “where information on all of our products” can be found.  This is the part that rubs me wrong.  If “all the information on the product can be found there” on the Home Page, then why am I sending them an email to inquire about the product?

The person on the other end, who said his name was “Joe” just blew me off, for lack of a better description.  It was apparent that he just did not feel like dealing with me, email or not.  He just shunted me off to the Home Page and that was it.  

All of this is akin to being snake bit, it is taking me a long, long time to die.

When this company is forced to lay someone off later on in the year, in a valiant effort to cut back because of lousy business and poor customer service, I sincerely hope Joe is the first one shown the door.  

Because all this has been so difficult and has turned into one frustrating dead-end after another, I have decided to give up on new gas shocks and just find me a suitable stick at Home Depot or Lowe’s to prop the door open with that.  Regrettably, it is not very professional by any means, but it is like Dr. Phil says …. “What ever works?”

This is the new revised plan or fix for the problem.  

You see I KNOW where to find a stick, I can run it thru “self service checkout” and be outta there in a snap.  For all of you who have stuck around this long, here is the finish.

I am home now, safe in my own little world of my own making.  I sit in my comfortable easy chair and sip on my coffee and my mind wanders to All In The Family and the episode where Archie is stuck on the elevator with all the people.  

 Where the lady says:

“Oh I hope I didn’t hold you people up?  This is the slowest elevator in New York City.  Oh has this been a day, nothing has gone right, this elevator that I caught, is the first thing for me that has gone right all day.  When I left the house this morning, I stubbed my toe, and I couldn’t run, so I missed the bus.  When I got to work, I locked myself in the ladies room, and my boss left, and I missed getting paid.  Could you please punch #4 for me?”  

Archie responds, ”Lady we just passed five.  Today is a complete wipeout for you aint it?”  

After the day I just had, I can really relate to that, I surely can.

OOO

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5 Comments

  1. I certainly feel your pain DS ! Being a hot rodder, I’ve owned several “old” cars ‘n trucks over the years. Ran into the same type of problems at the various auto parts stores. To make along story short, it’s taken many, many years to find that one (or 2) stores that have that old guy/gal that will come waddling out of the back of the store. Being close to THEIR age, I always shove the next two or three persons ahead of me so I’ll get that guy or gal, ’cause they’ll know right off which brake shoe (s) I’ll need for the ’67 Camaro rear end that I have in my ’48 Chevy !
    Years ago when I had my ’52 Chevy 5-window Pickup, found a place in Oregon that stocks nothing but old Chevy parts from 1916-1984. The average age of the person that answers said phone/email is 69. Ya ask ‘em a question, you generally get an instant answer, none of this I’ll have to ask him or her “overthere”.
    I know these youngsters of today try hard, well most of ‘em anyways, but when outta their mouth comes a statement that EVERYTHING’S in the book, one just has to take a deep breath, turn around and go back home and think of another place that MIGHT be able to help !

    Like

    Comment by Joey — February 25, 2013 @ 11:20 AM

    • Y’know the “second internet place” I called, answered both of my emails, and did not blow me off. They got the order.

      Thanks for your reply,

      DS

      Like

      Comment by ldsrr91 — February 25, 2013 @ 11:33 AM

    • Due to difficulty of finding a good source for bus parts, I try hard to replace items with truck associated parts instead of bus parts. We have a bus parts source here in OKC but he gouges the crap out of people when they go to him, so I do not use his services ($70 for a suspension washer?). I have been known to order out of Florida and the East Coast, but freight is going thru the roof any more.

      Thanks for your comment.

      DS

      Like

      Comment by ldsrr91 — February 25, 2013 @ 3:18 PM

  2. Its a bus got to to a class 8 truck parts store or find a clf warehouse or napa truck store. its just not an auto parts thing you old coot

    Like

    Comment by Jeff — February 25, 2013 @ 2:44 PM

    • NAPA did not carry it, neither did TruckPro, O’Reily’s, AutoZone, Pepboys, Grangers, and a few more. I finally found it on the second outfit I searched on the Internet. Often it is frustrating finding parts, but customer service (or the lack of same) in this country, such as it is now, only makes it more difficult than what it should be.

      DS

      Here is an update. The shocks arrived yesterday, one was 110# and the other was 120#, both were of different lengths and the order was WRONG. So much for the Internet huh? I hope it will work, but you know how that goes. Wish in one hand and spit in the other … see which one fills up first.

      Like

      Comment by ldsrr91 — February 25, 2013 @ 3:15 PM


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